Can anybody explain why Ascension is celebrated on Sunday here? Is the Holy Day of Obligation shifted to a Sunday in order to make it easier for people to fulfill their obligation or so people will get a chance to celebrate Ascension?
It seems daft to me, but what do I know, I’m only a convert…
As a layman, I used to enjoy getting to church for weekday Holy Days of Obligation. Somehow it made the feast all the more special. It made me feel like I was really getting into the sanctification of Time–which is, after all, what liturgical calendars and lectionaries are all about. Now its just shifted to a Sunday, which makes me feel that the sanctification of Time didn’t really matter after all, and that who cares if the Ascension was always forty days after Easter or not. What next, Ash Wednesday on the Sunday before?
I guess the decision is utilitarian, and utilitarianism is surely one of the least Christian philosophies going. Utilitarianism is not only dull, it’s deathly. How can all that is beautiful and deep down true exist when the number counters come in? Who cares if nobody comes to your Ascension Thursday Mass? Why appease them by switching to a Sunday? They’ll smell your weakness and then stop going to Mass on Sunday too.
Here endeth the rant.
UPDATE: Auntie Joanna suggests a very Catholic form of protest: everyone turn up for Mass on Thursday and ask the priest why he didn’t celebrate Ascension Day….