The Holydays of Obligation of the Epiphany and the Ascension have returned to their traditional places on the twelfth day of Christmas (except if that is a Saturday or Monday – which it was this year!) and Thursday after the 6th Sunday of Easter.
Here is Malcolm Guite’s sonnet on the Ascension. He captures the double meaning very well – this feast tells us that we are now part of heaven’s story, while heaven shows us a human face. The words are well worth our reflection.
We saw his light break through the cloud of glory Whilst we were rooted still in time and place As earth became a part of Heaven’s story And heaven opened to his human face. We saw him go and yet we were not parted He took us with him to the heart of things The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted Is whole and Heaven-centred now, and sings Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness, Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight, Whilst we ourselves become his clouds of witness And sing the waning darkness into light His light in us, and ours in him concealed, Which all creation waits to see revealed.