SETON UPDATE: ASCENSION THURSDAY AT HOME
SETON UPDATE: ASCENSION THURSDAY AT HOME
Mass of the Ascension live streamed at 9:00 am
Dear Members of the Seton Parish Family:
There is a significance to the numbering of days found throughout the Bible and the Sacred Liturgy. Originally the early Church celebrated the fifty (50) days of Easter to Pentecost as a whole. It wasn’t until the fourth century that the fortieth (40th) day was marked by the feast of the Ascension, and then the fiftieth (50th) marked by Pentecost to close the Easter season.
In the words of Pope Benedict XVI:
These fifty days are the answer to the forty days of Lenten preparation by which the Church leads up to Easter. In the Old Testament numerology, forty signified the age of the world: it is an intensification of four, which recalls the four corners of the earth and hence the brokenness, the finite, incomplete and toilsome nature of all earthly existence.The forty prepare for the fifty, the fragmentary for the complete; and the Lord’s Resurrection is at the axis of both.
The number nine (9) which is used in novenas is also significant. Novena comes from the Latin word
, meaning of course, nine. These are usually nine days of prayer before an event or feast. The very first novena occurred in those days after the Ascension, when the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostles waited in prayer in the Upper Room for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This is the model novena. So, the Church prepares for Pentecost with a novena beginning on Ascension Thursday.
Easter ranks as the highest feast of the Church. There are four solemnities that rank right behind Easter: Christmas, Epiphany, Ascension, and Pentecost. The Solemnity of the Ascension is a holyday of obligation. Although there is no obligation this year due to the pandemic, the faithful are still obliged to make it a special day of prayer and to abstain from those works and affairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.
At first glance, the Ascension would seem to be a sad day. Christ in his human body is leaving us. But the Sacred Liturgy reminds us that there is a great reason to rejoice; it is the fulfillment of Christ’s salvific mission. The Ascension is the final portion of the Paschal Mystery: the Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension into heaven (as mentioned in the Eucharist Prayer of the Mass). It is not until Jesus ascends and returns to His Father that His act of Redemption is completed. Our place in heaven is prepared at this feast — we will now share in Christ’s glory. That is why our hearts should sing with Psalm 47 as it repeats 3 days in a row (this Thursday, Friday and Saturday), “
God mounts His throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord
Many people mark Ascension Thursday with a family picnic or special meal. It is a day for hiking, as friends try to climb the highest heights to imitate the Mount Olivet from where Jesus ascended. Other ways families can focus on the Ascension would be activities requiring air and open sky: flying kites, blowing bubbles, blowing balloons, and throwing Frisbees and balls.
Try just lying on a blanket and staring at the sky as you meditate on the Ascension account (Mt 28:16-20) or on Psalm 47.
Pentecost food traditionally includes fowl or bird shapes to remind us of the symbolic dove of the Holy Spirit, but the Ascension has also been celebrated with foods like chicken, turkey or duck to honor Christ’s going up into the sky. “Fluffy” desserts are reminders that a “cloud took Him from their sight.” Foods that include marshmallows, whipped cream and ice cream sundaes have been typically enjoyed during the novena time. “Puffed” desserts, like puff pastry, or a dessert with multiple layers are common in some cultures.
Send us photos of your creative Ascension Day / Pentecost Novena “Fluffy” and “Puffy” deserts. We will post them on our website in the special SETON FAMILY AT HOME album. Send your photo to
Now is also the time to really intensify praying the
of the Holy Rosary and the
. Between the Ascension and Pentecost, unite your hearts with Mary’s Immaculate Heart and prepare for a stirring up of the Holy Spirit, especially through this prayer.
A blessed Ascension Day!
Seton Mass Broadcast Schedule
The church is closed during the
Sunday at 11:00 am
Monday – Saturday at 9:00 am
Seton Confession Schedule
Saturday: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
in the chapel and “Drive-thru” (weather permitting)
Thursday: 9:30 am
in the chapel only
Seton Church Schedule
The church remains open daily for private prayer:
Monday - Friday: 5:30 am - 9:00 pm
Saturday: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sunday: 6:00 am – 3:00 pm
All visitors to our church are asked to follow social distancing and face covering guidelines.
on Wednesday, May 20 at 8:39PM