Friday, June 21, 2013

Celebrating Ascension and the Apodosis of Ascension

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me;  for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
~Acts 1:4-11 NKJV
Today is the Apodosis of the Feast of Ascension.
An Apodosis is the leave-taking 
(in other words, the last day of) 
of one of the 
great feasts of the Orthodox church.
For the last time today
we pray the prayers of Ascension:
O Christ God, You have ascended in Glory,
Granting joy to Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Through the blessing they were assured
That You are the Son of God,
The Redeemer of the world!
When You did fulfill the dispensation for our sake,
And unite earth to Heaven:
You did ascend in glory, O Christ our God,
Not being parted from those who love You,
But remaining with them and crying:
I am with you and no one will be against you.
We are still not, for one day longer, praying the 
prayer to the Holy Spirit,
O Heavenly King
until Sunday, 
the Feast of Pentecost,
where we are celebrating the coming of the 
Holy Spirit.
Omitting this prayer demonstrates and reminds us of
our longing for the Holy Spirit and that
we are in a period of waiting.
Ascension is a Feast to be Celebrated!
It is a great joy, 
as Christ promises to always be with us
and to send us the Holy Spirit,
the Comforter and Spirit of Truth!
Ways to keep this feast at home:
~having the festal icon of Ascension in your home
~ A festive meal for the feast
~Going to liturgy on the Feast of Ascension
~Praying the prayers of Ascension (written above) 
before and after meals
~ Greeting others who are also celebrating with
Christ is ascended! 
Ascended in Glory!
~ on the Apodosis of Ascension have a fish meal 
(Today, Friday, for Orthodox Christians is a fast day
but the fast is lightened today to be what we 
call a fish day which means we can have
a festive meal of fish, wine and oil.)
As always,
would love to hear how this feast and it's leave-taking
is celebrated in your home!  

1 comment:

Maria said...

We celebrated by going to Liturgy at the Holy Ascension Monastery in New York. The Liturgy was conducted in their partly built church, under tents in the pouring rain. It was amazing to see how many people came anyway to celebrate the feast with them. Despite all the hardships it was a joyous day.