Dates and Origins of Ascension

Primary mosaic in the Resurrection Chapel under the south transept on the crypt level of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
Resurrection Chapel - National Cathedral - DC
(Tim Evanson / CC-by-sa)

Ascension Dates in 2017, 2018 and 2019

Ascension is celebrated at the following dates:

  • Thursday, May 25th 2017
  • Thursday, May 10th 2018
  • Thursday, May 30th 2019

Ascension is the Christian celebration of Jesus Christ's bodily ascension into heaven 40 days after he has risen from the grave. It is therefore celebrated on the 40th day of easter, or 39 days after easter1. According to the bible, Jesus Christ ascended into heaven surrounded by 11 apostles who were told by an angel that he would return to earth in the same way he ascended in bodily form2.

Origin

According to the bible, Jesus Christ's ascension took places on Mount Olivet in Bethany, nearby to Jerusalem. Tradition has dubbed this location the mount of Ascension, although no specific location was given in the bible3. The event is referred to in the bible under the gospel of Luke. Some other references possibly exist, but the clearest reference is in the Acts of the Apostles in acts 1:3 and 1:945.

The feast of Ascension has been observed since at least 385 CE when the oldest written record of the holiday exists6. In the life of Jesus Christ, there are five major milestones that are baptism, transfiguration, crucifixion and finally ascension. Before the end of the 6th-century, Christian art was depicting ascension scenes that usually contained two parts; one of heaven and one of earth. The 9th century hailed depictions of ascension on domes of churches67.

Celebration

Ascension is a major Christian feast celebrated exactly 39 days after Easter Sunday, thus on a Thursday. Though it implies that Jesus Christ's humanity is taken into heaven in all denominations of Christianity, the emphasis is placed on different aspects in Protestantism, Eastern Christianity, and Roman Catholicism. Some Roman Catholic denominations have moved the feast of ascension to the Sunday after the 40th day8. It is one of the ecumenical feasts intended to unite Christianity worldwide and is related in this way to the feasts of the Passion, Easter and of Pentecost9. Ascension is professed in the Nicene and in the Apostle's Creed8.

Religious Holidays

Wednesday 09 August Week 32 | Felim OWaning Gibbous

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