The Ascension of the Lord

Year B / Thursday, May 13, 2021 or Sunday, May 16, 2021

Readings for this day: 

Acts 1:1–11 

Psalm 47:2–3, 6–7, 8–9 (Rx 6 or Alleluia) 

Ephesians 1:17–23 or 4:1–13 or 4:1–7, 11–13 

Mark 16:15–20 

Today’s gospel passage was not Mark’s original ending. That may have been lost, or the evangelist may have indeed intended to end at verse 8 with the disciples fleeing the empty tomb in fear and remaining forever silent. But what kind of “evangelization” is that? So this “longer ending,” written by someone other than Mark, has been canonical since the Council of Trent. 

We hear Christ’s spectacular declaration that his believers will drive out demons, speak new languages, pick up serpents, and drink in poison with no harm as a sign of the power of his name. No one should preach or read this literally. How then do we approach our liturgical task of interpreting the assembly’s lives through this text? 

As we begin the traditional nine-day vigil toward Pentecost, what demons and serpents in our world need the Spirit’s driving wind? We who have been given the Holy Spirit have the power in Jesus’s name to dispel the demons of racism, to speak the language of mercy in the foreign land of hatred, to tear away the serpents of gossip and slander that choke human dignity, and to swallow our sinful pride to save ourselves from temptation. So let’s stop looking up at the sky and get going to be the signs of God’s power over death in the world. 

–Diana Macalintal

Suggested Music

God Mounts His Throne

Kate Williams and Scott Williams

G-9811 · SATB, cantor, assembly, piano, guitar, C instrument, trumpet (B-flat and C)


“God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.”

What does the mounting of God on his throne mean for each of us? God has won a victory over sin and death and is now reigning over the kingdom. When we are baptized, we are also baptized into a share of this kingdom and we are joined with Christ’s death and resurrection. It is fitting then that this piece was written in celebration of the baptism of the composers’ daughter. Throughout the Easter season, we celebrate this resurrection and are reminded of our baptisms when we renew our baptismal promises. Give praise for the hope of the resurrection. Give praise for those that have been baptized into our Christian family. Give praise for God mounting his throne and reigning in glory!

– Victoria Zibell

Vayan por el Mundo Entero

Tony Alonso

G-10085 · Three-part voices, cantor, assembly, piano, guitar, flute

Drawn by His Word

Tune by David N. Johnson, Text and Setting by Michael Joncas

G-9715 · SATB, assembly, organ, brass quintet, timpani

Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise

Arr. Tony Alonso

G-9452 · SAB, assembly, piano, guitar, trumpet, violin

All Peoples, Clap Your Hands

Chris de Silva

G-9502 · Two-part equal or mixed voices, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar, 2 flutes, 2 violins

Christ Has No Body Now but Yours

Ephrem Feeley

G-9636 · SAB, piano, oboe

Go to the World!

Arr. James Chepponis, Text by Sylvia Dunstan

G-5133 · SATB, assembly, organ, brass quartet, timpani, percussion

Two Short Benedictions

Jacqueline Ng

G-8465 · SATB

More suggestions for Ascension…

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus! / Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (HYFRYDOL) Arr. Tony Alonso SAB, assemblypiano, guitar • G-9451 

Go Out In the World Ed Bolduc • SATB, solo, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar 008212

God Mounts His Throne: Psalm 47 Edward Eicker SATB, cantor, assembly, keyboard 006456

He Is Risen! Chrysogonus Waddell, text by Cecil Alexander SATB, assembly, descant, organ002318 

O Clap Your Hands Stephen Lay SATBkeyboard, trumpet in B-flat 009461

Open Wide the Doors / Abre Bien las Puertas John Angotti and Larry Dorsch SATB, solo, assembly, keyboard, guitar 008103

Our God Has Gone Up John Gaffney SATBorgan • G-9040

Partners in the Mission (BEAMS OF LOVE) Peter Fisher Hesed SAB, descant, assembly, keyboard, opt. violin or C instrument 008825 

Sing We Triumphant Hymns of Praise / Jesus Is Risen! Let Us Sing! Steven Van Wye SATB, organ • G-9375