The Christian doctrine of the Ascension holds that Jesus body ascended to his
Father in the presence of his apostles following his resurrection, and that in
heaven he sits at the Father's right hand. The Ascension of Jesus also called
as "The Exaltation of Jesus".
Forty days after Easter, Christians commemorate Jesus ascension into heaven.
It is celebrated on thursday. The story of Christ ascension is found in the
Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts.
It is one of the great feasts in the Christian liturgical calendar, and
commemorates the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven. It is referred as
It describes his ascent upward into heaven after spending 40 days on the
earth. When Christ actually ascended, he was taken up before their very eyes,
and a cloud hid him from their sight.
The Ascension is the capstone of the life of Jesus, is made up of three events,
1. Final departure of Christ from earth,
2. His going up into heaven, and
3. The taking of his place at the right hand of the Father.
In the West, the Latin terms used for the feast, ascensio and, occasionally,
ascensa, signify that Christ was raised up by his own powers. The three days
before Ascension Thursday are sometimes referred to as the Rogation days (and
the previous Sunday, the Fifth Sunday after Easter, as Rogation Sunday). The
Book of Common Prayer of the Anglican Church treats "Holy Thursday" as an
In the Eastern Church this feast was known as analepsis, the taking up, and
also as the episozomene, the salvation, denoting that by ascending into his glory
Christ completed the work of our redemption. Ascension is one of the Twelve Great
Feasts of the Orthodox liturgical year.
The feast is always observed with an All-night vigil.The Eastern Orthodox Church
uses a different method of calculating the date, so the feast will be after the
western observance. Some of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, however, observe
Ascension on the same date as the Western Churches.
From the History,The observance of this feast is of great antiquity. Although
no documentary evidence of it exists prior to the beginning of the fifth century,
St. Augustine says that it is of Apostolic origin, and he speaks of it in a way
that shows it was the universal observance of the Church long before his time.
Some believe that the practice of observing a feast on the fortieth day after
Easter and neglecting to keep Pentecost on the fiftieth day, implies that the
proper usage of the time was to commemorate the Ascension along with Pentecost.
Certain customs were connected with the liturgy of this feast, such as the
blessing of beans and grapes after the Commemoration of the Dead in the Canon of
the Mass, the blessing of first fruits, afterwards done on Rogation Days, the
blessing of a candle, the wearing of mitres by deacon and subdeacon, the
extinguishing of the paschal candle, and triumphal processions with torches
and banners outside the churches to commemorate the entry of Christ into heaven.
In England it was once common for churches to "beat the bounds" on this day,
and some continue the custom. Members of the parish walk round the parish
boundaries, marking boundary stones and hitting them with sticks. One of
the purposes served by beating the bounds was that of warning the young men of
the parish that any sexual misbehaviour ought to take place with women who
lived outside the parish.
In some countries like Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France,
Germany, Haiti, Iceland, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Namibia,
The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Vanuatu it is a public holiday.
Germany also holds its Fathers' Day on the same date.
In Venice the ceremony of the Wedding with the Sea was traditionally celebrated
on the Feast of the Ascension, while in Florence the Feast was observed by
having a dove slide down a string from the high altar of the cathedral to
ignite a large decorative container filled with fireworks in front of the
main entrance of the cathedral.
This feast is one of the ecumenical feasts, ranking with the feasts of the Passion.