Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Ascension of Our Lord (transferred) - Sunday, May 16, 10:30 a.m.

The livestream may be found here.

May 16, 2021, 10:30 a.m.

The Ascension of Our Lord

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem





The Ascension of Our Lord was celebrated on Thursday, May 13, forty days after Easter. We have transferred our observance of the feast to today to in order to mark this principal festival of the Church.


FIRST READING: The book of Acts tells us that the appearances of the risen Jesus to his apostles continued for forty days after Easter. During that time, he instructed them to wait for ‘the promise of the Father,’ the sending of the Holy Spirit upon them so that they might be his witnesses to the ends of the earth. Jesus’ withdrawal of his visible presence will make possible his spiritual presence with, in, and among his people, the Church.


SECOND READING: The power of God is shown in the resurrection and the ascension of Christ. For Paul in Ephesians, the resurrection and ascension are not two discrete events, but part of one movement of Jesus’ victory over death. Christ is ‘at the right hand of the Father,’ which is not a physical place but is an expression of the Son’s being invested with the Father’s authority. He is ‘head of all things’ in both heaven and earth – the rule for angelic and human conduct and with power to save and unite the Church in his name.


GOSPEL: Having fulfilled the Law on behalf of God’s people, made good the promises of the prophets, and made plain the meaning of the Psalms, Jesus has completed his mission on earth. But his mission is not ended, but rather is continued through the apostles. They are to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins in his name to all peoples. We are here because of that Spirit-empowered message, drawn into the mission of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church to make Christ known.


OPENING MUSIC                                                      Variations on Bryn Calfaria

Look, the Sight is Glorious

I.                    David Lasky

II.                  George lachenauer


Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played:


1              Look, oh, look, the sight is glorious,

                see the man of sorrows now;

                from the fight returned victorious,

                ev’ry knee to him shall bow.

                Crown him! Crown him!

                Crown him! Crown him!

                Crown him! Crown him!

                Crowns become the victor’s brow.


2              Crown the Savior! Angels crown him!

                Rich the trophies Jesus brings;

                on the seat of pow’r enthrone him

                while the vault of heaven rings.

                Crown him! Crown him!

                Crown him! Crown him!

                Crown him! Crown him!

                Crown the Savior, King of kings.


3              Sinners in derision crowned him,

                mocking thus the Savior’s claim;

                saints and angels crowd around him,

                own his title, praise his name.

                Crown him! Crown him!

                Crown him! Crown him!

                Crown him! Crown him!

                Spread abroad the victor’s fame!


4             Hark! Those bursts of acclamation!

                Hark! Those loud triumphant chords!

                Jesus takes the highest station;

                oh, what joy the sight affords!

                Crown him! Crown him!

                Crown him! Crown him!

                Crown him! Crown him!

                King of kings and Lord of lords!


Text: Thomas Kelly, 1769-1855, alt.





In the name of the Father, and of the X Son, and of the Holy Spirit.




Alleluia! Christ our Lord ascends into heaven.

  O come, let us worship him. Alleluia!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

  And also with you.



In peace, let us pray to the Lord.                                 Lord, have mercy.

For the peace from above,

and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord.       Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the whole world,

for the well-being of the Church of God,

and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.    Lord, have mercy.

For this holy house,

and for all who offer here their worship and praise,

let us pray to the Lord.                                                   Lord, have mercy.

Help, save, comfort and defend us, gracious Lord.                       Amen


HYMN OF PRAISE Gloria in excelsis Deo


Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.       Luke 2:14


Lord God, heavenly king, almighty God and Father:

                We worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.

                Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God:

                You take away the sin 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 Lord be with you.

  And also with you.


Almighty God, your only Son was taken up into heaven

and in power intercedes for us.

  May we also come into your presence

  and live forever in your glory;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.




Jesus appeared to the apostles for forty days

and spoke to them about the kingdom of God.                                     Acts 1:3b                            

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.



First READING                                                                              Acts 1:1-11



[Luke writes:] 1In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
  6So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”


The Word of the Lord.                  

  Thanks be to God.



Read responsively between pastor and congregation.


God has gone up with a shout.                            (vs. 5)

  God has gone up with a shout.


1 Clap your hands, | all you peoples;*

                shout to God with a | cry of joy.

2 For the Lord Most High is | to be feared;*

                he is the great king over | all the earth.

3 He subdues the | peoples under us,*

                and the nations un- | der our feet.

4 He chooses our inheri- | tance for us,*

                the pride of Jacob | whom he loves.

5 God has gone up | with a shout,*

                the Lord with the sound | of the ram's horn.

6 Sing praises to | God, sing praises;*

                sing praises to our | king, sing praises.

7 For God is King of | all the earth;*

                sing praises with | all your skill.

8 God reigns o- | ver the nations;*

                God sits upon his | holy throne.

9 The nobles of the peoples have gath- | ered together*

                with the people of the | God of Abraham.

10 The rulers of the earth be- | long to God,*

                and he is high- | ly exalted.


God has gone up with a shout.


SECOND READING                                                             Ephesians 1:15-23



15I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.


The Word of the Lord.                                                            

  Thanks be to God.




VERSE                                                                Romans 6:9; Matthew 28:20

Spoken in unison by the congregation.

Alleluia. Christ being raised from the dead will die no more; death has no more dominion over him. Alleluia. I am with you always, even to the close of the age.  Alleluia.


Gospel                                                                                             Luke 24:44-53


The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


44[Jesus said to the eleven and those with them,] “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.”45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
  50Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53and they were continually in the temple blessing God.


The Gospel of the Lord.                                

  Praise to you, O Christ.





HYMN OF THE DAY                                      The Head That Once Was Crowned

Stanza 1 – Cantors;  Stanza 2 – Pastor;

Stanza 3-  Cantors;  Stanza 4 – ALL

1      The head that once was crowned with thorns

        is crowned with glory now;

        a royal diadem adorns

        the mighty victor's brow.


2      The highest place that heav'n affords

        is his by sov'reign right,

        the King of kings, and Lord of lords,

        and heav'n's eternal light.


3      The joy of all who dwell above,

        the joy of all below

        to whom he manifests his love,

        and grants his name to know;


4      To them the cross, with all its shame,

        with all its grace, is giv'n;

        their name, an everlasting name,

        their joy, the joy of heav'n.


Text: Thomas Kelly, 1769-1855




The pastor and people confess the faith of the Church in the words of the Nicene Creed.


X At the words ‘For us and for our salvation,’ and continuing through ‘and was made man,’ a solemn bow is appropriate to praise the incarnation of our Lord.


We believe in one God,

                the Father, the Almighty,            

                                maker of heaven and earth,

                                of all that is, seen and unseen.


We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

                the only Son of God,

                eternally begotten of the Father,

                God from God, Light from Light,

                true God from true God,

                begotten, not made,

                of one Being with the Father.

                Through him all things were made.

                X For us and for our salvation

                                he came down from heaven;

                                by the power of the Holy Spirit

                                he became incarnate from the virgin Mary,                                                       and was made man. X

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

                                he suffered death and was buried.

                On the third day he rose again

                                                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.


We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

                who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

                With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

                He has spoken through the prophets.

                We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

                We acknowledge one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

                We look for the resurrection of the dead,

                                and the life of the world to come. Amen




Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.


Silence is kept.


Father, receive our praise for the ascension of our Lord Jesus into heaven, for his taking of the seat of power, and for the promise of his coming again:

  Lord, hear our prayer.


Father, hear our prayer of supplication and stir up the Holy Spirit among us, that the whole Church and our faith family may be re-dedicated to you and empowered for mission and service:

  Lord, hear our prayer.


Father, hear our prayer of entreaty for the peoples of the world, for the well-being and concord of our nation and its leaders, for your Son is ruler of all things and victorious over the powers of evil.

  Lord, hear our prayer.


Father, hear our prayer of intercession for those in any need of body, mind, and spirit, especially those we name before you:


The pastor reads the names submitted for prayer.

The people may offer spoken or silent intercessions.


Let our cries come before you:

  Lord, hear our prayer.


Father, hear our prayer of thanksgiving for those who have died in your peace, and give us faith on our journey, that we may join with them around your throne on the day of restoration.

  Lord, hear our prayer.


Into your hands, Father, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.








Jesus said to the apostles:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.

Rejoice, because I go to the Father.

                                                                                                                        John 14:27, 28

The peace of the Lord be with you always.

  And also with you.


The people exchange a sign of peace with the simple words, Peace be with you.



The Lord’s Table is prepared.



OFFERTORY  Daniel 7:13-14             

Spoken in unison by the congregation.

Alleluia. I saw one come with the clouds of heaven like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.  Alleluia.



Blessed be God, by whose grace creation is renewed,

by whose love heaven is opened,

by whose mercy we offer our sacrifice of praise.





The Lord be with you.                                   

  And also with you.                     

Lift up your hearts.                                         

  We lift them to the Lord.                        

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.                                  

  It is right to give him thanks and praise.






   It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places offer thanks and praise to you, O Lord, holy Father, through Christ our Lord, who, after his resurrection, appeared openly to his disciples and, in their sight, was taken up to heaven, that he might make us partakers of his divine nature. And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


Holy, holy, holy LORD, God of power and might!

                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!


You are indeed holy, O God, the fountain of all holiness;

                you bring light from darkness, life from death,

speech from silence.

We worship you for our lives and for the world you give us.

We thank you for the new world to come

                and for the love that will rule all in all.

We praise you for the grace shown to Israel, your chosen,

                the people of your promise:

                the rescue from Egypt, the gift of the promised land,

                the memory of the fathers, the homecoming from exile,

                and the prophets' words that will not be in vain.

In all this we bless you for your only-begotten Son,

                who fulfilled and will fulfill all your promises.


In the night in which he was betrayed,

                our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;

                broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

                Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.

Do this for the remembrance of me.


Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,

                and gave it for all to drink, saying:

                This cup is the new covenant in my blood,

                shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.

Do this for the remembrance of me.


For as often as we eat of this bread and drink from this cup,

                we proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

  Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Therefore, O God, with this bread and cup

                we remember the incarnation of your Son:

                his human birth and the covenant he made with us.

We remember the sacrifice of his life:

                his eating with outcasts and sinners,

and his acceptance of death.

But chiefly on this day we remember his rising from the tomb,

                his ascension to the seat of power,

                and his sending of the holy and life-giving Spirit.

We cry out for the resurrection of our lives,

                when Christ will come again in beauty and power

                to share with us the great and promised feast.

  Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.


Send now, we pray, your Holy Spirit,

that we and all who share in this bread and cup

may be united in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

may enter the fullness of the kingdom of heaven,

and may receive our inheritance with all your saints in


  Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.


Join our prayers with those of your servants

of every time and every place,

and unite them with the ceaseless petitions

of our great high priest

until he comes as victorious Lord of all.


Through him, with him, in him,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

all honor and glory is yours,

almighty Father, now and forever. Amen




Christ is in our midst.

By the power of the Spirit,

we pray to his Father, saying:


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, and the power, and the glory,

                                forever and ever. Amen


Lord, we died with you on the cross.

  Now we are raised to new life.

We were buried in your tomb.

  Now we share in your resurrection.



AGNUS DEI (Lamb of God)           Sung by the cantors

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; grant us peace.





Admission to the Sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, presented through the Church to those who are baptized.


They may receive the Lord’s Body and Blood who are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, who commune in their home churches, and who believe that Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is truly present in, with, and under the forms of bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.


The communicants will be invited forward one family unit at a time. Please do not come forward until the pastor directs you to come forward, do not approach all the way to the table until the pastor has retreated, and please do not remove your mask until you have reached the table with the elements on it.


 When the pastor says ‘The body of Christ, given for you,’ eat the bread. When the pastor says, ‘The blood of Christ, shed for you,’ drink the wine.  Please take the plate and the glass(es) and place them on the table that is indicated. Please put your mask on before returning to your seat.



Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played.

Beautiful Savior


1      Beautiful Savior,

        King of creation,

        Son of God and Son of Man!

        Truly I'd love thee,

        truly I'd serve thee,

        light of my soul, my joy, my crown.


2      Fair are the meadows,

        fair are the woodlands,

        robed in flow'rs of blooming spring;

        Jesus is fairer,

        Jesus is purer,

        he makes our sorrowing spirit sing.


3      Fair is the sunshine,

        fair is the moonlight,

        bright the sparkling stars on high;

        Jesus shines brighter,

        Jesus shines purer

        than all the angels in the sky.


4     Beautiful Savior,

        Lord of the nations,

        Son of God and Son of Man!

        Glory and honor,

        praise, adoration,

        now and forevermore be thine!


Text: Gesangbuch, Münster, 1677; tr. Joseph A. Seiss, 1823-1904


After all have returned to their places, the congregation stands at the direction of the pastor.


The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.



Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;

your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation

which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

A light to reveal you to the nations

and the glory of your people Israel.

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                                 Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32)


God our Father,

you have raised our humanity in Christ

and have fed us with the bread of heaven.

mercifully grant that, nourished with such spiritual blessings,

we may set our hearts in the heavenly places;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.






A reading from Acts.


12Then [the disciples] returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away. 13When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.



As we wait in silence,

  make us ready for the coming of the Spirit.

As we listen to your Word,

  make us ready for the coming of the Spirit.

As we worship you in majesty,

  make us ready for the coming of the Spirit.

As we long for your refreshment,

  make us ready for the coming of the Spirit.

As we long for your renewal,

  make us ready for the coming of the Spirit.

As we long for your equipping,

  make us ready for the coming of the Spirit.

As we long for your empowering,

  make us ready for the coming of the Spirit.



May the Spirit for whom the disciples waited

and who set their hearts ablaze on Pentecost

bring the whole world alive with the love of Christ.

Almighty God, Father, X Son, and Holy Spirit,

bless you now and forever.            




Go in peace. Serve the Lord.                                        

  Thanks be to God!





Sun/ May 16        WORSHIP 10:30 AM

                                Church Council Meeting 7:00 PM

Wed/ May 19     Evening Prayer (livestream) 7:00 PM

                                ZOOM Bible Study 7:30 PM

Sat/ May 22         NA Meeting 11 AM

                                SATURDAY EVENING WORSHIP 6:30 PM

Sun/ May 23       WORSHIP 10:30 AM

                                Prayer at the Close of the Day (livestream) 9:30 PM








From Sundays and Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #20540.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, 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.

Common Worship: Times and Seasons, material from which is included in this

service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, 2006.

Prayer of the Day from Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language,

copyright 1997 International Commission on English in the Liturgy. All rights reserved.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved May 10, 2021]. Original source:

Agnus Day appears with the permission of






St Stephen Lutheran Church

55 Forsythe Road

Pittsburgh PA 15220

(412) 279-5868


Saturday Evening Worship – 6:30 pm

Sunday Morning Worship – 10:30 am