Seventh Sunday of Easter
(Celebrated as Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord)
June 2, 2019 Cycle C
White priestly vestments symbolize purity and integrity of the life of faith.


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Liturgical Year Cycle 18-19

                                                            Introductory Acts Of Worship

The Entrance Prayers:   On Sunday, usually a hymn praising God is sung in place of reciting a Psalm from the Bible which invites us to enter more deeply into the mystery of God's love for us.  The recited weekday Psalm expresses a youthful heart and spirit, delighted that we may come before the living God.

Entrance Song / Entrance Psalm (Antiphon)           
Entrance Song
Acts 1:11  M
en of Galilee, why gaze in wonder at the heavens?  This Jesus whom you saw ascending into heaven will return as you saw him go, alleluia.

The Priest Approaches and Kisses the Altar:  The altar is a symbol of Christ.  In it are cut five crosses to recall the five wounds of Christ.  The altar also represents the Church and has embedded in it the relics of her saints.  The priest comes to the altar to celebrate the Sacrifice in the Church's name.  Because of the glory surrounding the altar upon which the divine Sacrifice will be made, the kiss of the priest unites the Church to Christ, its Redeemer.

Priest:   In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
All:  
Amen.
Priest:  The Lord be with you.
All:  And with your spirit.

The Penitential Prayers:  We recognize our guilt for past sins, express our sorrow for them, and ask that Mary, the angels, the saints, and our brothers and sisters in Christ pray for the Lord God's mercy.  (The priest may select from several forms).

Priest:   Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Priest / All:  I
confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

The Absolution:

Priest:   May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.
All:    Amen.

The Gloria:  The Glory of God prayers have existed from the second century.  They repeat the angels praise of God which heralded the birth of Christ on earth.  Our praise is lifted again through the years as we rejoice at His coming as Lord, God, the most high Jesus Christ, who at Christmas took on our human nature while at the same time being the son of Man. This ancient hymn expresses our recognition of God's glory and love.  It calls upon Christ as our holy and divine mediator, and the Holy Spirit who forever binds us together in God's love.

Priest and All:   Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.  Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thinks, we praise you for your glory.  Lord Jesus Christ, only son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.  For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

The Collect:    The priest lifts the united prayers and petitions of the congregation to God the Father through the merits of Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.

Priest:   Let us pray.
Priest:   Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God, and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, and, where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

                                           Liturgy of the Word

Christ is made known to us through the Old Testament which prepares us to recognize Him.  In those days, God inspired men who spoke His message.  Now, the New Testament Gospel reading announces His presence to us directly through His Son.  Both readings bring God's message to us.  Our responsibility is to respond.

The First Reading:  From the New Testament.  

Acts of the Apostles 1:11

In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chose.  He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.  While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for "the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

When they had gathered together they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"  He answered them, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."  When he has said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up and a cloud took him from their sight.  While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.  They said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?  This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven."

The Responsorial Psalm:  This Psalm praising God, is a prayer to God, or recommends the practice of virtue.  It is sung as an interlude between the scriptural readings.  It provides yet another instructional setting and invites the assembly to imitate the cantor who sings a repeated response to the verses of an ancient Psalm many of which are attributed to King David.  The verses are sung first by a cantor (song leader) accompanied by instruments, the refrain is sung by the people. 

Responsorial
Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9

Cantor:   God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
All:   R/.   G
od mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

Cantor:   All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness.  For the Lord, the Most High, the awesome, is the great king over all the earth.
All:   R/.   God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

Cantor:   God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy; the Lord, amid trumpet blasts.  Sing praise to God, sing praise; sing praise to our king, sing praise.
All:   R/.   God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

Cantor:   For king of all the earth is God; sing hymns of praise.  God reigns over the nations, God sits upon his holy throne.
All:  R/.   G
od mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

The Second Reading:  Taken  from the New Testament, from the Book of Revelation.  

Ephesians 1:17-23

Brothers and sisters: May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him.  May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might; which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come.  And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

The Alleluia:  An ancient expression of joy anticipating the Lord's message we will hear in the Gospel.

Matthew 28:19a, 20b

Cantor:    Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!
All:  R/.  A
lleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!
Cantor:    G
o and teach all nations, says the Lord; I am with you always, until the end of the world.
All:  R/.  Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

The Gospel:  The Liturgy of the Word is completed by the reading of the Gospel.  Before its reading, the members of the assembly trace the sign of the cross upon the forehead to indicate their mental acceptance of the Truth, on the lips to indicate their readiness to announce it, and over the heart to indicate their sincere desire to accept it into their lives.  The "Good News" of the Gospel tells that God's kingdom has come for all to hear, accept, and announce to the world for its salvation.  It is God who is speaking to us.  Christ comes to teach us by the example of His life and by His own words.

The Gospel:  Luke 24:46-53

Written to explain that
Christ came to save everyone.

Jesus said to his disciples: "Thus it is written that the Christ 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."

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them.  As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven.  They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God.

Priest:   The Gospel of the Lord.
All:    P
raise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Priest:  Through the words of the Gospel may our sins be wiped away.

The Priest's Sermon:    The priest develops, explains, and comments upon the Master's words, so our minds may be
enlightened, and our hearts enriched.

(A priestly reflection upon this Gospel)

Profession of Faith:     We state in the Nicene Creed the principles of our faith in precise and definite terms.

All:   I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.  I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.  God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.  For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.  For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.  I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.  I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.  I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

General Intercessions:   We pray for the needs of the pope, civic leaders, our own needs, those of others, the sick, the dying, those who have died, the church, and the world.  The response of all to each intercession:  Lord, hear our prayer.

All:
   L
ord, hear our prayer.

                                  The Liturgy of the Eucharist

Gifts of bread and wine symbolizing ourselves are presented to the priest who will offer them to God the Father.  Through the Holy Spirit, they will become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ whom we receive in Holy Communion.  Jesus unites Himself with us for our spiritual nourishment and strength.  Today, when individuals do not present their own personal offerings of bread and wine, the monetary contribution symbolizes the material of their united sacrifice.  The priest makes and offering of the bread and wine to God.

Preparation of the Bread and Wine:

Priest:    Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life. 
All:    Blessed be God for ever.

Priest:    By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.

Priest:   Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you; fruit of the vine and work of human hands it will become our spiritual drink.
All:
   Blessed be God for ever.

Priest:    With humble spirit and contrite heart may we be accepted by you, O Lord, and may our sacrifice in your sight this day be pleasing to you, Lord God.

The Priest's Hands are Washed: This act was traditionally necessary because the priest handled the various gifts presented by the people.  Now, the cleansing act using water reminds the priest and ourselves of the need to cleanse not only the hands but the soul.  Soon, the priest's hands will hold the actual body of Christ, and we will become His dwelling place.   

Priest:    Wash me O Lord, from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
               Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.

All:    May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.

Prayer over the Gifts:  Speaking in our name, the priest asks the Father to accept the gifts we offer through him.

Priest:   We offer sacrifice now in supplication, O Lord, to honor the wondrous Ascension of your Son: grant, we pray, that through this most holy exchange we, too, may rise up to the heavenly realms.  Through Christ our Lord.

Eucharistic Prayer:   (Number One: The priest may select from several forms).

Priest:    The Lord be with you.
All:   And with your spirit. 

Priest:
    Lift up your hearts.
All:   We lift them up to the Lord.

Priest:    Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.
All:    It is right and just. 

Preface Prayer:
 

Priest:   It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

For the Lord Jesus, the King of glory, conqueror of sin and death, ascended to the highest heavens, as the Angels gazed in wonder.  Mediator between God and man, judge of the world and Lord of hosts, he ascended, not to distance himself from our lowly state but that we, his members, might be confident of following where he, our Head and Founder, has gone before.

Therefore, overcome with paschal joy, every land, every people exults in your praise and even the heavenly Powers, with the angelic hosts, sing together the unending hymn of your glory, as they acclaim:

Acclamation:

Priest and All:   Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of hosts.  Heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

Priest:   To you, therefore, most merciful Father, we make humble prayer and petition through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord: that you accept and bless these gifts, these offerings, these holy and unblemished sacrifices, which we offer you firstly for your holy catholic Church.  Be pleased to grant her peace, to guard, unite and govern her throughout the whole world, together with your servant _____ our Pope, and _____ our Bishop, and all those who, holding to the truth, hand on the catholic and apostolic faith.

Remember, Lord, your servants _____ and _____, and all gathered here, whose faith and devotion are known to you.  For them, we offer you this sacrifice of praise or they offer it for themselves and all who are dear to them: for the redemption of their souls, in hope of health and well-being, and paying their homage to you, the eternal God, living and true.

In communion with those whose memory we venerate, especially the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of our God, and Lord, Jesus Christ, and blessed Joseph, her Spouse, your blessed Apostles and Martyrs, Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Jude; Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian and all your Saints; we ask that through their merits and prayers, in all things we may be defended by your protecting help.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Celebrating the most sacred day on which your Only Begotten Son, our Lord, placed at the right hand of your glory our weak human nature, which he had united to himself, and in communion with those whose memory we venerate, especially the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Therefore, Lord, we pray; graciously accept this oblation of our service, that of your whole family; order our days in your peace, and command that we be delivered from eternal damnation and counted among the flock of those you have chose.  Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be pleased, O God, we pray, to bless, acknowledge, and approve this offering in every respect; make it spiritual and acceptable, so that it may become for us the Body and Blood of your most beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

The priest repeats the words which Christ used at his Last Supper when He changed the bread into His Body and the wine into His Blood.  His Body and Blood are truly present but under the appearance of bread and wine.  The death of Christ is prolonged in each of those who receive Him worthily.  We apply His death to ourselves so that we may share His glory.  This moment is the most solemn on earth because it is Divine act which enables us to apply to ourselves the Cross which Christ willingly took upon Himself. 

We are called to die to sin and lift our very selves to God so that we become changed; to do as God would have us do, to become what God would have us become.  Our own little cross can lift us into union with Christ's Cross so we may earn the joys of everlasting happiness with God the Father. 

The Lord's Supper:  On the day before he was to suffer, he took bread in his holy and venerable hands, and with eyes raised to heaven to you, O God, his almighty Father, giving you thanks, he said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying: 

Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you.

In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took this precious chalice in his holy and venerable hands, and once more giving you thanks, he said the blessing and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this in memory of me.

Memorial Acclamation:
Priest: 
    The mystery of faith.
Priest / All:    We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.

Memorial Prayer: 

Priest:  
Recalls Christ's Passion, Resurrection, Ascension, the Church, the dead, and ourselves.
T
herefore, O Lord, as we celebrate the memorial of the blessed Passion, the Resurrection from the dead, and the glorious Ascension into heaven of Christ, your Son, our Lord, we, your servants and your holy people, offer to your glorious majesty from the gifts that you have given us, this pure victim, this holy victim, this spotless victim, the holy Bread of eternal life and the Chalice of everlasting salvation.

Be pleased to look upon these offerings with a serene and kindly countenance, and to accept them, as once you were pleased to accept the gifts of your servant Able the just, the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith, and the offering of your high priest Melchizedek, a holy sacrifice, a spotless victim.

In humble prayer we ask you, almighty God: command these these gifts be borne by the hands of your holy Angel to your altar on high in the sight of your divine majesty, so that all of us, who through this participation at the altar receive the most holy Body and Blood of your Son, may be filled with every grace and heavenly blessing.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Remember also, Lord, your servants _____ and _____, who have gone before us with the sign of faith and rest in the sleep of peace.  Grant them, O Lord, we pray, and all who sleep in Christ, a place of refreshment, light and peace.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

To us, also, your servants, who though sinners, hope in your abundant mercies, graciously grant some share and fellowship with your holy Apostles and Martyrs: with John the Baptist, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia and all your Saints; admit us, we beseech you, into their company, not weighing our merits, but granting us your pardon, through Christ our Lord.  Through whom you continue to make all these good things, O Lord; you sanctify them, fill them with life, bless them, and bestow them upon us. 

Doxology:
Prayer of Praise:
  
Through him, with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the    Holy Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever.
All:   Amen.      

                                                           Communion Rite

In the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we symbolically offer ourselves to the Lord through the gifts of bread and wine.  At the Consecration, we offer our very lives to be united the God the Father through the Cross of Christ.  In Communion, we find that we have not died at all, but have come to life.  We have surrendered ourselves to God through His Divine Son, Jesus Christ.  In return become ennobled and enriched.  We give up time and we get eternity, we give up our sin and we receive grace, we surrender our self-will and receive the strength of the Divine Will, we give up ourselves and we receive everything.  For the Son of God says to us that unless we receive Him we shall not have Divine life in us.  But it is not really we who receive Christ as it is Christ who receives us, bringing us into Himself.

God makes His Cross the very means of our salvation and our life.  While we have crucified Him, His eternal love cannot be extinguished.  Christ willed to give us the very life we crucified in our Redemption, the Consecration of Holy Thursday into Communion, His death into our everlasting life.

The Lord's Prayer:

Priest:  At the Savior's command and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say:
Priest and All:   Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be they name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Priest:  Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

All:  For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.

Prayer for Peace:

Priest:  Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles: Peace I leave you, my peace I give you, look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will.  Who live and reign for ever and ever.
All:  A
men.

Priest:  The peace of the Lord be with you always.
All:  A
nd with your spirit.
Priest:   L
et us offer each other the sign of peace.

Breaking of the Bread:

Priest:   May this mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.

Priest and All:  Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
                           L
amb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
                           Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Priestly Preparation:    Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who, by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit, through your Death gave life to the world, free me by this, your most holy Body and Blood, from all my sins and from every evil; keep me always faithful to your commandments, and never let me be parted from you.

Priest:   Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world.  Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb. 

Priest and All:   Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the world and my soul shall be healed.

Priest:   May the Body of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.
              May the Blood of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.

Communion Antiphon:  Matthew 28:20

Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age, alleluia.

Communion of the Faithful:

Priest:    The Body of Christ.    
The Faithful:   
Amen.

Priest/Deacon/Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister:   The Blood of Christ.
The Faithful:   Amen.

 

 

 

 





Cleansing of the Vessels:

Priest:   What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what has been given to us in time may be our healing for eternity.

Prayer after Communion:

Priest:
  Almighty ever-living God, who allow those on earth to celebrate divine mysteries, grant, we pray, that Christian hope may draw us onward to where our nature is united with you.  Through Christ our Lord.

Concluding Rite

Priest:   The Lord be with you.
All:    And with your spirit. 
Priest:   Bow down for the blessing.

Dismissal Prayer:  (The priest may select from several forms)

Priest:  May almighty God bless you, for on this very day his Only Begotten Son pierced the heights of heaven and unlocked for you the way to ascend to where he is.
All:  Amen.
Priest:  May he grant that, as Christ after his Resurrection was seen plainly by his disciples, so when he comes as Judge he may show himself merciful to you for all eternity.
All:  Amen.
Priest:  And may you, who believe he is seated with the Father in his majesty, know with joy the fulfillment of his promise to stay with you until the end of time.

Final Blessing: 

Priest:  And may the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, come down on you and remain with you for ever.
All:  A
men.

Priest:  Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.       
All:   Thanks be to God.

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins.
 
 Save us from the fires of hell. 
 
 Lead all souls to heaven,
 
 especially those in most need of your mercy.
 


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Liturgical Year Cycle 18-19