Ascension of the Lord among Western Christians (26/05)

Ascension, completing the salvation of Christ after death and rebirth, — is a celebration in memory of the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven, which, according to tradition, took place on Mount of Olives near Bethany. This is a passing holiday — its date moves within May — early June and falls on the fortieth day after Easter.

The earliest documentary evidence of this holiday, dating back to the 5th century, indicates that the custom of celebrating the Ascension has been established long before this time. The iconographic display of this event, described in the Acts of the Apostles, can be found on the ( warehouses ) and frescoes of the 5th century.

In the Roman Liturgy, Ascension is one of the great holidays and is celebrated by the all-night service. Several special ceremonies are associated with this holiday, including the blessing of beans and grapes during mass, stewing of Easter candles, solemn processions.

For a visual representation to the people of the very event of the Ascension of Christ to heaven, in some Roman Catholic churches the statue of Christ is raised to the very ceiling of the temple, accompanied by various ceremonies and chants.