Thursday morning May 5

Ascension Day

Friday morning
Wednesday morning


Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.
Your throne has been established from of old; 
you are from everlasting. Alleluia.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Lord of heaven and earth,
to you be glory and praise forever.
From the darkness of death you have raised your Christ
to the right hand of your majesty on high.
The pioneer of our faith, his passion accomplished,
has opened for us the way to heaven
and sends on us the promised Spirit.
May we be ready to follow the Way
and so be brought to the glory of his presence
where songs of triumph forever sound:
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


Draw Near, O Son of God, Draw Near

Charles Wesley
Draw near, O Son of God, draw near,
Us with thy flaming eye behold;
Still in thy church vouchsafe to appear,
And let our candlestick be gold.

Still hold the stars in thy right hand,
And let them in thy luster glow,
The lights of a benighted land,
The angels of thy church below.

Make good their apostolic boast,
Their high commission let them prove,
Be temples of the Holy Ghost,
And filled with faith, and hope, and love.

Their hearts from things of earth remove,
Sprinkle them, Lord, from sin and fear;
Fix their affections all above,
And lay up all their treasures there.

Give them an ear to hear thy word;
Thou speakest to the churches now:
And let all tongues confess their Lord,
Let every knee to Jesus bow.

Confession of sin

O King enthroned on high,
filling the earth with your glory:
holy is your name,
Lord God almighty.

A time of silence and self-examination may be kept.

In our sinfulness we cry to you
to take our guilt away,
and to cleanse our lips to speak your word,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

May the God of all healing and forgiveness
draw us to himself,
and cleanse us from all our sins
that we may behold the glory of his Son,
the Word made flesh,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Word of God

Psalm 110

The Lord is king and has put on glorious apparel.

What the Lord says to my master:
“Sit right beside me
    until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet!”
May the Lord make your mighty scepter
    reach far from Zion!
    Rule over your enemies!
Your people stand ready
    on your day of battle.
    “In holy grandeur, from the dawn’s womb, fight!
        Your youthful strength is like the dew itself.”
The Lord has sworn a solemn pledge and won’t change his mind:
    “You are a priest forever in line with Melchizedek.”
My master, by your strong hand,
    God has crushed kings on his day of wrath.
God brings the nations to justice,
    piling the dead bodies, crushing heads throughout the earth.
God drinks from a stream along the way,
    then holds his head up high.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

The Lord is king and has put on glorious apparel.

Psalm prayer

Lord Jesus, divine Son and eternal priest,
inspire us with the confidence of your final conquest of evil,
and grant that daily on our way
we may drink of the brook of your eternal life
and so find courage against all adversities;
for your mercy’s sake.

Psalm 150

Let every living thing praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary!
    Praise God in his fortress, the sky!
Praise God in his mighty acts!
    Praise God as suits his incredible greatness!
Praise God with the blast of the ram’s horn!
    Praise God with lute and lyre!
Praise God with drum and dance!
    Praise God with strings and pipe!
Praise God with loud cymbals!
    Praise God with clashing cymbals!
Let every living thing praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

Let every living thing praise the Lord!

Psalm prayer

God of life and love,
whose Son was victorious over sin and death,
make us alive with his life,
that the whole world may resound with your praise;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 52:7-15

How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of a messenger
    who proclaims peace,
    who brings good news,
    who proclaims salvation,
    who says to Zion, “Your God rules!”
Listen! Your lookouts lift their voice;
    they sing out together!
    Right before their eyes they see the Lord returning to Zion.

Break into song together, you ruins of Jerusalem!
The Lord has comforted his people and has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared his holy arm in view of all the nations;
    all the ends of the earth have seen our God’s victory.

Depart! Depart! Go out from there!
    Unclean! Don’t touch!
    Get out of that place; purify yourselves,
    carriers of the Lord’s equipment!
You won’t go out in a rush,
    nor will you run away,
    because the one going before you is the Lord;
    your rear guard is the God of Israel.

Look, my servant will succeed.
    He will be exalted and lifted very high.
Just as many were appalled by you,
    he too appeared disfigured, inhuman,
    his appearance unlike that of mortals.
But he will astonish many nations.
    Kings will be silenced because of him,
    because they will see what they haven’t seen before;
    what they haven’t heard before, they will ponder.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Hebrews 7:11-28

So if perfection came through the levitical office of priest (for the people received the Law under the priests), why was there still a need to speak about raising up another priest according to the order of Melchizedek rather than one according to the order of Aaron? When the order of the priest changes, there has to be a change in the Law as well. The person we are talking about belongs to another tribe, and no one ever served at the altar from that tribe. It’s clear that our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, but Moses never said anything about priests from that tribe. And it’s even clearer if another priest appears who is like Melchizedek. He has become a priest by the power of a life that can’t be destroyed, rather than a legal requirement about physical descent. This is confirmed:

You are a priest forever,
        according to the order of Melchizedek.

On the one hand, an earlier command is set aside because it was weak and useless (because the Law made nothing perfect). On the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. And this was not done without a solemn pledge! The others have become priests without a solemn pledge, but this priest was affirmed with a solemn pledge by the one who said,

The Lord has made a solemn pledge
        and will not change his mind:
You are a priest forever.

As a result, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. The others who became priests are numerous because death prevented them from continuing to serve. In contrast, he holds the office of priest permanently because he continues to serve forever. This is why he can completely save those who are approaching God through him, because he always lives to speak with God for them.

It’s appropriate for us to have this kind of high priest: holy, innocent, incorrupt, separate from sinners, and raised high above the heavens. He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day like the other high priests, first for their own sins and then for the sins of the people. He did this once for all when he offered himself. The Law appoints people who are prone to weakness as high priests, but the content of the solemn pledge, which came after the Law, appointed a Son who has been made perfect forever.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

I’m going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. Alleluia.

Bless the Lord God of Israel
because he has come to help and has delivered his people.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us in his servant David’s house,
just as he said through the mouths of his holy prophets long ago.
He has brought salvation from our enemies
and from the power of all those who hate us.
He has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and remembered his holy covenant,
the solemn pledge he made to our ancestor Abraham.
He has granted that we would be rescued
from the power of our enemies
so that we could serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness in God’s eyes,
for as long as we live.
You, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
You will tell his people how to be saved
through the forgiveness of their sins.
Because of our God’s deep compassion,
the dawn from heaven will break upon us,
to give light to those who are sitting in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide us on the path of peace.”

Luke 1:68-79

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

I’m going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. Alleluia.

Brief silence.

The Apostle’s Creed

Let us unite in this historic confession of the Christian faith: 

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.


Intercession and thanksgiving

Prayers are offered
for the day and its tasks
for the world and its needs
for the Church and her life


Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ
to have ascended into the heavens,
so we in heart and mind may also ascend
and with him continually dwell;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

The Lord’s Prayer

Looking for the coming of his kingdom,
as our Savior taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever.


May Christ, who has opened the kingdom of heaven, bring us to reign with him in glory.