The Liturgy Letter - The Seventh Sunday after Easter

Notable Feast Days this Week:

May 2 - Bright Week (Eastern Calendars)
May 5 - Ascension of the Lord (Western Calendars)

Liturgical Color - White (Easter)

Revised Common Lectionary

Acts 16:16-34
Psalm 97
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
John 17:20-26


The Seventh Sunday of Easter
May 1, 2016
Year C

Themes: 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

We celebrate the Ascension of the Lord on Wednesday, May 5!

What is it?

"Ascension Day is the crowning event of the ministry of our Lord. On the fortieth day after Easter, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives with his disciples and ascended to heaven before their eyes (Acts 1:1-12).

The ascension of Christ is filled with theological significance. Christ’s ascension means that in heaven there is one who, knowing firsthand the experience of suffering and temptation, prays for us and perfects our prayers. His ascension is a witness and guarantee of our own bodily resurrection, as well as an invitation for us to set our hearts and minds “on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1-2) to rule over all things in heaven and throughout the universe (Eph. 1:10, 20-23). Finally, the ascension of Jesus serves as the prelude to Pentecost, when the power of the risen Christ came upon all believers through the Holy Spirit." -from the Worship Sourcebook

Scripture Readings for Ascension Day

"Ten Reasons to Celebrate Ascension Day" by John Whitvliet 
Psalm of the Week
Scripture Readings

"The Lord reigns, 
let the earth be glad;
    let the distant shores rejoice.
Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
    righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him
    and consumes his foes
on every side.
His lightning lights up the world;
    the earth sees and trembles..."

Psalm 97 Spotify Playlist
Congregational Hymns: Recordings + Leadsheets
Paschal Troparion - 2nd Century Easter Hymn, arranged by The Opiate Mass | Leadsheet 

"Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies" - Music by Luke Morton | Leadsheet 

See the Conqueror Mounts in Triumph (Tune: Joyful, Joyful) | Leadsheet

See the Conqueror Mounts in Triumph (Tune: Come Thou Fount)| Leadsheet 

The Strife is O'er - Arranged by The Welcome Wagon | Leadsheet 

Rejoice the Lord is King - Charles Wesley, arranged by Tommy Walker|Leadsheet 

Psalm 97 (Anglican Chant) - Anglican Chant Psalter

Psalm 97 (Metrical Options) 

Read about "How to Chant the Psalms"
Commentary on John 17:20-26
"...he devised a way of bringing us all together and blending us into a unity with God and one another, even though the differences between us give us each in both body and soul a separate identity. For in Holy Communion he blesses with one body, which is his own, those who believe in him, and he makes them one body with himself and one another. Who could separate those who are united to Christ through that one sacred body or destroy their true union with one another? If “we all share one loaf,” we all become one body, for Christ cannot be divided. So it is that the church is the body of Christ, and we are its members. For since we are all united to Christ through his sacred body, having received that one indivisible body into our own, our members are not our own but his."

-Cyril of Alexandria
Practicing Prayer
Form for Contemplative Prayer (View and Download)
Form for Daily Prayer (View and Download)
Audio Prayer Meditation - Pray As You Go (Listen and Download))
"Songs for the Season" Ascension Music for Listening
Bruce Benedict's Cardiphonia Project has released an entire album devoted to songs for celebrating the Ascension. Listen and download here

Sarah Majorins composed a choral reflection (SATB) for this project. Listen below then download the sheet music here. It works well as a prelude, offertory, or communion reflection.

Listen to "God Ascended" by Sarah Majorins
Other favorites from "Hymns for the Ascension"

Listen to "And is He Removed" by JG Hymns

Listen to "Christ Whose Glory Fills the Skies" by Castle Island Hymns
Thematic Art (Ascension/Reigning Christ)
Wallpaper for Ascension Day

"Christ the King of Kings" Greek Painting, 17th Century
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