Presider’s Page for 29 May (Ascension of the Lord)

SUGGESTED SONGS: All Peoples That on Earth Do Dwell; I Am the Bread of Life; Keep In Mind; Let the Earth Rejoice and Sing; How Great Thou Art.

Opening Comment Remembering and celebrating Jesus’ Ascension today, we worship the God of timeless glory.

Penitential Rite As we enter into that liturgy of praise, let us recall how God’s grace lifts us up: (pause) You raise the dead to life in the Spirit: Lord, have mercy. You bring pardon and peace to the sinner: Christ, have mercy. You bring light to those in darkness: Lord, have mercy.

Opening Prayer (ICEL Missal 1998) God of majesty, you led the Messiah through suffering into risen life and took him up to the glory of heaven.

Clothe us with the power promised from on high, and send us forth to the ends of the earth as heralds of repentance and witnesses of Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead, who lives and reigns with you now and always in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.

Introduction to the Scripture Readings Acts 1: 1-11 Both the First Reading and the Gospel today contain an account of the Ascension by St Luke. Hebrews 9:24-28, 10:19-23 Jesus’ entry into the sanctuary of heaven by his death and resurrection assures our entry there, too. [Or Ephesians 1:17-23, where Paul interprets the event as Christ’s exaltation at the right hand of the Father.] Luke 24: 46-53 The very last words of Luke’s Gospel describe the ascension of Jesus and the joy of his disciples.


Introduction (by the Presider) With confidence, let us bring our prayers before God, the Most High.

  1. That people who help communicate the faith may have God’s grace to sustain them (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
  2. That those involved in parish newsletters and websites may have a reward for their good work (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
  3. That there may be an end to war and violence in our world (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
  4. That people in need may be helped (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
  5. That the Spirit may fill our hearts anew, as we prepare for Pentecost (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
  6. That young people revising for exams may have the Spirit’s help (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.

The Presider prays for  the dead: For all our loved ones who have died (especially N and N), that where Christ the Saviour has gone, they may soon follow (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.

Conclusion (by the Presider) Lord Most High, great king over all the earth, you are ever ready to help your people in their distress; hear and grant the prayers we make, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS We offer you this sacrifice, Lord, on the feast of your Son’s Ascension, begging that through this holy exchange of gifts we may rise with him to the joys of heaven. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord.

PREFACE (Ascension of the Lord I) It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, that we should always sing your glory, Lord; but we praise you with greater joy than ever in this Easter season when Christ became our paschal sacrifice.

Today, the Lord Jesus, the King of glory, who has conquered sin and death, ascended to the highest heavens while angels gazed in wonder. He is the mediator between God and humankind, judge of the world and Lord of heavenly powers. He has not abandoned our human condition but has filled us with hope that where he, our head, has gone before us we, his members, shall follow after.

Therefore, the universe resounds with Easter joy, and the choirs of angels sing the endless hymn of your glory: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY….

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER III [with interpolation for the Ascension of the Lord – in italics] Lord, you are holy indeed, and all creation rightly gives you praise. All life, all holiness comes from you through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, by the working of the Holy Spirit. From age to age you gather a people to yourself, so that from the rising of the sun to its setting a pure offering may be made to the glory of your name.

[And so, Lord God, we celebrate the day on which your Son ascended to your right hand, where he pleads on our behalf; and, confidently approaching the throne of grace, we humbly pray:]

By the power of your Spirit sanctify these gifts we have brought before you, that they may become the body + and blood of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose command we celebrate this eucharist.

On the night he was handed over to death, he took bread and gave you thanks and praise; 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.

When supper was ended, he took the cup; again he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said: TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT: THIS IS THE CUP OF MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT. IT WILL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR ALL, SO THAT SINS MAY BE FORGIVEN. DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.

The mystery of faith…..

Calling to mind, Lord God the death your Son endured for our salvation, his glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven, and eagerly awaiting the day of his return, we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice. Look with favour on your Church’s offering and see the Victim by whose sacrifice you were pleased to reconcile us to yourself. Grant that we who are nourished by the body and blood of your Son may be filled with his Holy Spirit and become one body, one spirit in Christ.

Let him make us an everlasting gift to you, that we may share in the inheritance of your saints, with Mary, the virgin Mother of God, with the apostles, the martyrs, [Pope Saint Paul VI], and all your saints, on whose constant intercession we rely for help.

Lord, may this sacrifice which has made our peace with you advance the peace and salvation of all the world. Strengthen in faith and love your pilgrim Church on earth: your servant Pope Francis, our Bishop N., all bishops, priests, and deacons, all ministers of your Church, and the entire people your Son has gained for you.

Merciful Father, hear the prayers of the family you have gathered here before you, and unite to yourself all your children now scattered over the face of the earth.

Welcome into your kingdom our departed brothers and sisters and all who have left this world in your friendship. We hope to enjoy with them your everlasting glory, through Christ our Lord, through whom you give the world everything that is good. THROUGH HIM…..

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION Almighty and eternal God, you have entrusted to us here on earth the mysteries that foreshadow heaven. Draw our gaze upward where Christ, who shares our human nature, sits in glory at your right hand and lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.

SOLEMN BLESSING On this day Christ, the only Son, passed into the highest heaven to take his place with the Father in majesty and to open the way for us:

May almighty God grant that, where Christ is, you also may be. R. Amen. May God grant that when Christ comes to judge the world his face may shine upon you in lasting mercy. R. Amen. May God grant you the joyous fulfilment of Christ’s promise to remain with you even to the end of time. R. Amen

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