Ascension Day

Morning Prayer
Thursday, 21 May 2020
Ascension Day


O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Your throne has been established from of old;
you are from everlasting. Alleluia.

Blessed are you, Lord of heaven and earth,
to you be glory and praise for ever.
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 for ever sound:
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and for ever.

The Word of God


Psalm 110

The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, 
until I make your enemies your footstool.’

May the Lord stretch forth the sceptre of your power; 
rule from Zion in the midst of your enemies.

‘Noble are you on this day of your birth; 
on the holy mountain, from the womb of the dawn
the dew of your new birth is upon you.’ R

The Lord has sworn and will not retract: 
‘You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’

The king at your right hand, O Lord, 
shall smite down kings in the day of his wrath. R

In all his majesty, he shall judge among the nations, 
smiting heads over all the wide earth.

He shall drink from the brook beside the way; 
therefore shall he lift high his head.

Psalm 150

O praise God in his holiness; 
praise him in the firmament of his power.

Praise him for his mighty acts; 
praise him according to his excellent greatness. R

Praise him with the blast of the trumpet; 
praise him upon the harp and lyre.

Praise him with timbrel and dances; 
praise him upon the strings and pipe. R

Praise him with ringing cymbals; 
praise him upon the clashing cymbals.

Let everything that has breath 
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 shall be for ever. Amen.

Isaiah 52.7-15

How beautiful upon the mountains
   are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
   who announces salvation,
   who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
   together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
   the return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing,
   you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
   he has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared his holy arm
   before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
   the salvation of our God.

Depart, depart, go out from there!
   Touch no unclean thing;
go out from the midst of it, purify yourselves,
   you who carry the vessels of the Lord.
For you shall not go out in haste,
   and you shall not go in flight;
for the Lord will go before you,
   and the God of Israel will be your rearguard.

See, my servant shall prosper;
   he shall be exalted and lifted up,
   and shall be very high.
Just as there were many who were astonished at him
   —so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance,
   and his form beyond that of mortals—
so he shall startle many nations;
   kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which had not been told them they shall see,
   and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.


See what the Lord our God has done
and exalt him in the sight of the living. Alleluia.

Blessed be God, who lives for ever, 
whose reign endures throughout all ages.

Declare God’s praise before the nations, 
you who are the children of Israel.

For if our God has scattered you among them, 
there too has he shown you his greatness.

Exalt him in the sight of the living, 
because he is our Lord and God and our Father for ever.

Though God punishes you for your wickedness, 
mercy will be shown to you all.

God will gather you from every nation, 
from wherever you have been scattered.

When you turn to the Lord
with all your heart and soul, 
God will hide his face from you no more.

See what the Lord has done for you 
and give thanks with a loud voice.

Praise the Lord of righteousness 
and exalt the King of the ages.

Tobit 13.1, 3, 4-6a

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

See what the Lord our God has done
and exalt him in the sight of the living. Alleluia.

Hebrews 7:11-28

Now if perfection had been attainable through the levitical priesthood—for the people received the law under this priesthood—what further need would there have been to speak of another priest arising according to the order of Melchizedek, rather than one according to the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. Now the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

It is even more obvious when another priest arises, resembling Melchizedek, one who has become a priest, not through a legal requirement concerning physical descent, but through the power of an indestructible life. For it is attested of him,
‘You are a priest for ever,
   according to the order of Melchizedek.’
There is, on the one hand, the abrogation of an earlier commandment because it was weak and ineffectual (for the law made nothing perfect); there is, on the other hand, the introduction of a better hope, through which we approach God.

This was confirmed with an oath; for others who became priests took their office without an oath, but this one became a priest with an oath, because of the one who said to him,
‘The Lord has sworn
   and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest for ever” ’—
accordingly Jesus has also become the guarantee of a better covenant.

Furthermore, the former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues for ever. Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect for ever.

Sing to the Lord and bless his name;
tell out his salvation from day to day.
God has gone up with a merry noise;
sing to the Lord and bless his name.
The Lord with the sound of the trumpet:
tell out his salvation from day to day.
He has led captivity captive, and given gifts to his people.
Sing to the Lord and bless his name;
tell out his salvation from day to day.

from Psalms 47 and 68

Gospel Canticle

The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah) is said

I am ascending to my Father and to your Father;
to my God and your God. Alleluia.

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, 
who has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour, 
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets God promised of old 
to save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all that hate us,

To show mercy to our ancestors, 
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham: 
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

Free to worship him without fear, 
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.

And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, 
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

To give his people knowledge of salvation 
by the forgiveness of all their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God 
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, 
and to guide our feet into the way 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 shall be for ever. Amen.

I am ascending to my Father and to your Father;
to my God and your God. Alleluia.

Prayers and Collect

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 for ever.

Looking for the coming of his kingdom,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy 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.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

The Conclusion

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

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

© The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, 2000-2005
Official Common Worship apps, books and eBooks are available from Church House Publishing.

The Bible readings (other than the psalms) are from The New Revised Standard Version Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995 Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.