When is Ascension Day?
Ascension Day is the 40th day of Easter and commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven 39 days after resurrection on Easter Sunday.
This Christian festival may also be known as The Feast of the Ascension, The Ascension of Jesus, Ascension Thursday or Holy Thursday.
What is Ascension Day?
You will find the Biblical accounts of the Ascension in Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53 and Acts 1:6-11.
During the forty-day period before he ascended into heaven, it is believed that Jesus preached and intermingled with his apostles and disciples.
According to tradition, Ascension Day was first celebrated in 68 AD, however the first written evidence of the Ascension Day Feast occurred in 385 AD.
Today, Ascension Day is celebrated primarily by Catholics and Anglican Christians. According to the Western Christianity methods of calculating the dates of Easter, the earliest possible date for Ascension Day is 30th April, the latest possible date is 3rd June.
How is Ascension Day celebrated?
Ascension Day celebrations include the following:
The Easter (Paschal) candle is put out.
There may be processions with torches and banners and fruits and vegetables may be blessed in church.
In the Catholic Church, the Feast of Ascension is a holy day of obligation (sometimes called holydays) when the faithful are obliged to attend Mass.