Posted by: liturgicalyear | May 8, 2012

How’s your Easter going? Preparing for the Feast of the Ascension

Today, we find ourselves in the 5th week of the Easter season.  Just like we have the need to take stock of our Lenten journey, we should take stock of our Easter journey as well.

If you’re like me, you find that the memory of the great feast of Easter has dimmed with each passing day, and the Lenten practices so carefully observed have not necessarily eked into your daily habit of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

Turning to the calendar, I question myself, “What can I do to get more out of the remainder of this season?”  The calendar gives an unexpected response:  The feast of the Ascension is 9 days away.

Perfect!  I’ll do a 9 day novena of preparation for the Ascension and follow it with a Pentecost novena.

Naturally, I turned to the search engines to find a 9-day Ascension novena.  Hmmm…no where to be found.  So I thought I’d make one up.  After all, necessity is the mother of invention!

I hope this blesses the final days of your Easter season and that it prepares you to receive all the gifts God has in store for you on the Feast of the Ascension.

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  He is Risen!  Anne

I start each day of the novena with scripture and close with a novena prayer from EWTN.  (I’ve also attached it as a .pdf if you want to print it out.)

Nine Day Novena of Preparation for the Feast of the Ascension

Novena   Prayer Jesus, I honor You on the feast of Your Ascension into heaven. I rejoice with all my heart at the glory into which You entered to reign as King of heaven and earth. When the struggle of this life is over, give me the grace to share Your joy and triumph in heaven for all eternity.  I believe that You entered into Your glorious Kingdom to prepare a place for  me, for You promised to come again to take me to Yourself. Grant that I may seek only the joys of Your friendship and love, so that I may deserve to be united with You in heaven. In the hour of my own homecoming, when I appear before Your Father to give an account of my life on earth, have mercy on me.  Jesus, in Your love for me You have brought me from evil to good and from misery to happiness. Give me the grace to rise above my human weakness. May Your Humanity give me courage in my weakness and free me from my sins. Through Your grace, give me the courage of perseverance for You have called and justified me by faith. May I hold fast to the life You have given me and come to the eternal gifts You promised. You love me, dear Jesus. Help me to love You in return. I ask You to grant this special favor:

(Mention your request).

By Your unceasing care, guide my steps toward the life of glory You have prepared for those who love You. Make me grow in holiness and thank You by a life of faithful service.  (source)

Day 1:   Is 9:1-6
Foretelling of the Messiah
The people   who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
Upon those who lived in a land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing;
They rejoice before you as people rejoice at harvest,
as they exult when dividing the spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them,
the pole on their shoulder,
The rod of their taskmaster,
you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.
For every boot that tramped in battle,
every cloak rolled in blood,
will be burned as fuel for fire.
For a child is   born to us, a son is given to us;
upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,
Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
His dominion is vast
and forever peaceful,
Upon David’s throne, and over his kingdom,
which he confirms and sustains
By judgment and justice,
both now and forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!

Pray novena prayer

Day 2:  Jn 1:-14
In the beginning
In the beginning was the   Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light   of the human race;
the   light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
A man named John   was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the   light, so that all might believe through him.  He was not the light, but came to testify to the   light.  The true light,   which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people   did not accept him.
But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to   those who believe in his name,  who were born not by natural generation nor   by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.
And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth.

Pray novena prayer

Day 3:   Is 53:1-12
By His stripes we are healed
Who would   believe what we have heard?
To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up like a sapling before him,
like a shoot from the parched earth;
He had no majestic bearing to catch our eye,
no beauty to draw us to him.
He was spurned and avoided by men,
a man of suffering, knowing pain,
Like one from whom you turn your face,
spurned, and we held him in no esteem.
Yet it was our pain that he bore,
our sufferings he endured.
We thought of him as stricken,
struck down by God   and afflicted,
But he was pierced for our sins,
crushed for our iniquity.
He bore the punishment that makes us whole,
by his wounds we were healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
all following our own way;
But the LORD laid upon him
the guilt of us all.
Though harshly treated, he submitted
and did not open his mouth;
Like a lamb led to slaughter
or a sheep silent before shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
Seized and condemned, he was taken away.
Who would have thought any more of his destiny?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
struck for the sins of his people.
He was given a grave among the wicked,
a burial place with evildoers,
Though he had done no wrong,
nor was deceit found in his mouth.
But it was the LORD’s will to crush him with pain.
By making his life as a reparation offering,
he shall see his offspring, shall lengthen his days,
and the LORD’s will shall be accomplished through him.
Because of his anguish he shall see the light;
because of his knowledge he shall be content;
My servant, the just one, shall justify the many,
their iniquity he shall bear.
Therefore I will give him his portion among the many,
and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
Because he surrendered himself to death,
was counted among the transgressors,
Bore the sins of many,
and interceded for the transgressors.

Pray novena prayer

Day 4:  Mt 19:45-52
The death of Jesus
From noon onward,darkness came   over the whole land until three in the afternoon.  And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in   a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My   God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Some of the   bystanders who heard it said, “This one is calling for Elijah.” Immediately   one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a   reed, gave it to him to drink.  But the rest   said, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.” But Jesus cried   out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit.  And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was   torn in two from top to bottom. The earth   quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints   who had fallen asleep were raised.
Day 5:   Rev 5:7-13
Worthy is the Lamb
He came and received the scroll from the right   hand of the one who sat on the throne.  When he took it, the four living creatures   and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each of the elders held   a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy   ones.They sang a new hymn:
“Worthy are you to receive   the scroll
and to break open its seals,
for you were slain and with your blood you purchased for God
those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation.
You made them a kingdom and priests for our God,
and they will reign on earth.”I looked again and heard the   voices of many angels who surrounded the throne and the living creatures and   the elders. They were countless in number, and they cried out in a loud voice:
“Worthy is the Lamb that was   slain
to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength,
honor and glory and blessing.”
Then I heard every creature   in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the   universe, cry out:
“To the one who sits on the   throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor, glory and might,
forever and ever.”

Pray novena prayer

Day 6:   Lk   24: 1-12
The Empty Tomb
But at daybreak on the first day of the week they took   the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.  They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when   they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While   they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared   to them.  They were terrified and bowed their faces   to the ground. They said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the   dead?  He is not here, but he has been raised.Remember what he   said to you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be   handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.”  And they remembered his words.  Then they returned from the tomb and   announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others.  The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and   Mary the mother of James; the others who accompanied them also told this to   the apostles,but their story seemed like   nonsense and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent   down, and saw the burial cloths alone; then he went home amazed at what had   happened.
Day 7:  Lk 24: 36-49
The Upper Room
While   they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to   them, “Peace be with you.”  But they were startled and terrified and thought   that they were seeing a ghost.  Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And   why do questions arise in your hearts?Look at my hands   and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not   have flesh and bones as you can see I have.”    And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.  While they were   still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything   here to eat?”  They gave him a piece of baked fish;  he took it and ate it in front of them.  He said to   them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,   that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and   psalms must be fulfilled.”  Then he opened their minds to understand the   scriptures.  And he said to   them,  “Thus it is written that the   Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day   and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,   would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.  And [behold] I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay   in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Pray novena prayer

Day   8:  Jn 2:1-5
Wedding Feast at Cana
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the   mother of Jesus was there.  Jesus and his   disciples were also invited to the wedding.  When the   wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”[And] Jesus said to   her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”  His mother said   to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Pray novena prayer

Day   9:  Mt 28:16-20
The Ascension
The eleven disciples went   to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.When they saw   him, they worshiped, but they doubted.  Then Jesus approached and said to them,   “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.   Go,   therefore,and   make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and   of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have   commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Pray novena prayer

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Responses

  1. Thank you! I, too, am feeling the dryness creeping in ~ even with the spring rains!

    • You might also want to listen to Handel’s Messiah as you go about your day. We often associate the Messiah with Christmas, but it tells the whole story – start to finish. One of my favorite Resurrection songs is “Worthy is the Lamb” from the Messiah. The lyrics throughout are all scripture, so even if you’re not paying a whole lot of attention, the Word will not return void & you will be richer for it. Anne

  2. Thanks for putting this wonderful novena together for us all, Anne! Our pastor’s homily this week was on the very same topic: Are we continuing to live the “Paschal Joy” of the Easter season? There is still so much more grace to savor and soak in during these final days of the season! This novena will surely help our focus and prayer.

    • Don’t you just love when the Holy Spirit leads us this way! What a awesome God we serve! Anne


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