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Ascension Day

Thursday 21 May 2020


Grant, we pray, almighty God,

that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ

to have ascended into the heavens,

so we also in heart and mind may also ascend

and with him continually dwell:

who is alive and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen.

FIRST READING (click to expand)

Daniel 7: 9-14

As I watched, thrones were set in place, and an Ancient One took his throne: his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and flowed out from his presence. A thousand thousand served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him. The court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.

I watched then because of the noise of the arrogant words that the horn was speaking. And as I watched, the beast was put to death, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

As I watched in the night visions,

“I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven.

And he came to the Ancient One and was presented before him.

To him was given dominion and glory and kingship,

that all peoples, nations and languages should serve him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away,

and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed.”

PSALM 93 (click to expand)

The Lord is king: he has put on splendid apparel;

the Lord has put on his apparel and girded himself with strength.

He has made the round world so sure:  that it cannot be moved.

Ever since the world began, your throne has been established;

you are from everlasting.

The waters have lifted up, O Lord, the waters have lifted up their voice;

the waters have lifted up their pounding waves.

Mightier than the sound of many waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea, mightier is the Lord who dwells on high.

Your testimonies are very sure,

and holiness adorns your house, O Lord, for ever and for evermore.


SECOND READING (click to expand)

Acts 1: 1-11

In the first book, O Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This” he said “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now”

So when they had come together,  they asked him “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judaea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

GOSPEL (click to expand)

Luke 24: 44-53

Jesus said to the disciples, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you – that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.


God our Father, you have raised our humanity in Christ

and have fed us with the bread of heaven;

mercifully grant that, nourished with such spiritual blessings,

we may set our hearts in the heavenly places;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



We saw his light break through the cloud of glory
Whilst we were rooted still in time and place
As earth became a part of Heaven’s story
And heaven opened to his human face.
We saw him go and yet we were not parted
He took us with him to the heart of things
The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted
Is whole and Heaven-centred now, and sings,
Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness,
Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight,
Whilst we our selves become his clouds of witness
And sing the waning darkness into light,
His light in us, and ours in him concealed,
Which all creation waits to see revealed.

Malcolm Guite


Rejoicing that Jesus has ascended into the heavens, let us pray in confidence to God the Father

God of love, as we celebrate this festival of Jesus’ entry into heaven as Saviour and Lord, we pray for the Church’s confidence in witness of his kingly reign. Help us to recognise your dominion over all things created, and your guidance in the affairs of the world

Let the kingdom come:  let your kingdom come

God of love, as we live through periods of change and uncertainty, we give thanks for your assurance that you are with us to the end of time. We pray for governments and authorities grappling with the current pandemic and its effect on people’s lives across the world. May they seek the wisdom that comes from above and acknowledge your empowering love

Let the kingdom come:  let your kingdom come

God of love, we continue to hold in our prayers to you those combatting the Covid19 virus; for hospital and surgery staff; doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and those who attend to people in care or residential homes or it their own homes. We thank you for those who have put themselves at risk for the good of others, and pray for all still suffering from the virus

Let the kingdom come: let your kingdom come

God of love, we pray for our town of Wymondham; for schools, shops, businesses looking forward to reopening, yet worried about the process and the detail. We pray that family life will have been strengthened in these last weeks, and remember those who live alone, that friends and neighbours will continue to show concern for them

Let the kingdom come: let your kingdom come

God of love, we pray with hope for the healing and restoration to wholeness of all who are ill or troubled, anxious or distressed. We pray for those who feel the pain of being separated from those they love, and commend the bereaved to your tender care.

Let the kingdom come: let your kingdom come

God of love, we pray for those who have come to the end of their earthly lives, that they may be given merciful judgement and welcomed into the glory of heaven

Let the kingdom come: let your kingdom come

We praise and bless you, God of our making, for the way you draw us deeper into the meaning of life, and offer ourselves anew in your service. Let your kingdom come!

The Stitch in Time

A humble stitch.
A tiny parable.
The ways of God are like a woman
The needle flashes down
Threading Heaven to Earth
Like the light from a star
Pointing to a stable.

God with me –
God in me.
Love the God in me –
Love the ‘me’ in God.

The ways of God are like a woman
The needle pierces the sky
Pulling the thread from Earth to Heaven
And catches me upward.

Love, the God in me –
Love, the ‘me’ in God.
Communion –

Joanna Slater



Almighty God,
as we prepare to worship today
we ask that you will stretch our imaginations
to sense the majesty and mystery of your ascension
Help us perceive how Jesus’ presence in heaven
can give us confidence in our praying
and hope for the future
Through Jesus, our Lord

A video from Fr Robert Barron

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