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Fr. Matt
Site Owner
Posts: 382

Why is Ascension Thursday on Sunday?

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Fr. Matt

May 30, 2014 at 12:46 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Fr. Matt
Site Owner
Posts: 382

     Help! I’ve run out of questions to answer. I have my own questions, of course, but yours are so much more interesting (and fun) than mine, so please, send me some! This week’s question, then, is my own; as such, I’m not sure I have much of an answer … but, for what it’s worth, here it is.

     Clearly, the Ascension of Jesus happened biblically 40 days after His Resurrection (check out the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles) – which, if you do the math, places it on a Thursday (this past Thursday, to be precise). That’s why Ascension Thursday has long been celebrated on … wait for it … Ascension Thursday!

     However, we now celebrate Ascension Thursday on the Sunday after Ascension Thursday – which can be rather confusing for some of us simple minded folk. But to befuddle things even more, when it happens depends on where you happen to be when it happens. That is, some (arch)dioceses retain the practice of celebrating Ascension Thursday on Ascension Thursday. So for example, if you happened to be traveling this past week, and if your travels happened to take you through … say … Nebraska, or Boston, or Philadelphia, or a handful of other places, then you would have celebrated Ascension Thursday on Ascension Thursday. Then, if you came home to UW (that is, Upper Wisconsin) or UP for the weekend, you would celebrate Ascension Thursday (again) with us on the Sunday immediately following Ascension Thursday – that is, this Sunday. However, if you had stayed in one of the places in which Ascension Thursday is in fact on Ascension Thursday, then this Sunday would be what it actually is: the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Here, however, the Seventh Sunday of Easter simply goes: POOF! It disappears into some liturgical black hole. Not only that, but since Ascension Thursday is not Ascension Thursday except where it is Ascension Thursday, there are a whole new set of days created. After all, something has to fill in the 24 hour period that was vacated by Thursday; and if Thursday isn’t Thursday anymore, and Friday is the day after Thursday, then something has to take the place of the Friday that is no more; and … well, you get the idea.

     Well, I’m sorry, but my head is beginning to ache just a little bit, so I’m going to end this quickly. I suspect the reason all this jumbling around takes place is simply because too many of us would have forgotten about Thursday if it still happened on Thursday, so we’ve moved it to Sunday in the hopes of more people finding it there.

     Please Please Please send me some of your questions so that I don’t have to confuse myself with my own question again! And, as always, if you have further insights or another way of looking at this question, please log on to www.stanthonyniagara.org in the “Ask Father” section of the forums to share your thoughts. Until next week, may God bless you and your loved ones!

 

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Fr. Matt

May 30, 2014 at 12:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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