Thursday, May 13, 2021

Episozomene

 Today is the Feast of the Holy Ascension. Episozomene is an occasional Eastern epithet for the feast, and means the completion of salvation.  From the Maronite Book of Offering:

O Christ, by your ascension you ended your stay on earth, completed your plan of salvation and returned to the Father to prepare a place for us, so that we may be where you are. You taught us the way to the place where you were going and told us to follow you.

When Thomas asked you: "We do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" You answered: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

[Prayer of Forgiveness (Hoosoyo) for the The Ascension of Our Lord, The Book of Offering According to the Rite of the Antiochene Syriac Maronite Church, (2012) p. 399.]

The Ascension SAAM-1981.160.2 1

Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord

From everlasting Your throne endures;
Your name alone, O Lord, is exalted.
Your majesty is above the earth,
Your glory is high above the heavens,
and You have lifted up Your people.
May all who draw near You praise Your great name,
for You ascended to the heavens,
thus to send to us Your Holy Spirit,
the Spirit of Truth, the Life-giver.

From the Father You entered the world;
when You returned again to Your Father,
You brought all creation to His throne.
In You and through You we come to heaven;
You give us a place in Your kingdom.
As we travel, pilgrims in this strange land,
send us the Holy Spirit of truth,
send us the Spirit of consolation,
that we may ascend to God with You.

You ascended but did not leave us;
You are with us in the great sacraments,
remaining till the end of the age.
Grant that by faith we may know Your presence,
and see You face to face in heaven,
as You sit at the Father's right hand.
By faith, steady our feet on Your path.
By hope, give us victory in all things.
By love, bring us to glorious dawn.

Down to the depths and up to the heights,
O Lord, You compassed all of creation,
always perfect God and perfect man,
knowing all human humiliation,
exalted far beyond creation.
May we find true humility in You,
thus to be exalted to great height;
send the Holy Spirit to dwell in us,
to teach us the truth that leads to joy.

Heaven and earth unbreakable bonds
now share through Your headship and mystery.
Lord, You are the Way, the Truth, the Life;
no one reaches the Father save through You.
You ascended to His right hand,
and Your ascent is the path of ascent.
Only Your body can take that path,
but we are Your body through sacrament.
Through You and with You we come to Him.

From age to age Your great throne stands firm;
Your name alone is exalted on high.
Your kingship is great above all things,
and You have lifted us up to heaven.
Greatly all people praise Your glory,
for You ascended to the heavens
and thence You send us the Holy Spirit,
the great Spirit of consolation,
and distributer of truth and light.

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