If you live in the United States, England, or Wales you know what today is. It it is the Feast of the Rant that today is not Ascension Thursday. Last year the Bishops of England and Wales joined the U.S. in moving the Ascension to Sunday so I welcome those who live their to commiserate with us. On the "Feast of the Rant that today is not Ascension Thursday" it is traditional for bloggers in these countries to gripe about the movement of this feast especially newer bloggers who have not yet posted on this subject. Though if you live in Bishop Bruskewitz’s diocese than today is a Holy Day of Obligation.
Though I think we should add a new tradition to the "Feast of the Rant that today is not Ascension Thursday" in that those who do not already go to Daily Mass go to Mass today anyway. You really don’t need any special reason to want to go to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but if you need one then celebrating the Ascension with the rest of the Catholic world is a nice bit of solidarity. Joana Bogle also suggests going to Mass today. This is the only type of Mass protest that is acceptable. It would be wonderful if more and more people each year did choose to go to Mass today and celebrate with the rest of the universal Church and lead by example so perhaps the bishops were led by this example and rethink the minimum weekly dose of Catholicism mentality. You know – we can’t expect you to make a sacrifice to go to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. In between rants perhaps we can even pray for our bishops today.
For those bishops who think the laity can’t be bothered with going to Mass two times within a week I have but one thing to say to you – Ash Wednesday.
Now for both a lighter and deeper tone here is what I think is an appropriate paragraph from the Holy Father’s wonderful new book Jesus of Nazareth in the chapter on the Our Father prayer p. 150.
And in this light, we now understand that Jesus himself is "heaven" in the deepest and truest sense of the world — he in whom and through with God’s will is wholly done. Looking at him, we realize that left to ourselves we can never be completely just: The gravitational pull of our own will constantly draws us away from God’s will and turns us into mere "earth." But he accepts us, he draws us up to himself, into himself, and in communion with him we too learn God’s will. Thus, what we are ultimately praying for in the third petition of the Our Father is that we come closer and closer to him, so that God’s will can conquer the downward pull of our selfishness and make us capable of the lofty heights to which we are called.
So let us today also ascend in prayer and resist "The gravitational pull of our own will" or as Chesterton said (and the Pope also quoted last year) "Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly."
Update: man with black hat weighs in.
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It is also not Ascension Thursday here in Ireland. It has been celebrated on the following Sunday for about 15 years now. As is Corpus Christi. But the other fixed date holy days (Patrick’s Day, Assumption, etc.) aren’t.
Here in my diocese (Greensburg, Pennsylvania), today is a Holy Day of Obligation.
Today, in the Archdiocese of Boston, it’s a Holy Day of Obligation too…
It’s not Ascension Thursday in Canada, and I can’t recall it ever was not on a Sunday. I’m 24 on the 22nd, so my memory only stretches back to the late 1980s.
It’s Ascension Thursday here in Metuchen, NJ too. I never heard of Ascension Sunday since 3 years ago.
In the U.S., isn’t it primarily west of the Mississippi that the feast is moved?
In Dallas, when I was younger, it wasn’t moved, but I just checked the calendar of holy days under the liturgy office on the diocese’s website and it’s been moved since at least last year. I understand it’s moved everywhere in the Roman churches here in Canada – though we attend a Ukrainian-rite church here in Edmonton, so we get to go to Mass tonight (yay!).
I must say, the Ascension obligation transferred makes the Liturgy of the Hours a bit discombobulated…There aren’t seasonal propers for the Thursday and Friday of the 6th week of Easter, so I wound up doing the Ascension propers this morning…it was weird and somewhat confusing…if they’d just move the obligation back to where it belonged there wouldn’t be that mixup…
Of course, the other option (if you’re lucky to be close enough) is to go to an Indult parish today and Sunday 🙂
Regarding the Liturgy of the Hours, my Christian Prayer book has prayers for before and after the Ascension.
It is transferred in Rome itself…though not the Vatican.
Today is Ascension Thursday and a Holy Day of Obligation in the Diocese of Trenton.
It is a holy day of obligation in the Archdiocese of NY. BUT for other holy days, if it falls on a Saturday/Monday, it is not. Let’s confuse the already confused even more.
Diocese of Greensburg here, too. Ascension. Mass and everything.
It’s a HDO here in the Diocese of Ogdensburg, but this isn’t my home diocese.
It’s a Holy Day of Obligation in the Hartford, CT archdiocese.
In Canada, it is on Sunday. We only have two Holy Days of Obligation—CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS!!!
An additional Holy Rant of Obligation: when I go to daily Mass today, I will be subjected to the annual harangue about how this isn’t Ascension Thursday, so there’s no need for us to be there.
PS: I’m in Oregon, but unfortunately not in the diocese of Baker.
Most dioceses in the former northern colonies have maintained Ascension Thursday, as has the state of Nebraska. The rest of the U.S. has transferred it creating Ascension Thursday Sunday and effectively bumping the Seventh Sunday of Easter.
I attended a priestly ordination at the local Benedictine Abbey last evening. As Father was trained at St. Vincent’s in Latrobe, PA, I figure there must have been guests there who, if they return home before Sunday will miss the Feast of the Ascension altogether!
With the promised coming of the Motu Proprio, it seems more parishes will be able to celebrate the Ascension ON Thursday with a Tridentine Mass – since that calendar is still intact.
“when I go to daily Mass today, I will be subjected to the annual harangue about how this isn’t Ascension Thursday, so there’s no need for us to be there.”
Heh heh, I remember those from St Andrew’s & Edinburgh diocese….
Well, if you went to your OWN parish Liturgy, you’d have celebrated the Ascension on Thursday and you wouldn’t have been harangued.
…at least not about that! 🙂
I’m glad I live in a diocese (Boston) that still celebrates the Ascension on Thursday. When it’s transferred to Sunday, it messes up the novena for Pentecost, not to mention anything about the significance of the 40 days after Easter. (for example, the rain fell on Noah 40 days and 40 nights, the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the desert, Jesus’ fast of 40 days, etc.)
I grew up (and still live in) the Diocese of Brooklyn and I work in the Archdiocese of New York. The Solmemnity of the Ascension is, and has always been, on a Thursday (40 days after Easter). Even when I went away to school in the Diocese of Ogdensburg, the Ascension was (and is) on that very Thursday. In all these places it’s a Holy Day of Obligation. It wasn’t ’til I went to study in Canada that I encounterd the transferred solemnity. The parish I belonged to there did a Pentecost novena which included Mass. I went on the first day, Ascension Day, or so I thought. I found it very odd that the Mass was a Daily Mass, with only 2 readings and no recitation of the Creed. And I found it even more odd that the following Sunday the readings, prayers, etc. where for the Ascension. It just felt so wrong. I understand that the bishops are within their rights to transfer the celebration of the Ascension to the following Sunday. IMHO, I think it causes a lot of confusion. I’m glad my bishop keeps it on the proper day.
Hey, you know, your comment about Ash Wednesday at the end reminded me of something. Perhaps more people would show up to non-Sunday Masses if they were to receive “something” (yes, besides Holy Communion and grace- like ashes). So what could we give out on Ascension Thursday- balloons? Bubbles? Something that ascends… on second thought, best not to encourage anyone to hand out anything. Sometimes bubbles and balloons are part of the Mass anyway, inexplicably. Especially at wedding Masses.
I just checked my church envelopes (my church calendar in a box). In the Archdiocese of Detroit, today is a Holy Day of Obligation. And I blew it. Someone know an albino assassin monk who can lend me a whip? 😉
Today was also the beginning of the Novena to the Holy Spirit. I remembered THAT at least!
In the Diocese of San Diego, we have Ascension Sunday. But up at the north end of the county, the Benedictine Prince of Peace Abbey follows the traditional calendar–so we were able to go up there.
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