6/2/19 Celebration of the Ascension of Our Lord + Morning Prayer

The congregation is invited to stand, as able, at those times marked with an *

Bold print, the community speaks as one. +, people may make the sign of the cross





In today’s gospel the risen Christ ascends into heaven and his followers are assured that the Spirit will empower them to be witnesses throughout the earth. The disciples were told to not gaze up into heaven to look for Jesus; we find his presence among us as we proclaim the word and share the Easter feast. We too long for the Spirit to enliven our faith and invigorate our mission.



This morning’s order of service is Morning Prayer. The Christian discipline of daily prayer goes back to the ancient Church practices, as well as the set times of prayer in Judaism. At morning prayer, we give thanks for the gift of new life in Christ and seek God’s grace for the day ahead. The Thanksgiving for Baptism highlights our common baptismal patter of daily prayer, with its rhythm of dying and rising with Christ. Also, the services of daily prayer in community may be led by any baptized member. For more on the importance of Daily Prayer and the Presbyterian understanding and practice, see the Book of Order’s Directory for Worship, W-5.0102.


Today’s ordering is a version of Morning Song where the hymns move us into the presence of God in praise and worship and open us up to hear the Word and then be sent.


Ordinarily, an offering is not received during Daily Prayer. Hence, the ushers will be in the Narthex (great entrance hall) to collect any tithes or offerings.





As a matter of hospitality, we invite everyone to fill out information in the red fellowship pad found on each pew at the center aisle and pass it down so everyone may be greeted by name during the passing of the peace. Written announcements can be found at the back of the bulletin.


Alleluia. “Go and make disciples of all nations, says the Lord;

I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Alleluia.

Almighty God, your only Son was taken into the heavens and in your presence intercedes for us. Receive us and our prayers for all the world, and in the end bring everything into your glory, through Jesus Christ, our Sovereign and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


*GATHERING HYMNS      #1 Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!

#662 Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies

#81 Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken


Clap your hands, all you peoples;
shout to God with songs of joy.

Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.

God has gone up with a shout,

the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.

Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.

God is ruler over all the earth;
the Lord reigns on a holy throne.

Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.

God put this power to work in Christ,
raising him from the dead.

Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.

God has highly exalted him,

giving him the name above all names.

Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.

Jesus Christ is Lord!

Glory to God in the highest.

Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.

Most High God, we are witnesses:
to the life of Jesus Christ our Lord:
written in the Law,

promised by the prophets,
sung by the psalmists;

given in love for the world,
risen from the dust of death,
lifted up in heavenly glory.

Let our lives proclaim Christ’s life.

Draw us into your presence

that we may worship you always,
continually blessing your name;
through Jesus Christ our Savior
who lives and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.



The peace of Christ be with you. And also with you.


The people may exchange with one another, by words and gesture, signs of peace and reconciliation.


OFFERING OF MUSIC: Look Away to the Skies- text: Roger Thornhill; music: hymntune MIDDLEBURY, setting by Joel Raney

Look away to the skies, see the savior arise and ascend to his glory above. On this festival day come exulting away, bring a gift of devotion and love. Hallelujah! We sing to our heavenly king.

We give thanks for the grace that prepares us a place in that kingdom so far and bright. Lord, we wait for the day when you carry us away to dwell in a mansion of light. Hallelujah! We sing to our heavenly king.

Now with glorious song let our music be strong and our lives be an anthem of praise, and with jubilant noise let us sing and rejoice, shouting glory for all of our days.

Hallelujah, we sing to our savior and king! Let the sky and the earth proclaim to the lamb that was slain, hallelujah again, and with one voice we praise his holy name. Hallelujah! We sing to our heavenly king of kings!



ALL SING # 853   We Are Marching in the Light of God



The Lord be with you. And also with you.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


Great and mighty God,

we praise you that Christ has ascended
to rule at your right hand.

We rejoice before the throne of his power and peace,
for he has put down tyrannies that would destroy us,
and unmasked idols claiming our allegiance.

We thank you that he alone is Lord of our lives.
By your Spirit,

give us freedom to love with his love,

and to embrace the world with his compassion.
Accept the offering of our lives,

that we may obey your commands to serve
in the name and for the sake

of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


Trusting God’s promise of new life, we pray for the renewal of the church, the world, and all of creation.


A brief silence.


Gather together your church into one body. Clothe your faithful people with the power to be your witnesses to the ends of the earth. Let our songs of praise spill over into acts of compassion in the world. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


You are God of mountain and prairie, rolling hills and frozen tundra. Open our eyes to your glory in all landscapes. Protect these lands from drought, erosion, and misuse. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


The greatness of your power transcends human authority. Give to rulers, governments, and public servants a spirit of repentance and wisdom. Lead them in your way of justice. Protect protestors, activists, and advocacy organizations who give voice to the voiceless (especially). Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


Draw close to those who gaze to heaven in prayer. Be present at bedside vigils, in seasons of rest and recovery, in the labor of childbirth, and in holy moments of watching and waiting. Restore hope to all who suffer (especially). Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


Grant this assembly new energy to serve the needs of the local community. Deepen our involvement in ministries of feeding, clothing, and sheltering. Call us to be a bold voice of hope in our towns and cities. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


Here other intercessions may be offered.


Praise to you for all the saints who now enjoy the riches of your glorious inheritance. This week we commemorate Stephen of Sweden; Francis Makemie; Petroc; Boniface of Germany; Norbert; Chief Seattle; and Gerard Manley Hopkins. As you raised up Christ to sit at your right hand in the heavenly places, draw all people to your eternal home. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

We commend these and all our prayers to you, O God. Come near to us with your saving help, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord., who taught us to pray:

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 debts,

as we forgive our debtors;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom

and the power

and the glory, forever.


PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION # 458 Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet


FIRST READING: Acts 1:1-11

Before he is lifted into heaven, Jesus promises that the missionary work of the disciples will spread out from Jerusalem to all the world. His words provide an outline of the book of Acts.


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.


PSALM 97, Hymn #365 God Reigns! Let Earth Rejoice!


SECOND READING: Ephesians 1:15-23

The risen and exalted Christ reigns over the entire universe. The author of Ephesians prays that we would be given the wisdom to comprehend this and display it through love toward others.


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.


GOSPEL: Luke 24:44-53

On the day of his ascension, Jesus leaves his disciples with a commission, a blessing, and a promise of the Holy Spirit.


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.


BRIEF MEDITATION              Elder Rachel Yates, Presbytery Executive

Presbytery of Milwaukee of the PC(U.S.A.)


*HYMNS    #265 Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun

#630 Fairest Lord Jesus

*SENDING HYMN # 298 Lord, You Give the Great Commission







NOTES: Order of service and content is in accord with the Presbyterian Church’s Directory for Worship. Prayers are from the Sundays and Seasons (Year C) and the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (2018). Commemoration of Saints is from the 2018 Book of Common Worship, starting on pg 1145.


Calendar of Commemorations:


2        Stephen of Sweden (d. c. 1075)

3        Francis Makemie (1658– 1708)

4        Petroc (d. c. 594)

5        Boniface of Germany (c. 680– 754)

6        Norbert (c. 1080– 1134)

7        Seattle (c. 1790– 1866)

8        Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844– 1889)


Presbyterian Church. Book of Common Worship . Presbyterian Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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