Ascension, Still?

I was a bit surprised that my boss mentioned some continuing confusion on the day of Ascension.  Hence, a post-Communion announcement this past weekend that we would be celebrating the feast this coming weekend, not Thursday. This, from one of the first dioceses to switch the observance off a weekday.

Still on the books, I think, is the option to “shift” the seventh Sunday of Easter to the prior weekend. I don’t know anybody who does it. Do you? Maybe there’s a bit of late Spring malaise–the same disease that quashes attempts to celebration the full Pentecost Vigil.

With the advent of summer holidays today, church attendance trends downward from now until October. Maybe the last event of the Paschal Mystery is a little too mysterious for the average believer–even a Sunday regular. Speaking personally, I like the midweek holy day. It gives me the opportunity to amass music ministry forces divided among five Masses into just two, as our schedule goes.

Speaking frankly, nearly all parishes set themselves up for failure on holy days. The least they can do is de-emphasize the mortal sin about a missing a midweek Mass. Unless a faith community is prepared to make a real festival: breakfast, dinner, snacks, games, dances, special school activities, extra devotions, and really good liturgy–or at least most of these–the moniker “obligation” is undeserved. Not that God is undeserving. The institution, universal, diocesan, and parish, has failed people and God.

Ascension on Thursday or Sunday? I’d love the return to the actual day. But we Catholics are far from ready for that. For now, better to stick to Sunday.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Commentary, Easter, Liturgy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Ascension, Still?

  1. Liam says:

    Here in the Northeast, Ascension Thursday Sunday is on Thursday. It’s one of the five major feasts of the year (along with the Triduum, Pentecost, Christmas, and Epiphany). The territorial parishes near where I live do not offer an abundance of Mass times, shall we say: only one in addition to the regular daily mid-morning Mass, making it very clear that non-weekend Masses are for retirees. I go anyway. That said, given the relative wanness of the music ministries at two of them vs the pounding-the-keys-with-microphone-over-the-strings of the third, I just as well participate in a Mass without said music.

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