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Ascension Day

Ascension Day celebrates the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven. The Latin term used for the feast, ascensio, signifies that Christ was raised up by his own powers.

One of the most important feast days in Christian churches - along with the feasts of the Passion, of Easter, and Pentecost - the Feast of the Ascension is also known as Ascension Thursday, Holy Thursday, and the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord.

The three days before Ascension Thursday are sometimes referred to as the Rogation days and the previous Sunday, the Sixth Sunday of Easter (or the Fifth Sunday after Easter), as Rogation Sunday.

Sunday Observances

In a number of countries that do not observe the Feast of the Ascension as a public holiday observances occur the following Sunday rather than Thursday in order to encourage more Catholics to observe this Holy Day of Obligation. Churches in Australia, parts of Europe, Ireland; Canada, the United States, England and Wales have Sunday observances.

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Ascension Wall Sculpture
Ascension Wall Sculpture

Feast of the Ascension at Westminster Abbey
Feast of the Ascension at Westminster Abbey


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