PORTLAND---Mass times for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord that will be live-streamed from Maine churches on Wednesday, May 20, and Thursday, May 21, are now available online. To view the Mass listings, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/ascensionofthelord.
While some ecclesiastical provinces have transferred the celebration of the Ascension of the Lord to the Seventh Sunday of Easter, that is not the case in the province of Boston, of which the Diocese of Portland is a part. Here, the celebration remains on Thursday and is a holy day of obligation.
Bishop Robert P. Deeley will celebrate a Mass on the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord on Thursday at 12:15 p.m. from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. The Mass will be live-streamed on www.facebook.com/PortlandCathedral and www.portlanddiocese.org/online-Mass.
The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord occurs 40 days after Christ's resurrection and is the important, final piece of the paschal mystery, which began with Christ's passion and death. Because Christ ascended, we, as members of the Body of Christ, also look forward to ascending into heaven after our bodily resurrection. On this solemnity, we are also reminded of our evangelizing mission.
“In the Feast of the Ascension, the Church celebrates the return of Jesus to the place from which he had come, the side of the Father,” said Bishop Robert Deeley. “Jesus returns to the place he had left to come to be with us on earth, to save us from our sins, to open for us the promise of heaven, and to show us how to live. Jesus’ return to the Father, however, marks an end of his earthly ministry but it does not mark an end of his mission, which is carried on by the Church he established.”
The solemnity also celebrates the evangelizing mission of Catholics. Before Christ ascends, he commands his disciples to await the arrival of the Holy Spirit and then to "go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).
“The Feast of the Ascension reminds us that we must always make sure the good work we do is grounded in an appreciation of why we do it and with whose power and grace we do it,” said the bishop. “That is what we learn from the disciples.”
On Pentecost Sunday (May 31), Catholics will celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and the fullness of grace for the Church.
The Diocese of Portland is offering updates multiple times per day on its Coronavirus Response page. Offerings include daily updates and opportunities from the diocese and Maine parishes; live-streamed and parking lot Mass schedules for Maine parishes; ways to participate in Mass from home on television and radio; drive-thru confession schedules for Maine parishes; parking lot and live-streamed adoration schedules for Maine parishes; conversations with priests; Holy Hour schedules; recitations of the rosary; special presentations; prayer and faith resources to assist you in your spiritual growth; and ways to receive assistance.