“Ascension Day” by Christina Rossetti

ASCENSION DAY

By Christina Rossetti

“A Cloud received Him out of their sight.”

When Christ went up to Heaven the Apostles stayed
Gazing at Heaven with souls and wills on fire,
Their hearts on flight along the track He made,
Winged by desire.

Their silence spake: “Lord, why not follow Thee?
Home is not home without Thy Blessed Face,
Life is not life. Remember, Lord, and see,
Look back, embrace.

“Earth is one desert waste of banishment,
Life is one long-drawn anguish of decay.
Where Thou wert wont to go we also went:
Why not today?”

Nevertheless a cloud cut off their gaze:
They tarry to build up Jerusalem,
Watching for Him, while thro’ the appointed days
He watches them.

They do His Will, and doing it rejoice,
Patiently glad to spend and to be spent:
Still He speaks to them, still they hear His Voice
And are content.

For as a cloud received Him from their sight,
So with a cloud will He return ere long:
Therefore they stand on guard by day, by night,
Strenuous and strong.

They do, they dare, they beyond seven times seven
Forgive, they cry God’s mighty word aloud:
Yet sometimes haply lift tired eyes to Heaven–
“Is that His cloud?”

Liturgy Letter Newsletter (Seventh Sunday of Easter 2016)

The Liturgy Letter – 7th Sunday of Easter 2016

Jesus calls us to love one another (John 17:20-26). Just as he cared for Paul and Silas in jail (Acts 16:16-34), so he will release us from our imprisonment of sin. The heavens proclaim his power and glory (Psalm 97). Come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21)!

 –Thomas Oden in Ancient Christian Devotional

Liturgy Letter (6th Sunday of Eastertide 2016)

The Liturgy Letter – 6th Sunday of Eastertide 2016

As we follow the early Christians’ example, such as that of Lydia (Acts 16:9-15), we praise God and ask for His blessings (Psalm 67), the presence of the Holy Spirit (John 14:23-29) and his healing from our sickness of sin (John 5:1-9). We anticipate living in the light of His presence forever (Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5). Let everyone praise Him and wait in the light of His resurrection.

 –Thomas Oden in Ancient Christian Devotional

It’s Holy Week in the Eastern Calendar!

It’s Holy Week in the Eastern Calendar! The drama of this week culminates in the Great Saturday Vigil (April 30) and Holy Pascha (May 1). The services that accompany these days are among the most enriching and dramatic Christian celebrations in all of Christendom. Let the Paschal Troparion reverberate throughout the earth!
Christ is risen!

Read about the dating of Orthodox Easter here.
Read the Easter sermon of St. John Chrysostom here.