St. Alban the Martyr


25 May 2022 • General news

This week I have been preparing collective worship to celebrate the Ascension of Jesus. The Ascension comes 40 days after Easter Sunday so it’s always on a Thursday. There is a symmetry about Lent, Easter and Ascension. There are 40 fast days of Lent before Easter and 40 days of Easter before Ascension.

The sequence doesn’t end with Ascension but carries on to Pentecost (when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit), Trinity Sunday (when we celebrate the Christian concept of God being three {Father, Son, and Holy Spirit}, yet, one God) and Corpus Christi (when some Christians celebrate Holy Communion).

There is reference to the Ascension of the Prophet Mohamad PBUH in the Qu’ran. This is very different concept. In Christianity Jesus is returning to the Father to take up his place within God. In Islam the prophet is shown heaven but returns to earth having been strengthen. They both have the theme of giving strength to carry on and carry our God’s purpose in the world. For Christians the Ascension is a step on the way to Pentecost, and the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost is what gives Christians strength. For the Prophet Mohamad PBUH the vison of heaven is what gives strength. Atheists might look at the works of a philosopher or the example of good people to give strength.

Wherever we find it, we all need a source of strength which is outside ourselves, at least some of the time.