Triduum Devotions in honor of the Ascension of Our Divine Lord
Feast: 40 days after Easter -- Thursday following the Fifth Sunday after Easter
Read only on the first day and on the Feast:
The mission of Our Lord's sojourn here upon earth has come to an end. The hour has arrived for Him to reascend to His Father. The Ascension is one of the greatest of all the Feasts of Our Lord, because it is His supreme glorification. The triumph of the Resurrection marked its dawn; the admirable Ascension established it in full noontide. Christ now tastes in all their fullness the profound joys of a marvelously triumphant exaltation, and that especially for two reasons: the first is that He is God's own Son; the second, that to redeem us, He chose to sound the abyss of humiliation. With perfect fidelity He had accomplished the work that His Father had given Him to do. Now all was expiated; the price was paid and redemption accomplished; the powers of darkness were defeated; the perfections of His Father were acknowledged and His rights avenged; and the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven were opened to the human race. What joy for the Heavenly Father to crown His Son after the victory gained over the prince of this world! What Divine gladness to call the Sacred Humanity of Jesus to the enjoyment of the splendor, beatitude and power of an eternal exaltation!
If we love Our Lord, we shall rejoice in His glorification. In a sense it is also our own, for upon the glory of the Head rests the hope of the Mystical Body, of which we are members. While awaiting our eternal union with the choir of the blessed, we should in mind and holy desires dwell in that Heaven, where Christ, our Head, lives and reigns forever. We should detach ourselves from all earthly things, which are only passing, so that we may seek only the joys that are true and abiding. With this deep joy we ought to combine unwavering confidence, which rests on the almighty power of mediation that Christ has with His Father, not only as the King of Glory, but as the supreme High Priest interceding for us, after having offered to his Father an oblation of infinite worth. It was on the day of His Ascension that Jesus in a special manner began this unique mediation.
I ascend to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God. (John 20:17)
Alleluia! Christ the Lord, ascending into Heaven, come let us adore, alleluia! (Roman Breviary)
Glory be to the Father...
Prayers for the First Day -- Monday in Ascension Week
and on the Feast of the Ascension
To His Apostles--
"And now 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, sadness 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 go, I will send Him to you. 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. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again I leave the world and go to the Father. (John 16:5-8; 16; 28)
To His Father--
Raising His eyes to Heaven, Jesus said, "Father, the hour has come! Glorify Thy Son that Thy Son may glorify Thee, even as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, in order that to all Thou hast given Him He may give everlasting life. Now this is everlasting life; that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Him whom Thou hast sent, Jesus Christ. I have glorified Thee on earth; I have accomplished the work that Thou hast given Me to do. And now do Thou, Father, glorify Me with Thyself, with the glory that I had with Thee before the world existed. I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to Thee." (John 17:1-5, 11)
Hymn -- "Salutis Humanae Sator"
Hail, Thou Who man's Redeemer art, Jesus, the joy of every heart;
Great Maker of the world's wide frame, and purest love's delight and flame.
What nameless mercy Thee o'ercame, to bear our load of sin and shame!
For, guiltless, Thou Thy life didst give, that sinful, erring man might live.
The realms of woe are forced by Thee, the captives from their chains set free;
And Thou, amid Thy ransomed train, at God's right hand dost Victor reign.
Let mercy sweet with Thee prevail, to cure the wounds we now bewail;
Oh, bless us with Thy holy sight, and fill us with eternal light.
Our Guide, our Way to heavenly rest, be Thou the aim of every breast;
Be Thou the soother of our tears, our sweet reward above the spheres. Amen.
Closing Prayer (at the end)
Prayers for the Second Day -- Tuesday in Ascension Week
and on the Feast of the Ascension
The Last Command--
At length He appeared to the Eleven 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 who 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." (Mark 16:14-16)
So then Our Lord, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19)
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 (angels) 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 up from you into Heaven, will come in the same way as you have seen Him going up to Heaven." (Acts 1:9-11)
Be Thou exalted, O Lord, in Thy own strength; we will sing and praise Thy power. (Ps. 20:14)
O Lord, my God, how mighty Thou art! With glory and majesty Thou art robed, clothed with light as with a garment...
The clouds Thou makest Thy chariots; Thou movest on the wings of the wind. (Ps. 100:3)
Thy glory, O Lord, is exalted above the heavens. (Ps. 8:2)
His Entrance into Heaven--
Open, O Princes, your gates! And raise yourselves, ye everlasting gates,
That the King of glory may enter in! Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, the Mighty and Strong; The Lord Who is powerful in battle!
That the King of glory may enter in. Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of Hosts; He is the King of glory. (Ps. 23:7-10)
All ye nations clap your hands! Shout unto the Lord with shouts of joy!
For the Lord, the Most High, is awe-inspiring--a mighty King over all the earth.
He hath subdued unto us peoples, and nations hath He set beneath our feet.
He hath chosen for us, as an inheritance from Him, the glory of Jacob which He loveth!
God hath ascended 'mid jubilee, the Lord, amid the sound of trumpet.
Sing a song of praise to our God; sing a song of praise; sing praise to our King, sing praise,
For King of the whole land is God--God hath set Himself up as King over the nations;
God hath taken His seat on His holy throne! (Ps. 46:2-9)
Closing Prayer (at the end)
Prayers for the Third Day - Wednesday in Ascension Week
and on the Feast of the Ascension
Ascending on high, He led away captives; He gave gifts to men. (Ps. 67:19)
Now this, "He ascended," what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He Who descended, He it is Who ascended also above all the Heavens, that He might fill all things. (Eph. 4:8-10)
And appearing in the form of a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even to death on a Cross. Therefore God also has exalted Him, and has bestowed upon Him the Name that is above every name, so that at the Name of Jesus, every knee should bend of those in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:8-11)
Hymn -- "Aeternae Rex Altissime"
Eternal Monarch, King most high, Whose Blood hath brought redemption nigh,
By Whom the death of Death was wrought, and conquering grace's battle fought.
Ascending by the starry road, this day Thou wentest home to God,
By Heaven to power unending called, and by no human hand installed.
That so, in nature's triple frame, each heavenly and each earthly name,
And things in Hell's abyss abhorred, may bend the knee and own Him Lord.
Yea, angels tremble when they see how changed is our humanity;
That Flesh hath purged what flesh had stained, and God, the flesh of God, hath reigned.
Be Thou our joy, O mighty Lord, as Thou wilt be our great reward;
Earth's joys to Thee are nothing worth, Thou joy and crown of Heaven and earth.
To Thee we therefore humbly pray that Thou wouldst purge our sins away,
And draw our hearts by cords of grace to Thy celestial dwelling-place.
So when the Judgment Day shall come, and all must rise to meet their doom,
Thou wilt remit the debts we owe, and our lost crowns again bestow.
All glory, Lord, to Thee we pay, ascending O'er the stars today;
All glory, as is ever meet, to Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
O King of Glory, Lord of Hosts, Who has (this day) ascended in triumph above all the heavens, do not leave us orphans; but send us the Promise of the Father, the Spirit of Truth. Alleluia! (Roman Breviary)
Closing Prayer (Daily, and on the Feast of the Ascension):
Let us pray: Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who believe that Thine only-begotten Son, our Redeemer, has ascended into Heaven (this day), may ourselves dwell there in spirit. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
CLOSING HYMN (one of the following):
Jesu Rex Admirabilis
Sing We Triumphant Hymns of Praise
O Most Holy Trinity
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