As Lutheran from Hesse and Bavaria, this picture essay of Ascension Day celebrations resonates with me:
When I lived in very Roman Catholic northern Bavaria, there were often processions by Catholics in which we did not participate, but on Ascension Day even some of us had outdoor services. Brass bands always came in handy when there were outside events, also at Remembrance Day... Ascension Day is always on a Thursday and it always was a statutory holiday, generally also featuring beautiful spring weather.
My new hymn book has five Ascension Day hymns in it and a verse:
Jesus Christ says: "See, I am with you all days until the end of the world."
And the first hymn, "Gen Himmel aufgefahren ist..." which is one we always sang goes like this:
Risen to the sky (heaven), Halleluia,
has the king of glory, Jesus Christ, Halleluia.
He sits at God's right hand, Halleluia,
and rules over all heavens and lands, Halleluia.
Now has been fullfilled what was written, Halleluia,
in the Psalms about the Lord Christ, Halleluia.
(Psalm 47,6; 68, 19; 110,1)
Therefore, we rejoice with great noise, Halleluia,
to the praise of the Lord Christ. Halleluja.
To the Holy Trinity, Halleluia,
be praise and honor to all eternity. Halleluia.
Melody by Melchior Frank, 1627.
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