Friday, May 3, 2013

Celebrating the Feast of the Ascension

The Feast of the Ascension (always) takes place 40 days after Easter Sunday. For this year, that means it'll be coming up this next Thursday, May 9th. Other than the obvious - that this Feast honors Jesus' Ascension into Heaven and Glory - I didn't know much about celebrating this particular Feast.

I love this description of the importance of this Feast from Catholic Online:
"In the liturgies generally the day is meant to celebrate the completion of the work of our salvation, the pledge of our glorification with Christ, and His entry into heaven with our human nature glorified."
Of course this was just a matter *begging* for my research, and so here you go. Here's a little on how our family will be celebrating the Feast of the Ascension. To be noted: you can either celebrate on the actual Feast Day or you can celebrate on the weekend as the Church often does in moving the Feast Day to a Sunday for observation.

Food for Ascension Day has been oft celebrated in an annual picnic. I think this is a most brilliant plan as the warmer weather has finally allowed us in the far north to venture out and enjoy such things as picnics. So, find yourself a hilltop, pack up a picnic, and enjoy a beautiful outdoor picnic gazing in wonder at the clouds and make sure to give your imagination a great workout as you consider how Jesus ascended into the sky.
In keeping with the sky theme, Bird, of one sort or another, has been a traditional food since the Middle Ages, signifying how Christ "flew" into heaven. We will probably stick to chicken, but goose or duck would do just as nicely. I think I will also try to add in some bird shaped biscuits as a side.

In Italian traditions, families ate both grapes and beans to signify our first fruits and as a signifier for the feast of the dead in Heaven.

I'm thinking clouds for dessert - for me this means either cream puffs or meringues. Marshmallows or whipped cream would also work great! Just think puffy!

Activities + Crafts

Printable PDF Craft from Teachers Created that can be cut out, colored in, and is a perfect way to help little ones understand the concept of Ascension in a tactile way.

Another Great and Easy Craft by From Rising to Rising. This one needs a little prep work in gathering supplies, so check it out before you're ready to create.

This Coloring Page from Sermons4Kids is perfect for kids of any age.

Lilacs are the flower of the Ascension, so search some out to pick and decorate your home with, or make a lilac craft by creating purple flowers. Check out this Pinterest Flowers Craft Board by kiboomu for tons of ideas!

You can also just go crazy making cloud crafts of all sorts - think white packing foam, cotton balls, stuffing/batting, white tissue paper made into balls - then glue onto cut out cloud shapes. These can then be hung from yarn, taped into the windows, or put onto a Popsicle stick.
For a more hands on activity, make clouds out of foaming shaving cream - Yay Mess!
OR make kites to pull around in the wind, if you have some breeze in your weather.

One last great idea that I saw repeated on many, many blogs and websites was to start a 9 day preparation for Pentecost on the Feast of the Ascension. One way to do this is to pray a Novena as a family. The Novena to the Holy Ghost is a great one to start with! Another idea is to use those 9 days to teach your little ones about the gifts and the fruits of the Spirit. If you focus on just 1 or 2 gifts and fruits each day, you can cover them all in that time span. It's important to teach our littles the beauty of the gifts given to us and the fruit that can come of them when we submit them back to God.


For reading, you obviously can read right out of the Bible for the story of Christ's Ascension into Heaven in Acts 1:1-11. Many of the Picture Books for Eastertide end with the story of the Ascension, so pull those books out one more time and read the Full Easter story.

Some other books on clouds that we've enjoyed:

In closing, here is An Ancient Catholic Collect for your Ascension Day
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God,
that we who believe
Thine only-begotten Son our Redeemer,
to have ascended this day into heaven,
may ourselves dwell in spirit amid heavenly things.
Roman Missal, 6th-8th Century
1 - Pietro Perugino: Polittico di San Pietro (Ascensione di Cristo), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Francia Cat. no. 48 in Vittoria Garibaldi: Perugino. Catalogo completo. Octavo, Firenze 2000, ISBN 88-8030-091-1
2 - Français : Sacramentaire de Drogon, Initiale C ornée de l'Ascension du Christ obtained from Wikipedia

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This post Celebrating the Feast of the Ascension first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 3 May 2013


  1. This is so helpful. You are awesome!!

    1. I'm so glad you find it so. Thanks! I always hope if I'm doing the research anyway that if I share it, someone else can benefit. =)


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