Ascension Day 2020

Winchester Cathedral - Ascension

A Liturgy for Ascension Day
Thursday 21st May 2020

You can follow this special online service for Ascension Day at your own pace, wherever you are.

We invite you to share in the service – join in the words in bold and sing out the hymns.

You may not want to stand or kneel as usual, but find a comfortable position that helps you. Perhaps think about how you hold your hands, such as holding them palms upwards, to offer thanksgiving and to receive God’s love and blessing. May God bless you as we worship Him together.

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Order of Service



The Opening Hymn

Cathedral Boy Choristers.

Hail the day that sees him rise Alleluia!
Glorious to his native skies; Alleluia!
Christ, awhile to mortals given, Alleluia!
Enters now the highest heaven! Alleluia!

There the glorious triumph waits; Alleluia!
Lift your head, eternal gates! Alleluia!
Christ hath vanquished death and sin; Alleluia!
Take the King of glory in. Alleluia!

Lord, though parted from our sight, Alleluia!
Far above yon azure height, Alleluia!
Grant our hearts may thither rise, Alleluia!
Seeking thee beyond the skies. Alleluia!

There we shall with thee remain, Alleluia!
Partners of thine endless reign; Alleluia!
There thy face unclouded see, Alleluia!
Find our heaven of heavens in thee. Alleluia!

Words: Charles Wesley (1707–88) Tune: Llanfair 130 NEH
and Thomas Cotterill (1779–1823) Music: Robert Williams of Anglesey (1781–1821)



The Introduction and Collect

Canon Andy Trenier, Canon Precentor and Sacrist.

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

Alleluia. Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, for forty days we have been celebrating with joyful hearts the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, his bursting from the tomb and his defeat of the power of sin and death. He appeared to his disciples many times and told them about the kingdom of God.

Today we recall how he left this earth and returned to his Father, ascending into heaven to take his throne over all dominions and powers. Trusting in his reign over all creation, and submitting to his kingly yet loving rule, let us hear the story of his parting.
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that as we believe your only-begotten Son
our Lord Jesus Christ
to have ascended into the heavens,
so we in heart and mind may also ascend
and with him continually dwell;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.



The New Testament Reading

Acts 1.1-11

Canon Mark Collison, Canon Principal.

In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave

Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’

So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.



The Reflection

The Right Reverend David Williams, Bishop of Basingstoke.




God is gone up with a triumphant shout:
The Lord with sounding trumpets’ melodies:
Sing praise, sing praise, sing praise, sing praises out,
Unto our King sing praise seraphic-wise!
Lift up your heads, ye lasting doors, they sing,
And let the King of Glory enter in.

Methinks I see Heaven’s sparkling courtiers fly
In flakes of glory down, him to attend,
And hear heart-cramping notes of melody
Surround his chariot as it did ascend:
Mixing their music, making ev’ry string
More to enravish, as they this tune sing.

Words: Edward Taylor (c 1642-1729) Music: Gerald Finzi (1901-1956)
Music used with kind permission from Hyperion Records



The Prayers

Canon Roland Riem, Vice-Dean and Canon Chancellor.

Let us join our prayers with those of our Saviour Christ, seeking the Father’s blessing and the gifts of the Spirit.

Jesus Christ, great high priest,
living for ever to intercede for us,
pray for the Church, your broken body in the world.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Jesus Christ, king of righteousness,
enthroned at the right hand of the majesty on high,
pray for the world, and make it subject to your just and gentle rule.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Jesus Christ, Son of Man,
drawing humanity into the life of God,
pray for your brothers and sisters in need, distress or sorrow.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Jesus Christ, pioneer of our salvation,
bringing us to glory through your death and resurrection,
surround with your saints and angels
those who have died trusting your promises.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Jesus Christ, Lord over all things,
ascended far above the heavens and filling the universe,
pray for us who bear witness to your glory and power.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Entering into this Thy Kingdom Come Novena of Prayer with Christians from all churches across the country and around the world we pray that the Holy Spirit would come to inspire and equip
us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with our friends, families and local communities:

Almighty God,
your ascended Son has sent us into the world
to preach the good news of your kingdom:
inspire us with your Spirit
and fill our hearts with the fire of your love
that all who hear your Word
may be drawn to you,
And that your Kingdom may come
on earth as in heaven
through Jesus Christ our Lord.



The Lord’s Prayer

The Cathedral Boy Choristers.



The Peace

Canon Andy Trenier, Canon Precentor and Sacrist.

Jesus says: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
If you love me, rejoice because I am going to the Father.’

The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you.



The Blessing

The Very Reverend Catherine Ogle, Dean of Winchester.

God the Father,
who has given to his Son the name that is above every name, strengthen you to proclaim Christ Jesus as Lord.

God the Son,
who is our great high priest and who has passed into the heavens, plead for you at the right hand of the Father.

God the Holy Spirit,
who pours out his abundant gifts upon the Church,
make you faithful servants of Christ our King.

And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.




The Dismissal

Canon Andy Trenier, Canon Precentor and Sacrist and the Cathedral Boy Choristers.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Alleluia. Alleluia.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia. Alleluia.

You are invited to Evening Prayer on Zoom.

Daily at 5:30pm: Join Evening Prayer via Zoom



Come and Pray in the Upper Room

A Novena of prayer will run from today through until 9am on Pentecost Sunday morning. All are invited to join in using the resources here.

You are also invited to join in the Diocesan 24 Hour Prayer Meeting which runs from 9am on Saturday 30th to 9am on Pentecost Sunday. People across the whole diocese are especially invited to join in for the last hour, or part of it, which will be led by Bishops David and Debbie. You can join the prayer meeting, on zoom from 9am on Saturday 30th May, by visiting this link. The Cathedral will be hosting night prayer, starting at 9pm.

In addition to the Diocesan Eucharist from Wolvesey, a further liturgy for Pentecost Sunday will be available via this page.

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated):
Material used in this service is copyright © the Archbishops’ Council of the
Church of England 2000
Hymns printed under CCLI 205165