Ascension Sunday?

What does Ascension Sunday refer to? I have never heard of it before.
I am familiar with the Solemnity of the Ascension but I have never heard about the Ascension Sunday. It could be some kind of Catholic tradition in USA that I am not familiar with. Or did some Bishops move the Solemnity to a Sunday since the people in USA don’t get a day of like we Swedes get?

I’m not sure why they chose this particular Solemnity to honor on the following Sunday, but they did. It’s a lot easier to minister to the faithful if they can actually hear about the Ascension. Many folks can’t make holy days of obligation during the week.

I’m surprised to hear that Swedes get the day off.

Mrs Cloisters OP
Lay Dominican

As stated in a whole other thread, most of the dioceses in the USA and all of the ones in Canada transfer the Ascension feast day to the following Sunday rather than observing it on Thursday. The reasons normally given are the priest shortage (some priests are handling multiple parishes and have difficulty arranging Masses for each) and the hardship people have in getting to Mass on the Thursday, which results in low attendance if it’s kept on the weekday.

A few dioceses in USA and pretty much all of Europe still celebrate it on the Thursday. Some European countries even have a national holiday on the Thursday.


What confuses me is how Memorial day is a holiday when the Ascension isn’t in the USA. After all isn’t the Ascension more important? As a non-American I don’t understand it.
Of course people should get a day off when there is a great Christian feast or solemnity. Then obviously not all go to church but it is important that church goers get a day off.

The United States does not generally make religious feast days into national holidays. Christmas is the exception, and it’s become largely a secular holiday of commerce rather than a commemoration of Christ’s birth. If we made religious feasts into holidays, we would have to do this for all religions, not just Christianity, which would be unworkable. A lot of professional employers give their employees some flexible holidays that you can use for whatever religious holidays you personally might want to observe.

Memorial Day is for commemorating our war dead of all religions and no religion. It’s not a religious holiday.


Ok I see. Never tought about it that way.
I guess Sweden has been both a Catholic and Lutheran country whereas USA has only been a pluralistic country or a country with many religions.

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Shortage of Priests? Wouldnt that also apply to Sundays?

Here in the Archdiocese of Boston we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord today (Thursday).

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Yes, it does apply to Sundays also, which makes it a bit annoying that they claim they can’t manage an extra day, but I think they don’t like making the effort on the weekday to have all the Masses when people don’t bother to attend them. To be fair, there are some parishes where extra priests can support on weekends only - they get them from a religious order generally.

Sundays usually get a good turnout for Mass. If a parish is not getting a good turnout for Sunday Mass it will generally be closed or consolidated with several other parishes, or the diocese will do something else with it (such as give it to a religious order or allow the traditional community to use it or make it a “national parish” etc).

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Yes, as posted elsewhere there are dozens of other Archdioceses primarily in the Northeast US along with conservative Catholic Nebraska where they keep it on Thursday. The whole rest of the country moved it.

Strange how on Ash Wednesday it was standing room only at both masses I attended that day. Smack in the middle of the week. Why no love for Ascension Thursday like that? I’ll see what the turnout is like at 7:00 PM mass tonight. I’m expecting a big turnout. Oh, to be fair it is a holy day of obligation, but I think if it was one everywhere, the faithful would come.

Because people are “getting” something - ashes. That’s what priests have told me. The ashes are so popular that even Protestant churches who did not previously give them out have started doing so.

Also because a lot of fallaway Catholics see Ash Wednesday as a day to make a fresh start. Often it doesn’t take. I know this from experience. In about 2005 I tried to return to active practice starting on Ash Wednesday at the Cathedral… didn’t even make it to the next Sunday and didn’t get fully back to the Church for another 11 years.


I have actually been thinking a bit about this topic as well (but in another way).
Lent (or Advent) is very good for making a new start or renewing the relationship.
In Lent you get to sing Attende Domine so it is a very lovely season.
On the other hand summer is a very good time for starting anew. I really like the hymns for the summertime (refering to Swedish hymns).

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Really, there’s never a bad time. If you decided you loved someone and wanted to make the relationship work, you’d go back right then and tell them. You wouldn’t wait for a holiday.
It sounds from your posts that the Church music in Sweden is very nice. I hope I get a chance to attend Mass there one day.


I know at least one person who’d wait until spring if he thought it’d heighten his chances of success. :joy:

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Here in West Virginia, Ascension is transferred to next Sunday. But I’m literally only a few miles away from the PA state line … in Point Marion, which has a Catholic parish I could drive to in about 20 minutes, today is a HDO.

I was thinking about this hymn:
Well, we do have nice hymns but often i low keys. I get upset…dont get me started. I guess tge keys are chosen for untrained lower male and female.

The USA was not founded as a religious state, let alone a Catholic one.

The good thing about reaching out to God is that he’s 100 percent receptive any day of the year! And any hour of the day. You don’t have to worry that you just woke him up or that he went on a date with somebody else and doesn’t have time for you.



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