May 9, 2024 – Ascension of the Lord

Lectionary Readings   -   Gathering   -  Word  -   Eucharist   -   Sending   -   Music and Art

Lectionary Readings

Acts 1:1–11
Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus ascends into heaven.

Psalm 47
Clap, shout, and sing with joy: the Lord reigns over all the earth.

or Psalm 93
The Lord reigns in majesty, high above the mighty waters.

Ephesians 1:15–23
Christ is seated at God’s right hand, above every earthly power.

Luke 24:44–53
Jesus interprets the Scriptures; then he is carried up into heaven.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

Christ’s gift of salvation prepares us with strength.
Jesus goes before us and is lifted up,
the hope of the world.
Your divine ministry spurs us on
to share the good news.
We wait in anticipation
for the comfort of your promises,
always giving thanks.

Prayer of the Day

God our strength,
your presence among us
shows your great love for us.
And so with great joy, we worship you.
Your grace poured out for us
continues to overflow,
abundance that fills our souls
and continually guides us.
May the fullness of our gratitude
reach the heavens and join the angel chorus of praise
as we exclaim, “Blessing, glory, and honor!” Amen.

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Thanksgiving For Baptism

At the baptismal font:
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

O Lord our God, we give you thanks
for the new life you raise up in us
through the mystery of our baptism—
the sorrow of the heavy cross,
the surprise of the empty tomb,
the love that death could not destroy.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
poured out upon us in baptism,
fill us with the joy of resurrection,
so that we may be a living sign
of your new heaven and new earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession and Pardon

At the baptismal font:
The Spirit of God helps us in our weakness,
interceding with sighs too deep for words.
Romans 8:26

Trusting in God’s grace, let us confess our sin.

O God, in Christ you bore the suffering of the world
and made us witnesses to your grace.
In your Word you showed us your vision of peace
and made us witnesses to your promises.
Forgive us, O God, when we fail to work for your reign,
forgetting that you have called us to bear your truth.
Forgive us, O God, when we gaze up toward heaven,
forgetting that you have called us to do your work on earth.
Forgive us, O God, and by your forgiveness,
enlighten us to recognize the resurrection all around us.

Lifting water from the font:
Hear the good news of God’s promise:
I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
will be saved.
Acts 2:17, 21

In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!
Thanks be to God.

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
God Most High, reigning in glory,
send down your Spirit of wisdom
to shine in your heavenly Word,
so that we may worship you with joy
continually blessing your name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Before the readings:
O dry bones,
hear the world of the Lord.
Ezekiel 37:4

After the readings:
This is the good news
which we have received,
in which we stand,
and by which we are saved.
Thanks be to God.
1 Corinthians 15:1–2


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
All authority and power and dominion
to the name that is above all names—
Jesus Christ our Lord—
now and in the age to come. Amen.
Ephesians 1:21

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

Season of Easter, Ascension of the Lord
New life in Christ takes shape in a community
in which people know
that God loves and accepts them
in spite of what they are.
They therefore accept themselves
and love others,
knowing that no one has any ground
on which to stand,
except God’s grace.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.22

Prayers of the People

In the blessed hope of the resurrection,
we pray to the Lord of endless life, saying:
By your grace, O God, raise us from death to life.

Life-giving God, we pray for the church . . .
Keep us ever faithful in our worship and service,
bearing witness to what Christ has done among us
and to the hope of his coming in glory to reign.
By your grace, O God, raise us from death to life.

Life-giving God, we pray for the world . . .
Let your majesty shine; let your mercy rain down.
Humble the leaders of the nations;
teach them to follow your ways of justice and peace.
By your grace, O God, raise us from death to life.

Life-giving God, we pray for this community . . .
Encourage those who watch and wait for justice.
Empower them with the gifts of your Spirit
to live, even now, in the light of your holy realm.
By your grace, O God, raise us from death to life.

Life-giving God, we pray for loved ones . . .
Put your heavenly, healing power to work
in the lives of all who are suffering or sick.
Fill them with the fullness of life you alone can give.
By your grace, O God, raise us from death to life.

Eternal God, show forth in us and in our world
the good news of your saving power and love,
so that all may believe and have life in you;
through Jesus Christ, who is risen indeed. Amen.

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
How does God’s love abide in anyone
who has the world’s goods
yet refuses to help a sister or brother in need?
Remembering God’s great love for the world,
let us offer our lives to the Lord.
1 John 3:16–17

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
Eternal God, take and use these gifts
for your purpose in the world—
giving food to the hungry,
hope to the despairing,
and new life to the dead.
Teach us to live each day for you,
so that future generations
will know your goodness
and praise your glory;
in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen.
Psalm 22:25–31

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God:
You are robed in majesty and glory, girded in mercy and strength.
You established the world—the heavens, the earth, the seas.
From age to age you reign; from everlasting you are God.
Therefore we praise you, joining the song
of the universal church and the heavenly choir:
A Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy”) is sung.

Blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior:
Jesus came to fulfill the law, the prophets, and the psalms.
After he rose from the dead, he ascended to heaven to reign.
With joy we worship him and bless your name.
The words of institution are included here.
Remembering your goodness and grace,
we offer ourselves to you with gratitude
as we share this joyful feast.
A Memorial Acclamation (e.g., “Christ has died”) is sung.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this bread and cup;
make us one in the body and blood
of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Give us your Spirit of wisdom and enlighten the eyes of our hearts
so that we may know the hope to which you have called us
and proclaim the good news of Christ’s coming realm.
Through the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Spirit,
we bless you, God of glory,
now and forever.
An Amen is sung.

Lord’s Prayer

Breaking the Bread

Communion of the People

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Prayer after Communion

At the communion table:
God Most High, we have lifted our hearts to you
in this joyful meal with our risen Lord.
Continue to surround and sustain us
so that we may feast with you in glory
at the wedding of heaven and earth;
through Christ, who lives and reigns forever. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
May the love of the holy triune God—
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—
abide with you forever. Alleluia!
1 John 4:13–16

Now go forth in Jesus’ name,
remembering his new commandment
to love one another,
just as he has loved us. Amen.
1 John 3:23


Father George Saget, 1963

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing! (A) DEO GRACIAS GTG 258
  • Alleluia! Sing to Jesus (G) HYFRYDOL GTG 260
  • Crown Him with Many Crowns (AG) DIADEMATA GTG 268
  • Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty (E) LOBE DEN HERREN GTG 35


  • Blessed Jesus, at Your Word (G) LIEBSTER JESU GTG 395
  • Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies (AG) RATISBON GTG 662
  • I Love to Tell the Story (A) HANKEY GTG 462
  • Open My Eyes, That I May See (EG) OPEN MY EYES GTG 451


  • As We Gather at Your Table (G) IN BABILONE ELW 522, NETTLETON SSS 411, RAQUEL STF 2268
  • Be Known to Us in Breaking Bread (G) ST. FLAVIAN GTG 500
  • Hallelujah! We Sing Your Praises (Haleluya! Pelo tsa rona) (AG) HALELUYA! PELO TSA RONA GTG 538
  • This Is the Feast of Victory (AEG) FESTIVAL CANTICLE GTG 513


  • Christ Is Alive! (AG) TRURO GTG 246
  • He Is King of Kings (E) HE IS KING GTG 273
  • Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun (A) DUKE STREET GTG 265
  • Sing, Praise, and Bless the Lord (Laudate Dominum) (G) LAUDATE DOMINUM (Taizé) GTG 635

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 47

  • Peoples, Clap Your Hands! [GENEVAN 47]; GTG 261, PH 194
  • Nations, Clap Your Hands [GENEVAN 47]; PAS 47E, LUYH 216
  • Clap Your Hands, O Faithful People! [NETTLETON]; PAS 47A
  • Clap Your Hands, All You Nations [Yoruba]; PAS 47D
  • God Has Gone Up; PAS 47B
  • Clap Your Hands All You Nations; PAS 47F
  • God Mounts His Throne; LP 62
  • God Goes Up with Trumpet Blast (God Mounts His Throne); PND 18

Psalm 93

  • God, You Rule with Royal Bearing (God, Our Lord, a King Remaining) [BRYN CALFARIA, YISRAEL V’ORAITA]; GTG 272, PH 213, PP 170 (with refrain)
  • The Lord Almighty Reigns [ST. BRIDE]; GTG 271
  • Robed in Majesty [SALZBURG]; PAS 93A, LUYH 546
  • The Lord Our God Rules over All; [CMD]; SGP 135
  • The Lord Is King; PSA 87
  • Ever Since the World Began; PAS 93B

Organ Music

  • “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” God of Grace, Paul Manz, MSM (ME)
  • “Postlude on HYFRYDOL,” Expressions, David Lasky, LOR (E)
  • “Variations on DEO GRACIAS,” Expressions, David Lasky, LOR (E)
  • “Chorale Prelude on RATHBUN,” The Organist’s Library, vol. 53, Homer Whitford, LOR (ME)
  • “Crown Him with Many Crowns,” Passion and Glory, Esther Megargel, LOR (ME)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “God Is Gone Up with a Merry Noise,” James McCray, SHAW, SATB, brass, perc (A)
  • “God Is Gone up with a Merry Noise,” William Croft, CPDL (A)
  • “God of Majesty and Glory,” James Biery, GIA, SATB, brass, timp, org (M)
  • “Glory to God in the Highest,” Virgil Thompson, ECS, SATB, acap (A)
  • “O Clap Your Hands,” John Rutter, OUP, SATB, org (M)
  • “Look, Ye Saints/Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor,” William Witherup, SEL, SATB, org (E)
  • “A Hymn of Glory,” David Ashley White, SEL, SATB, org (M)

Handbell Music

  • “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” Jason Krug, 3–6 oct, opt hc, HOPE, 2657, Level 3
  • “Celebration on ‘Duke Street,’” Karissa Dennis, 3–5 oct, opt hc, LOR, 202096L, Level 2+
  • “Open My Eyes,” Karen Thompson, 3–5 oct, opt hc, CGA, CGB1011, Level 3


  • Ascension, Father George Saget, Senegal (VDL)
  • Ascension, Joanna Vaughan (VDL)
  • Mysteries of the Passion, Resurrection and Ascension, Antonio Campi (VDL)
  • Ascension, Jan Richardson (JR)