Carissimi; Today’s Mass: After the Octave of the Ascension

AscensionFeria VI after the Octave of the Ascension; Comm. SS. Marcellinus, Peter & Erasmus; Comm. Octave Day of S. Augustine of Canterbury: Missa “Viri Galilaei”

The reality of Christ’s Ascension is so important that the creeds (the basic statements of belief) of Christianity all affirm, in the words of the Apostles’ Creed, that “He ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.” The denial of the Ascension is as grave a departure from Christian teaching as is denial of Christ’s Resurrection.

Christ’s bodily Ascension foreshadows our own entrance into Heaven not simply as souls, after our death, but as glorified bodies, after the resurrection of the dead at the Final Judgment. In redeeming mankind, Christ not only offered salvation to our souls but began the restoration of the material world itself to the glory that God intended before Adam’s fall.

The Feast of the Ascension marks the beginning of the first novena, or nine days of prayer. Before His Ascension, Christ promised to send the Holy Spirit to His apostles. Their prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit, which began on Ascension Thursday, ended with the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, ten days later.

erasmusSt. Marcellinus & St. Peter: The evidence for their cult is early and strong, consisting of feasts in the sacramentaries and calendars, the survival of their tombs, and some verses by Damasus. They are also mentioned in the Roman Canon. Little is known about them, but they were held in great veneration at Rome. Pope St. Damasus says that he heard the story of these two martyrs from their executioner, Dorotheus, who became a Christian after deaths.

Marcellinus, a priest, and Peter, an exorcist, were arrested after Diocletian proclaimed his edict against Christian clergy. The two Romans saw their imprisonment as an opportunity to evangelize and converted their jailer and his wife and daughter. The jailer and his family were then crushed to death while Marcellinus and Peter were led to the forest and told to clear brambles from the place of their execution. They were beheaded secretly so that their bodies wouldn’t be venerated. The executioner, however, divulged the location of the bodies to two Christian women who buried them. Their names appear in the first Eucharistic prayer and Constantine built a basilica over their tomb. In 827 Pope Gregory IV sent their relics to Einhard, former secretary and biographer of Charlemagne, to enrich his monastery at Seligenstadt; records of the miracles which then took place survive. Their feast on June 2.

St Erasmus: Erasmus was also known as Elmo. He was the bishop of Formiae, Campagna, Italy, and suffered martyrdom during Diocletian’s persecution of the Christians. He once fled to Mount Lebanon during the persecution and lived a life of solitude there for some time, being fed by a raven. After the emperor discovered his whereabouts, he was tortured and thrown in prison. Legend claims that an angel released him and he departed for Illyricum, eventually suffered a martyr’s death and was one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Legend records that when a blue light appears at mastheads before and after a storm, the seamen took it as a sign of Erasmus’s protection. This was known as “St. Elmo’s fire”. The blue electrical discharges under certain atmospheric conditions have also been seen on the masks or riggings of ships. Erasmus is also invoked against stomach cramps and colic. This came about because at one time he had hot iron hooks stuck into his intestines by persecutors under Emperor Diocletian. These wounds he miraculously endured.

INTROIT Acts I. 11

Ye men of Galilee, why wonder you, looking up to Heaven? Alleluia. He shall so come as you have seen Him going up into Heaven, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. (Ps. 44: 2) O clap your hands, all ye nations shout unto God, with the voice of exultation. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat Ye men of Galilee…

COLLECT

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God: that we, who believe Thine only-begotten Son, our Redeemer, to have ascended on this day into heaven, may also ourselves dwell in mind amid heavenly things. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.

Commemoratio Ss. Marcellini, Petri, atque Erasmi Martyrum
O God, Who gladden us each year by the feast of Your holy Martyrs, Marcellinus, Peter and Erasmus, graciously grant that, as we rejoice in their merits, we may be inspired by their example

Commemoration of Octave Day of S Augustine
O God, Who by the preaching and miracles of blessed Augustine, Thy Confessor and Bishop, didst vouchsafe to shed upon the English people the light of the true faith: grant that, thought the intercession , the hearts of the straying may return to the unity of Thy truth, and that we may do Thy will with one accord. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

EPISTLE Acts 1: 1-11

Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles.The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, of all things which Jesus began to do and to teach, until the day on which, giving commandments by the Holy Ghost to the Apostles whom He had chosen, He was taken up: to whom also He showed Himself alive after His Passion by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them and speaking of the Kingdom of God. And eating together with them, He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard (saith He), by My mouth for John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. They therefore who were come together asked Him, saying: Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel? But He said to them: It is not for you to know the times or moments which the Father hath put in His own power: but you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth. And when He had said these things while they looked on, He was raised up: and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they were beholding Him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments, who also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as you have seen Him going into Heaven.

ALLELUIA

Alleluia, alleluia. V. . (Ps. 46: 6). God is ascended with a shout, and the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Alleluia. V. (Ps. 67: 18, 19). The Lord is in Sinai, in the holy place ascending on high He hath led captivity captive. Alleluia.

GOSPEL Mark 16: 14-20

At that time Jesus appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and He upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen Him after He was risen again. And He said to them: “Go ye into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In My Name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover.” And the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into Heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God. But they going forth preached everywhere, the Lord working withal, and confirming the word with signs that followed.

With the completion of the Gospel on Ascension Thursday, the Paschal Candle is extinguished.

OFFERTORY Psalm 46: 6

God is ascended with a shout, and the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Alleluia.

SECRET

Receive, O Lord: the gifts we offer up to Thee, for the glorious Ascension of Thy Son: and mercifully grant that we may be freed from present perils and attain unto everlasting life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.

Commemoratio Ss. Marcellini, Petri, atque Erasmi Martyrum
We beseech You, O Lord, that this sacrificial gift, which we offer in commemorating the death of Your blessed Martyrs, may loose the bonds of our sins and bestow upon us the gifts of Your mercy.

Commemoration of Octave day of S Augustine
We offer Thee this sacrifice, O Lord, on the solemn feast of blessed Augustine, Thy Bishop and Confessor, humbly entreating that the sheep which are lost may return to the one fold, and be nourished by this food of salvation. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

PREFACE For the ASCENSION

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: through Christ our Lord. Who, after His Resurrection, appeared openly to all His disciples, and, while they looked on, was taken up into Heaven, that He might grant unto us to be sharers in His own divinity. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…

COMMUNICANTES – INVOCATION OF THE SAINTS IN THE CANON For ASCENSION and the Sunday After

Communicating with, with, and keeping the most holy day on which Thine only-begotten Son our Lord set at the right hand of Thy glory the substance of our, frail human natum, which He had taken to Himself and also reverencing the memory, first, of the glorious, ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord and God Jesus Christ: as also of the blessed Apostles and Martyrs Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Thaddeus: Linus, Cletus, Clement, Xystus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all Thy Saints, through whose merits and prayers, grant that we may in all things be defended by the help of Thy protection. (He joins his hands.) Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

COMMUNION Psalm 67: 33-34

Sing ye to the Lord, Who mounteth above the Heaven of heavens to the East, alleluia.

POSTCOMMUNION

Grant to us, we beseech Thee: almighty and merciful God, that we may obtain the invisible effects of that which we have shared by communion in visible Mysteries.  Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.

Commemoratio Ss. Marcellini, Petri, atque Erasmi Martyrum
We who have been filled with Your sacred gifts, humbly pray You, O Lord, that, what we celebrate as an act of our bounded duty, we may feel in the increase of Your saving grace.

Commemoration Octave day of S Augustine
We who are refreshed by this saving Victim humbly entreat Thee, O Lord, that though the intercession of blessed Augustine pleading for us, It may continually be offered in every place to the glory of Thy name. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

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