Thursday, June 01, 2017

The Octave of the Ascension

The Ascension of the Lord was the confirmation of the Catholic Faith, that we may surely believe in the gift which is yet to come, from that miracle whose effect we have already felt; and that every one of the faithful, having already received such great things, may learn to hope for the things which have been promised, and through those which he knows have already been given, and hold the goodness of God, both past and present, as a pledge of the things which shall come later.

Icon of the Ascension by Andreas Ritzos (1421-92)
An earthly body, therefore, is lifted up above the heights of heaven; the bones, which but a little while before had lain within the narrow walls of the grave, are brought in among the hosts of Angels. Our mortal nature is given a place in the lap of immortality; and therefore the Apostle’s sacred history which we have read saith “When He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up.” (From St Augustine’s Third Sermon on the Ascension, read on the Octave in the Breviary of St Pius V.)

Courtesy of James Griffin, here are some photos of the Mass of the Ascension celebrated at the Cathedral-Basilica of Ss Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. Especially note the extinguishing of the Paschal candle in third photo. Mr Griffin is also the author of the blog Modern Medievalism.

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