focus of the day:

ascension
The Ascension    

CELEBRATING JESUS' ASCENSION

     We celebrate Jesus' ascending on or about the fortieth day after Easter Day. The timing of the celebration is a matter of convenience, enabling us to isolate one aspect of the total Easter event.
The issue centres around the continuation of the Christian community after the historical Jesus is absent.
 

gathering prayer:

[ The Eucharist can take place only when believers are gathered together in the name of Jesus Christ and in the power of God's holy Spirit.   Avoid an over-wordy gathering rite.
Opening Hymn: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
]

 
Presider:
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:
 
All:
Amen
Pirihi:
Ki te ingoa o te Matua,
o te Tamaiti, o te Wairua Tapu:
 
Iwi:
Amene
Presider:
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
the love of God
and the fellowship of the holy Spirit,
be with you all.
 
All:
And also with you.
Pirihi:
Haere mai, e te whanau.
Tena koutou katoa,
a, kia noho te Ariki ki a koutou.
Iwi:
Tena koe, e Pa, a, kia noho te Ariki
ki a koe ano hoki.
 

[ SAMPLE ]   Penitential form

 
Presider:
We gather to celebrate Jesus' ascending
about forty days after Easter Sunday.
The immediate effect of Jesus' absence
is a community that reels in fear,
anxiety & bewilderment.
The Christian community even today
seems to have no power
to act of it's own initiative!
We have no cause or claim
for self-congratulation.
We are often adrift and unable
to generate the momentum to change!
 
Presider:
Jesus, raised in glory,
intercede for us:: - ( pause ) -
LORD, have mercy:
 
ALL:
LORD, HAVE MERCY.
 
Presider:
Jesus, remaining with us
until the end of time:: - ( pause ) -
CHRIST, have mercy:
 
ALL:
CHRIST, HAVE MERCY.
 
Presider:
Jesus, the most High One
acclaimed by angels: - ( pause ) -
LORD, have mercy:
 
ALL:
LORD, HAVE MERCY.
 
Presider:
May the God of Mercy,
forgive us our sins
and bring us to life that lasts:
 
ALL:
AMEN.
 

GLORIA:

( Sung )

 

opening prayer:


Presider:

[ The leader invites the people to pray
in these or similar words:..,
]

Friends, let us pray;
on this day of the Ascension
as we watch and wait
for Jesus' return: . . ,
( Pause for silent prayer: . . , )
God of Earth and Sky,
our minds were prepared
for the coming of Your reigning
when You took Christ beyond our sight,
so that we might seek Him in His glory.
May we follow where He has led
and find our hope in His glory;
We pray this in His name.
 
ALL:
AMEN.
 
 
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the readings:

[ The commentator focuses on giving a brief context of the readings, including the gospel, so that those who are going to hear the readings, are ready to receive what is being offered in the reading itself. ]

 

the first reading:

Commentator:

[ an introduction ]

A summary of the life of Jesus
which provides a smooth transition
from Luke's earlier gospel to this second work
of reporting the "good news"
to be found in the activities of Jesus' apostles.
The ascending of Jesus is mentioned.
The same narrative that completes
the account of Jesus' ministry
in the gospel, now serves to launch
an account of the new stage
of the community's life.
 
Reader 1:
ACTS 1 : 1 - 11
 
the response:
PSALM 47 : 5
 
ALL:
GOD MOUNTS THE THRONE TO SHOUTS OF JOY:
A BLARE OF TRUMPETS FOR THE HOLY GOD.
 

the second reading:

Commentator:

[ an introduction ]

The brief reference to the ascending of Jesus in the Letter, functions as part of the author's general theme of praise about God's actions in Christ, on behalf of humankind.
 
Reader 2:
EPHESIANS 1 : 17 - 23
 

the Gospel:

Commentator:

[ an introduction ]

Jesus continues His farewell talk to His disciples. He is understood by them to be the visible presence of God among humanity - the person who establishes a new covenant with them.
 
Priest/Deacon:
LUKE 24 : 46 - 53
 

Homily:

 

 

CREED:

 
 
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intercessions:

[ The intercessions have the following outline:

  • A brief opening invitation to pray by the leader;
  • Two or three intentions offered by the leader. Where these are taken from a book, the most appropriate ones for that day should be chosen, especially those which relate the the readings or homily;
  • An invitation to the congregation to offer their own intentions. It is helpful if these can be organised to some extent beforehand;
  • If there are special events in the community or special needs for prayer which have not so far been mentioned, the leader could well introduce such intentions here;
  • A concluding prayer by the leader.

SAMPLE PRAYERS ]

 
Presider:
We remember Jesus' words
about a promise to be with us always:
let us pray with confidence
to God-with-us;
for our world and its needs: . . ,
 
1:
For the Christian community.
May the Word of the Ascending Jesus,
which instructs women and men who believe,
continue to instruct all who are faithful;
especially those responsible
for the formation of the young
and those troubled in conscience: - ( pause ) -
Ascending Jesus, hear us:
 
ALL:
ASCENDING JESUS, HEAR US.
 
2:
For our world.
May the vision of the Ascending Jesus,
which promises an understanding of events
in a universe that shows Your creative power,
enable disciples to discern the future with confidence
that we may treat the Earth with reverence & respect
as the place where Your glory always endures:: - ( pause ) -
Ascending Jesus, hear us:
 
ALL:
ASCENDING JESUS, HEAR US.
 
3:
For those who spread the gospel.
May the empowering Spirit
promised by the Ascending Jesus,
be with us as we continue
to proclaim "the good news": - ( pause ) -
Ascending Jesus, hear us:
 
ALL:
ASCENDING JESUS, HEAR US.
 
4:
.....................: - ( pause ) -
Ascending Jesus, hear us:
 
ALL:
ASCENDING JESUS, HEAR US.
 
Leader 2:
Let us pray, for our personal needs: - ( pause ) -
Ascending Jesus, hear us:
 
ALL:
ASCENDING JESUS, HEAR US.
 
Presider:
Ever Faithful God,
we believe that Jesus
lives in You & in us.
Strengthen our faith, hope & love,
that Your reigning will be proclaimed
in our lives
and the presence of Your Spirit
be shown in our thoughts, words & actions.
We ask this in Jesus' name.
 
ALL:
AMEN.
 
 
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Reflection:

[ A brief reflection which links the liturgy of the Word with the liturgy of the Eucharist. It seeks to clarify the significance of these texts for life beyond the liturgical assembly. Hearing of the Word of God when the scriptures are read & experiencing the Presence of God in the action of the Eucharistic Prayer, reinforces the unity of the "good news" for the practise of discipleship. ]

     Jesus offered an invitation to His disciples to come into a partnership with Him to extend the divine work (Jn.14:10-12). Deeper into the farewell speech in the gospel of John, Jesus spoke of revealing God's name to those given him by his Father (Jn.17:6). He prays that His disciples would remain true to the divine name in their practice (Jn.17:11).
     The image of partnership with God, whose name is revealed by Jesus, outlines the task to which disciples are called, and to which they are to remain true. Jesus' prayer extends the work He (Jesus) was given by the Father. He prays for unity of destiny for all believers, just as there is a unity of destiny between Father and Son in the Holy Spirit (Jn.17:22- 26).
     The Ascension Day liturgy is our point of entry into new sources of imagery by which we believe in order to understand our faith, worship, and practice in the world. The actions of God in the Eucharistic Liturgy, are the key to an enriched understanding of our world as the place where God reigns, of neighbour-love as the bond of the community of disciples, and our new selves as Jesus' disciples!
     We are missioned to world-building. Our task is to express, transform, and extend our world, in accord with the pattern revealed in the mystery of God. Jesus didn't talk about a God in heaven, who is remote from would-be disciples. He talks about a God who is love, and seeing God is a part of what we do! It is to see love. The God that Jesus presents is not in heaven, but in what people are doing! If we want to look for God this is where we must search - God in the liberating practice of disciples!
     The Word of God has invited us, as steward-partners of creation, to join God's mission in the world! Our oikonomia or stewardship, is closely linked to koinonia or partnership/communion! The community of Jesus disciples are sent to extend God's work of creating a more humane society. May the creative love, the liberating grace, and the empowering partnering of the Triune God be with us always!
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Preparation of the Gifts

[ The Hymn is: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 

Eucharistic Prayer:

[ Eucharistic Prayer I ) ]

 
Presider:
... He broke the bread,
gave it to His disciples and said:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT IT:
THIS IS MY BODY WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.
 
Kaikarana:
Nau mai rā ē Hehu to tinana
ē huna nei i tenei taro ēe.
 
All:
HAERE MAI, HAERE MAI, HAERE MAI.
 
Presider:
. . . At the end of the meal,
knowing that He was to reconcile all things in Himself
by the blood of His cross,
He took the cup, filled with wine.
Again He gave You thinks,
handed the cup to His friends,
and said:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT:
THIS IS THE CUP OF MY BLOOD,
THE BLOOD OF THE NEW & EVERLASTING COVENANT.
IT WILL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR ALL
SO THAT SINS MAY BE FORGIVEN.
Then He said to them;
DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME . . .
 
Kaikaranga:
Nau mai rā ē Hehu ō toto ē.
huna nei i tenei waina ēe.
 
All:
HAERE MAI, HAERE MAI, NAU MAI.
 
 
[ OR ]
 
Presider:
Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
 
All:
CHRIST HAS DIED;
CHRIST IS RISEN;
CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN!
 
 
The LORD's Prayer
 
Presider:
Let us pray
for the coming of the kingdom
in the words Jesus taught us:...
 
All:
Our Father in heaven . . .
 
 
Holy Communion

[ Communion Hymn: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ]
 

the sending:

[ The leader focuses in the final prayer, blessing, gestures and movement, some central strands which relate this celebration of Eucharist to the world from which the people come and to which they now return. ]

[ SAMPLE ]

 
Presider:
God of Presence, in this Eucharist,
we touch the divine life
You give to the world.
Help us to follow Christ with love
to eternal life where He is Lord, always:
 
ALL:
AMEN.
 
 
[ Any Announcements may now be made by the leader
or another member of the assembly.
]
 

the blessing:

Presider:

[ SAMPLE ]

We are sent;
In the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ;
in the love of God;
in the fellowship of the holy Spirit;

To extend God's creating,
redeeming
and empowering work
in our world;

To be honest witnesses to Jesus Christ
and that through Him we may continue,
to worship in Spirit and Truth,
until we gather again.
 
ALL:
AMEN.
 
Presider:
The Lord be with you.
 
All:
And also with you.
 
Pirihi:
Kio noho te Ariki ki a koutou.
 
Iwi:
Ki a koe ano hoki.
 
Presider:
May Almighty God bless us, ✠
the Father, the Son and the holy Spirit.
 
All:
Amen
 
Pirihi:
Kia whakapaingia koutou e te Atua Kaha rawa, ✠
te Matua, te Tamaiti, me te Wairua Tapu.
 
Iwi:
Amene
 
Presider/Deacon:
Go in peace to love and serve the LORD.
 
All:
Thanks be to God.
 
Pirihi:
Haere, e te whanau, haere koutou; ma te Atua koutou
e manaaki, e tiaki hoki.
 
Iwi:
Whakawhetai ki te Atua.
 
 
[ Final Hymn: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 
 

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