Notable Feast Days this Week:

May 18 - Theodotus, Thecusa, Galatia, 304
May 19 - Dustan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 988
May 20 - Lydia of Philippi, Acts 16:14 (Eastern)
May 20 - First Ecumenical Council convened, 325
May 21 - Ascension of the Lord (Western)
May 21 - Constantine and Helena (Eastern and Lutheran) 
May 22 - Second Ecumenical Council, 381 (Eastern)
May 23 - Mary Clopas, John 19:25 (Eastern)
May 24 - Joanna, wife of Chuza, Luke 8:3 (Roman Catholic)

Revised Common Lectionary

Acts 1:6-14
Psalm 68:1-10,32-35
1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11
John 17:1-11

Daily Readings (RCL)
Abbreviated Daily Readings

Liturgical Color - White/Gold

Seventh Sunday in Easter / May 24, 2020

The Ascended Christ Sends His Spirit and Makes us One

Before ascending into heaven, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to empower his followers until his return (Acts 1:6-14). This promise gives us the strength to pray and follow God, even in the midst of suffering and anxiety. These things may last for a little while, but we are encouraged to stand firm knowing that Christ himself has prayed for us (1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11). Though orphans, he has promised us a home (Psalm 68: 1-10; 32-35). He has granted us eternal life and the fellowship of other believers, even while we wait (John 17:1-11).

Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35
Scripture Readings

"May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him...Sing to God, sing in praise of his name... A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families...”

Commentary on Psalm 68

John Wesley

Psalm 68, Acts 1,
1 Peter 4, John 17

Spotify Playlist
Psalm 68 and Psalm 47

Acts 1:6-14
Christ promises the Holy Spirit then ascends to heaven

1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11
God sustains those who suffer

John 17:1-11
Christ prays that his disciples may be one

Daily Readings
Revised Common Lectionary

Daily Readings
Book of Common Prayer

Bible in a Year
Lectionary Resources
"For the will of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is one.” This is what he wants us to be as well when he says, “That they may be one, as you and I are one.” There is nothing that can equal unanimity and concord, for this is how one becomes many. If two or ten are of one mind, the one is no longer one, but each one is multiplied tenfold, and you will find the one in the ten and the ten in the one ... Don’t you see that what nature cannot do, love can? … See what a multiplier love is when it can even make one a thousand. Why then do we not acquire this power and place ourselves in safety? This is better than all power or riches. This is more than health, than light itself. It is the groundwork for courage." -Chrysostom
Collect for The Seventh Sunday of Easter
"O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen." - The Book of Common Prayer
Ascension Day
May 21 (West) and May 28 (East)

Ascension Day marks the event in which Jesus went to the Mount of Olives with his disciples and ascended into heaven before their eyes (Acts 1:1-12). The Worship Sourcebook says, "Christ’s ascension means that in heaven there is one who, knowing first-hand the experience of suffering and temptation, prays for us and perfects our prayers. The 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)." The ascension of Christ is the necessary prelude to Pentecost. As N.T. Wright has said, “Ascension doesn’t mean absence, it means sovereignty, exercised through the Spirit.” 

“Christ, having completed for us his saving work and ascended to heaven with the body which he had taken to himself, accomplishes in his own self the union of heaven and earth, of material and spiritual beings, and thus demonstrates the unity of creation in the polarity of its parts."
- Maximus the Confessor, Commentary on the Lord’s Prayer (PG 90,877)

"Christ in his love unites created reality with uncreated reality. How wonderful is God’s loving-kindness towards us! He shows that through grace the two have become one."
- Maximus the Confessor, Ambigua (PG 91,1308-9)

Scripture Readings Resources Poetry
Collect for Ascension Day
Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen. - The Book of Common Prayer
Singing Psalms and Hymns
Hymn Suggestions for the Seventh Sunday of Easter from 

Hymn resource for those affected by Alzheimer's or Dementia

Hymns related to Psalm 4and Psalm 66 from

CCLI Contemporary Liturgy Song Select for Ascension

Sing Songs (Psalm 68) | Words: Lee Ann Vermeulen-Roberts, 2013 Music: Eelco Vos, based on the tune for Psalm 68 in the Genevan Psalter

Psalm 47 (O For a Shout of Sacred Joy) | Isaac Watts / Luke Hyder | Leadsheet

Our God Saves (Psalm 68:20) | by Brenton Brown and Paul Baloche | Chord Charts 

Psalm 68 (Let Our God Arise) | by Kurt Carr | Sheet Music

God Shall Arise (Psalm 68) | by Mark Altrogge | Leadsheets 

Mightier (Psalm 93) | by Aaron Strumpel | Leadsheet

See the Conqueror Mounts in Triumph | Chord Chart (Tune: Ode to Joy) Leadsheet (Tune: Come Thou Fount)

God Ascended | SATB choral piece by Sarah Majorins, works well as a prelude, offertory, or communion reflection | Full Score

Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies | Charles Wesley / Luke Morton | Leadsheet 

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

Psalm 47 Refrain | from The Emergent Psalter Leadsheet

Psalm 68 Refrain | from The Emergent Psalter Leadsheet

Psalm 47 | Metrical Options

Psalm 68 | Metrical Options 
Music for Listening
"Ascension" by John Coltrane
Ascension Oratorio by J.S. Bach
L'Ascension for Orchestra by Oliver Messiaen
Hymns for the Ascension by Cardiphonia Music
I Am Thine (Plague Hymn) by Advent Birmingham (feat. Leif Bondarenko)
"Offertorium - Jubilate Deo Universa Terra" by the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Fidélité
Thematic Art 
Enjoying this newsletter? Become a patron of the Liturgy Letter on Patreon; an on-going crowd funding service where you can commit to as little as $1 a month or set a maximum limit. Anything helps!

Thank you for your support.