Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Feast of the Ascension
Compline, Thursday, May 14, 8:00pm
Come join the Saint Francis Choir in the candlelit beauty of Potomac Parish as we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension. The Choir will offer anthems by Purcell and Dirksen, as well as plainchant responses and prayers and the congregation will hymn the praise of Jesus Christ who, bearing the mantle of our flesh, has ascended to the right hand of the Most High.
Our current Book of Common Prayer provides a wealth of liturgies for use in the Episcopal Church. Two such orders come from the daily monastic evening “offices” (think “liturgies”) of the early Christian church and still are practiced today.
The first is Vespers, somewhat clumsily called An Order of Worship for the Evening in our BCP, found on page 108. The second is An Order for Compline — or simply, Compline(pronounced CALM-plin) — on page 127. It was from these two offices that Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) beautifully distilled and crafted our most Anglican of liturgies, Evening Prayer (p. 61), or Evensong as it has come to be known when sung. Cranmer understood the structural value of these offices and knew a service of practical use needed for the worship life of the newly formed Church of England could be patterned effectively after these ancient models.