The Easter and Ascension Cycle

Easter Sunday
First Sunday after Easter
Second Sunday after Easter
Third Sunday after Easter
Fourth Sunday after Easter
Fifth Sunday after Easter
Ascension Thursday
Sunday Within the Octave of the Ascension


Liturgical Commentary

On this, the greatest feast of the whole year, the Station was at St Mary Major, as on Christmas Day. The Church never separates Jesus from Mary, and today she glorifies the Son and His Mother in a common triumph.

The risen Christ pays a tribute of gratitude first of all to His Father (Introit). The Church for her part thanks God for having opened up again for us, by the triumph of His Son, the way to heaven, and solicits His help to the end that we may attain to this supreme good (Collect).

For that it is necessary, St. Paul tells us, that as the Jews ate the Paschal lamb with unleavened bread, so should we also partake of the Lamb of God with the unleavened bread of a pure and holy life (Epistle, Communion), that is to say free from the leaven of sin.

The Sequence gives the details of this immolation. Jesus triumphs on the cross and He comes triumphant out of the sepulchre.

The Gospel and the Offertory describe the coming of the Holy Women to anoint Christ. They find the sepulchre empty, but an angel reveals to them the great mystery of the Resurrection.

Let us joyfully celebrate this day on which Jesus has brought us back to life by His Resurrection (Preface). And that it may be given to us to celebrate it through all eternity in heaven (Secret), let us live a wholly new life.

Mass Readings

Introit: I arose and I am still with Thee. Alleluia, alleluia! Thou hast laid Thine hand upon me, alleluia. Thy knowledge has become wonderful. Alleluia, alleluia. [Ps.] Lord, Thou hast probed me and known me. Thou knowest my sitting down and my rising up. Glory be.- I arose and I am still with Thee. Alleluia, alleluia! Thou hast laid Thine hand upon me, alleluia. Thy knowledge has become wonderful. Alleluia, alleluia.

Collect: O God, who on this day, through Thine only begotten Son has overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life; do Thou follow with Thine aid the desires which Thou dost put into our minds, and by Thy continual help, bring the same to good effect. Through the same Jesus Christ....

Epistle: 1 Corinthians v: 7-8: Brethren, purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new dough, as you really are without leaven. For Christ, our passover, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us keep festival, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Gradual: This is the day which the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Give praise unto the Lord for He is good; for His mercy endures forever. Alleluia, alleluia! Christ, our pasch, is sacrificed. Alleluia!


Forth to the Paschal Victim,
Christians, bring
Your sacrifice of praise:

The Lamb redeems the sheep;
And Christ, the sinless One,
Hath to the Father sinners reconciled.

Together death and life
In strange conflict strove.
The Prince of Life, who died,
Now lives and reigns.

What thou sawest, Mary, say,
As thou wentest on the way.

"I saw the tomb wherein the living One had lain,
I saw His glory as He rose again;

Napkin and linen cloths, and angels twain:

Yea, Christ has risen, my hope, and He
Will go before you into Galilee."

We know that Christ has risen from the grave:
Hail, Thou, King of Victory, Have mercy Lord, and save. Amen. Alleluia.

Gospel: Mark xvi: 1-7: At that time, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, brought spices that they might go and anoint Jesus. And very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb, when the sun had just risen. And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll the stone back from the entrance of the tomb for us?" And looking up they saw that the stone had been rolled back, for it was very large. But on entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were amazed. He said to them, "Do not be terrified. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen. He is not here. Behold the place where they laid Him. But go and tell His disciples and Peter that He goes before you into Galilee; there you shall see Him as He told you."

Offertory: The earth trembled and was still when God arose in judgment. Alleluia!

Secret: Accept, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers of Thy people with the oblation of sacrifice; that what we have begun by these paschal mysteries, by Thy operation may profit us for a healing remedy unto life everlasting....

Communion: Christ our Pasch is immolated, alleluia: therefore let us feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, alleluia. alleluia, alleluia!

Postcommunion: Pour forth upon us, O Lord, the spirit of Thy love, that by Thy loving kindness, Thou mayest make to be of one mind, those whom Thou hast fed with these Paschal sacraments. Through our Lord ... in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.


Liturgical Commentary

Low Sunday, so called in order to emphasize the contrast between the great Easter solemnity and the Sunday which ends the Octave, is also known as Quasimodo, from the first words of the Introit. In the Latin Missal and Breviary it is Called Dominica in Albis (depositis or deponendis), because the Neophytes on that day put aside their white garments. Another Latin name, Pascha clausum, is preserved in the French Paques closes and in the Dutch Beloken Paschen, i.e. "close of Easter," this day ending the Octave (Collect). The Church compares the Neophytes to new-born babes, and the milk she gives them to drink (Introit) is the faith in Christ which will enable them to overcome with Him the world. This faith has for its foundation the testimony of the Father, Who at the baptism of Christ (water) declared Him to be His Son; the testimony of the Son, Who on the Cross (blood) showed Himself the Son of God; and that of the Holy Ghost, Who by Christ's Resurrection attested the divinity of the Redeemer (Gospel).

The Gospel further shows us how Christ, Who twice appeared in the Cenacle, dispelled the doubts of Thomas and praised those who, without having seen Him, yet believed in Him.

Let us proclaim our faith in the risen Christ, and in the Divine Presence in the Holy Eucharist let us repeat with Thomas that cry of faith and humility, "My Lord and my God !"

Mass Readings

Introit: As newborn babes, alleluia, desire the rational milk without guile, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice to God our helper. Sing aloud to the God of Jacob. Glory be

Collect: Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we who have celebrated the Paschal solemnity, may by Thy bounty show forth its effects in our life and conversation. Through our Lord....

Epistle: 1 John v: 4-10: Dearly beloved: Whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that testifies that Christ is the truth. And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three are one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. For this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because He has testified of His Son. He that believes in the Son of God has the testimony of God in Himself.

Alleluia: Alleluia, alleluia. On the day of My resurrection, says the Lord, I will go before you into Galilee. Alleluia. After eight days, the doors being shut, Jesus stood in the midst of His disciples, and said, "Peace be to you. Alleluia!

Gospel: John xx: 19-31: At that time, when it was late the same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together for fear of the Jews, Jesus came, and stood in the midst of them, and said to them, "Peace be to you." And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. The disciples therefore were glad when they saw the Lord. He said to them again, "Peace be to you. As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." When He had said this, He breathed upon them, and said to them, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins ye shall retain, they are retained. Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them "Except that I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." And after eight days, again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace be to you." Then He said to Thomas, "Put in thy finger here, and see My hands, and bring here thy hand, and put it into My side; and be not faithless but believing." Thomas answered, and said to Him, "My Lord and my God." Jesus said to him, "Because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are thy who have not seen Me, yet have believed." Many other signs also Jesus worked in the sight of His disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing, you may have life in His name.

Offertory: An angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and said to the women, "He whom you seek is risen, as He said." Alleluia!

Secret: Receive, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gifts of Thine exulting Church, and grant that she to whom Thou hast given cause for such great joy, may obtain also the fruit of perpetual gladness. Through our Lord....

Communion: Put in thy hand, and know the place of the nails, alleluia; and be not faithless, but believing, alleluia, alleluia.

Postcommunion: We beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that Thou wouldst make the most holy mysteries, which Thou hast given to ensure our regeneration, a remedy for us both now and for all time to come. Through our Lord....


Liturgical Commentary

This is known as Good Shepherd Sunday. As St. Peter, whom the risen Christ has appointed head and Pastor of His Church, tells us in the Epistle, Jesus is the Shepherd of our souls, which were as sheep going astray. He came to give His life for them, and they have flocked around Him.

The Gospel relates the Parable of the Good Shepherd, Who protects His sheep from the attacks of the wolf and rescues them from death (Collect). He also foretells that the heathen will unite with the Jews of the Old Law, and that they will form one church and one fold, under one and the same Shepherd.

Jesus acknowledges them as His sheep, and, like the disciples of Emmaus, they in turn acknowledge that Christ is risen again (Alleluia). And, lifting up their eyes towards Him (Offertory), they return thanks for His great mercy (Introit).

Mass Readings

Introit: The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord, alleluia: by the word of the Lord were the heavens made, alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: praise is comely for the upright. Glory be.... The earth....

Collect: O God, who by the humility of Thy Son has raised up a fallen world, grant to Thy faithful people abiding joy; that those whom Thou hast delivered from the perils of eternal death Thou mayest cause to enjoy endless happiness.

Epistle: 1 Peter ii: 21-25 Beloved: Christ has suffered for us, leaving you an example that you may follow in His steps: "Who did no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth." Who, when He was reviled, did not revile; when He suffered did not threaten, but yielded Himself to him who judged Him unjustly; who Himself bore our sins in His body upon the tree, that we, having died to sin, might live to justice; and by His stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Alleluia: Alleluia, alleluia. The disciples knew the Lord Jesus in the breaking of the bread. Alleluia. I am the Good Shepherd , and I know My sheep, and Mine know Me. Alleluia

Gospel: John x: 11-16 At that time, Jesus said to the Pharisees: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. But the hireling, who is not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees. And the wolf snatches and scatters the sheep; but the hireling flees because he is a hireling, and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd and I know Mine, and Mine know Me; even as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for My sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold. Them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd."

Offertory: God, my God, to Thee do I watch at break of day; and in Thy name I will lift up my hands, alleluia

Secret: May this holy oblation, O Lord, ever draw down upon us Thy saving blessing; that it may perfect in virtue what it represents in mystery.

Communion: I am the Good Shepherd, alleluia: and I know My sheep, and Mine know Me, alleluia, alleluia.

Postcommunion: Grant us, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we who obtain from Thee the grace of a new life, may ever glory in Thy gift.


Liturgical Commentary

The Church rejoices because Christ is risen again and has redeemed us (Alleluia); and so she utters cries of joy (Introit) and sings the praises of God (Offertory).

A little while, and now you shall not see Me, and you shall lament and weep," Jesus said in His last discourse to His disciples; "and again a little while, and you shall see Me, and your heart shall rejoice"

The Apostles, when again they saw Christ risen from the dead, were filled with the same joy to which the liturgical services for Easter give expression this day; and seeing that Easter is but a figure of the eternal Pasch, the Church will experience a similar joy when, having brought forth in sorrow souls to God, she sees Jesus again in His triumphant entry into Heaven. "He will turn our sorrow then into joy, which no man shall take from us" (Gospel).

The head of the Church, moreover, states in the Epistle that we are here only as strnagers and pilgrims, and he enumerates the positive and negative precepts to be observed in order that those "who profess themselves Christians may be able to reject those things which disgrace the name and follow those which are becoming to it" (Collect).

Mass Readings

Introit: Shout with joy to God, all the earth, alleluia. Sing ye a psalm to His name, alleluia. Give glory to His praise, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Say unto God: How terrible are Thy works, O Lord! In the multitude of Thy strength Thine enemies shall lie to Thee. Glory be.... Shout with Joy....

Collect: O God, who dost show to them that are in error the light of Thy truth, tat they may return into the way of righteousness; grant to all those that profess themselves Christians to reject those things which are contrary to that name, and follow such things as are agreeable to the same.

Epistle: 1 Peter ii: 11-19 Beloved: I exhort you as strangers and pilgrims to abstain from carnal desires which war against the soul. Behave yourselves honorably among the pagans; that, whereas they slander you as evildoers, they may, through observing you, by reason of your good works glorify God in the day of visitation. Be subject therefore to every human creature for God's sake; whether to the king as supreme, or to governors as sent through him for vengeance on evildoers and for the praise of the good. For such is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. Live as freemen, yet not using your freedom as a cloak for malice but as servants of God. Honor all men; love the brotherhood; fear God; honor the king. Servants be subject to your masters in all fear, not only to the good and moderate, but also to the severe. This is indeed a grace, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Alleluia: Alleluia, alleluia. The Lord has sent redemption to His people. Alleluia. It behoved Christ to suffer and to rise again from the dead, and so to enter into His glory. Alleluia.

Gospel: John xvi: 16-22 At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "A little while and you shall see Me no longer; and again a little while and you shall see Me, because I go to the Father." Some of His disciples, therefore, said to one another, "What is this He says to us, 'A little while and you shall not see Me, and again a little while and you shall see Me'; and, 'I go to the Father'?" They kept saying therefore, "What is this little while of which He speaks? We do not know what He is saying." But Jesus knew that they wished to ask Him, and He said to them, "You inquire about this among yourselves because I said 'A little while and you shall not see Me, and again a little while and you shall see Me.' Amen, amen, I say to you, that you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be sorrowful, butyour sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman about to give birth has sorrow, because her hour has come. But when she has brought forth the child, she no longer remembers the anguish for her joy that a man is born into the world. And you therefore have sorrow now; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one shall take from you."

Offertory: Praise the Lord, O my soul; while I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have being. Alleluia.

Secret: Grant, O Lord, that by these mysteries it may be given to us to subdue our worldly desires, and learn to love the things of heaven.

Communion: A little while and you shall see Me no longer; and again a little while and you shall see Me, because I go to the Father. Alleluia. alleluia.

Postcommunion: May the sacraments which we have received, O Lord, we beseech Thee, be a lifegiving food for our souls and a safeguard to our bodies.


Liturgical Commentary

The liturgy today exalts the justice of God (Introit, Gospel), which is made manifest in the triumph of Christ and in that of His Church.

"The right hand of the Lord hath made manifest its power by mislng Christ from the dead" (Alleluia) and by taking Him up into Heaven on the day of His Ascension. It is expedient to us that Jesus should leave the earth, for from Heaven He will send to His Church the Spirit of truth (Gospel), that excellent gift which comes down from the Father (Epistle).

The Holy Ghost will unite all hearts (Collect), will teach them all truth (Gospel, Offertory) and will convince Satan and the World of the sin they have committed in delivering Jesus to death (Gospel, Communion) and in continuing to persecute Him through His Church.

Let us hearken to the words of truth, which will save our souls (Epistle) and let us practise truth (Secret), that our hearts may be always set there where is true joy (Collect).

Mass Readings

Introit: Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle, alleluia, for the Lord has done wonderful things, alleluia. He has revealed His justice in the sight of the gentiles, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. His right hand, and His holy arm, have gotten Him salvation. Glory be. ... Sing ye.... Collect: O God, who makest the minds of the faithful to be of one will, grant to Thy people to love that which Thou commandest, and to desire that which Thou dost promise; that so, among the changing allurements of the world, our hearts may be set where true joys are to be found.

Epistle: James i: 17-21 Beloved: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no change nor shadow of alteration. Of His own will He has begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be, as it were, the first fruits of His creatures. You know this, my beloved brethren. But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. For the wrath of man does not work the justice of God. Therefore, casting aside all uncleanness and abundance of malice, with meekness receive the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Alleluia: Alleluia, Alleluia. The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength. The right hand of the Lord hath exalted me. Alleluia Christ, rising from the dead, dieth now no more: death shall no more have dominion over Him. Alleluia!

Gospel: John xvi: 5-14 At that time Jesus said to his disciples: "I am going to Him who sent Me, and no one of you asks Me, 'Where art Thou going?' But because I have spoken to you these things, sorrow has filled your heart. But I speak the truth to you; it is expedient for you that I depart. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I do go, I will send Him to you. And when He has come He will convict the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment. Of sin because they do not believe in Me; of justice because I go to the Father, and you will see Me no more; and of judgment because the prince of this world has already been judged. Many things yet I have to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will teach you all the truth. For He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He will hear He will speak, and the things that are to come He will declare to you. He will glorify Me, because He will receive of what is Mine and will declare it to you."

Offertory: Shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing ye a psalm to His name. Come and hear, and I will tell you, all ye that fear God, what great things the Lord has done for my soul, alleluia.

Secret: O God, who by the sacred communion of this sacrifice hast made us partakers of the one supreme divine nature: grant, we beseech Thee, that as we know Thy truth, so we may follow it by a worthy life.

Communion: When the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will convict the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment, alleluia, alleluia.

Postcommunion: Assist us, O Lord our God, that by these gifts which we have received in faith, we may be purified from vice and delivered of all dangers.


Liturgical Comentary

The liturgy continues to sing the risen Christ and exhorts us, during the Rogations, to unite with her in prayer. Delivered from sin by the efficacy of His blood (Introit, Alleluia, Communion), we are bound to hearken and practise the perfect law of liberty contained in His Gospel. To this end, let us ask of God, from Whom all good things come (Collect), that by the merits of the Redeemer (Gospel) we may be given the grace to participate in the new life opened up for us by Jesus.

Mass Readings

Introit: Declare it with the voice of joy, and make it known, alleluia:declare it even to the ends of the earth: the Lord has delivered His people, alleluia, alleluia. Shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing ye a psalm to His name: give glory to His praise. Glory be.... Declare it....

Collect: O God, from whom all things do proceed, grant unto Thine humble servants, that by Thy holy inspiration, we may think those things that are right, and under Thy merciful guidance may perform the same.

Epistle: James i: 22-27 Beloved: Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror: for he looks at himself and goes away, and presently he forgets what kind of man he is. But he who has looked carefully into the perfect law of liberty and has remained in it, not becoming a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, shall be blessed in his deed. And if anyone thinks himself to be religious, not restraining his tongue but deceiving his own heart, that man's religion is in vain. Religion pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to give aid to orphans and widows in their tribulations, and to keep oneself unspotted from this world.

Alleluia. Alleluia, Alleluia. Christ is risen and has shone upon us, whom He redeemed with His Blood. Alleluia. I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world. Again I leave the world and I go to the Father. Alleluia

Gospel: John xvi: 23-30 At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "Amen, amen, I say to you, if you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it to you. Hitherto you have not asked anything in My name. Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken to you in parables. The hour is coming that I will no longer speak to you in parables, but will speak to you plainly of the Father. In that day you shall ask in My name; and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father for you, for the Father Himself loves you because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again I leave the world and go to the Father." His disciples said to Him, "Behold, now Thou speakest plainly, and utterest no parable. Now we know that Thou knowest all things, and dost not need that anyone should question Thee.For this reason we believe that Thou comest forth from God."

Offertory: O bless the Lord our God, ye peoples, and make the voice of His praise be heard; who has set my soul to live, and has not suffered my feet to be moved. Blessed be the Lord, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me, alleluia.

Secret: Receive, O Lord, the prayers and sacrifices of the faithful, that by these offices of loving devotion we may attain to heavenly glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who with Thee and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, one God, world without end.

Communion: Sing unto the Lord, alleluia. Sing unto the Lord and bless His name. Show forth His salvation from day to day, alleluia, alleluia.

Postcommunion: Grant us, O Lord, who have been nourished and strengthened at the heavenly table, both to desire that which is right, and to gain that which we desire.


Liturgical Commentary

The Station was at St. Peter's, a basilica dedicated to one of the principal witnesses of the Ascension of our Lord. To-day (Collect) is kept the anniversary of Christ's Ascension, which marked the close of His life on earth. During the forty days that followed His Resurrection He laid the foundations of His Church, to which he was about to send down the Holy Ghost. The Epistle and Gospel of the day are a summary of our Lord's instructions in this respect. He then left this earth, and the Introit, Collect, Epistle, Alleluia, Gospel, Offertory, Secret, Preface and Communion commemorate His glorious Ascension, which is a pledge of our own going up into heaven.

The souls which He has freed from Limbo are His escort (Alleluia): with Him they enter the kingdom of heaven, where they are made more fully partakers of His Godhead (Preface).

The Ascension teaches us our duty to raise up our hearts to God, and in the Collect we are made to pray that we may dwell in spirit with Jesus in the heavenly regions.

Let us offer up to God the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in remembrance of the glorious Ascension of His Son (Suscipe and Unde et memores), so that, delivered from present evils, we may attain with Him unto eternal life (Secret).

Mass Readings

Introit: Ye men of Galilee, why wonder you, looking up to heaven? Alleluia. He shall so come to you as you have seen Him going up to heaven. O clap your hands, all ye nations; shout unto God with the voice of exultation. Glory be.... Ye men....

Collect: Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who believe Thine only-begotten Son, our Redeemer, to have this day ascended into heaven, may ourselves dwell in spirit among heavenly things.

Epistle: Acts i: 1-11 In the former book, O Theophilus, I spoke of all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day on which He was taken up, after He had given commandments through the Holy Ghost to the apostles whom He had chosen. To them also He showed Himself alive after His passion by many proofs, during forty days appearing to them and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while eating with them, He charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, "of whom you have heard," said He, "by My mouth; for John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." They therefore who had come together began to ask Him, saying, "Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore the kingdom of Israel?" But He said to them, "It is not for you to know the times or the dates which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you shall receive power when the Holy Ghost comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses for Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the very ends of the earth." And when He had said this, He was lifted up before their eyes, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. And while they were gazing up to heaven as He went, behold, two men stood by them in white garments, and said to them, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, shall come in the same way as you have seen Him going up to heaven."

Alleluia: Alleluia, alleluia! God is ascended with jubilee, and the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Alleluia! The Lord is in Sinai, in the holy place; ascending on high He led captivity captive. Alleluia!

Gospel: Mark xvi: 14-20 that time, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples as they were at table; and He upbraided them for their lack of faith and hardness of heart, in that they had not believed those that had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, "Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned. And these signs shall attend those who believe: in My name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak in new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; and they shall lay hands upon the sick and they shall get well." So then the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sits at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the preaching by the signs that followed.

Offertory: God is ascended with jubilee, and the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Alleluia!

Secret: Accept, O Lord, the gifts we offer Thee in memory of the glorious ascension of Thy Son, and graciously grant that, being delivered from present dangers, we may attain eternal life.

Communion: Sing ye to the Lord who mounteth above the heaven of heavens to the east. Alleluia!

Postcommunion: Grant us, we beseech Thee, O almighty and merciful God, that what we have received in visible mysteries may profit us by its invisible effect.


Liturgical Comentary

Before ascending into heaven, Jesus at the Last Supper promised not to leave us orphans, but that He would send us the Paraclete (Alleluia, Gospel), so that We might honour God in all things through Jesus Christ (Epistle).

Like the Apostles gathered together in the Cenacle, awaiting in prayer and meditation the descent of the Holy Ghost, let us prepare in prayer and charity(Epistle) for the holy day of` Pentecost.

Mass Readings

Introit: Hear, O Lord, my voice, with which I have cried to Thee. My heart has said to Thee, I have sought Thy face. Thy face, O Lord, I will seek; turn not away Thy face from me, alleluia, alleluia. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? Glory be.... Hear, O Lord....

Collect: Almighty and everlasting God, grant us both ever to have a will devoted to Thee, and to serve Thy majesty with a sincere heart.

Epistle 1 Peter iv: 7-11 Dearly beloved: Be prudent and watchful in prayer. But above all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves; for charity covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable toward one another without murmuring. According to the gift that each has received, minister to one another as good stewards of the manifold gifts of God. If anyone speaks let it be with the words of God. If anyone ministers, let it be as from the strength that God furnishes; that in all things God may be honored through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Alleluia: Alleluia, alleluia! The Lord hath reigned over all the nations, God sitteth on His holy throne. Alleluia! I will not leave you orphans; I go, and I come to you, and your heart shall rejoice. Alleluia!

Gospel: John xv: 26-27; xvi: 1-4 At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "When the Advocate has come, whom I will send you from the Father, He will bear witness concerning Me. And you also will bear witness because from the beginning you are with Me. These things I have spoken that you may not be scandalized. They will expel you from the synagogues. Yes, the hour is coming for anyone who kills you to think that he is offering worship to God. And these things they will do because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have spoken to you, that when the time for them comes you may remember that I told you.

Offertory: God is ascended with jubilation; and the Lord with the sound of the trumpet.

Secret: May this spotless sacrifice purify us, O Lord; and infuse into our minds the vigor of heavenly grace.

Communion: Father, while I was with them, I kept them whom Thou gavest Me, alleluia! But now I come to Thee: I pray not that Thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from evil, alleluia, alleluia.

Postcommunion: Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that being replenished with holy gifts, we may ever prolong our thanksgiving for them.