O Christ, You Send Your Servants Out

This would work for Ascension, or for the Gospel we had this Sunday for Trinity:

O Christ, you send your servants out
to baptize all the world,
to speak with holy grace and pow'r
the wonders they have heard.,
but send as well your mercy down
into my inner world
to speak into my pain and doubt
yourself, O living Word.

You send us as a living sign
of mercy and of love,
as branches spreading from the vine
they bear the ripeness of.
As in the wide world, so in mine,
O Lord, pour out your love
that I may see your face divine
and tell the world thereof.

You send your servants out to teach,
to turn the world to you
with works of wonder, pow'rs of speech,
and eyes for all that's true.
O Christ, into my heart your reach
to turn myself to you,
and at your feet I hear your preach
as you make me anew.
Drogo Sacramentary c. 850 By Unknown author – Sacramentaire de Drogon, Metz. BNF lat 9428 page 71v., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1985948

Left On a Hilltop: Ascension

He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons

that the Father has established by his own authority.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,

and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,

throughout Judea and Samaria,

and to the ends of the earth.”

When he had said this, as they were looking on,

he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.

While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,

suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.

They said, “Men of Galilee,

why are you standing there looking at the sky?

This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven

will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

Acts 1:1-11

To the tune EVENTIDE:

Left on a hilltop, gazing at the sky,
searching for you, O Christ ascending high.
How can we go and wait the Spirit's fall?
Come back, O Master! Come, O Lord of all!

Yet you have sworn we shall not orphans be,
nor shall the eyes you touched no longer see;
then give us stronger sight to see you still.
Give us your love, our grieving hearts to fill.

Give us your hand to hold as we go on;
give us your light, still breaking with the dawn.
And as we go to speak your name and grace,
give us in all the vision of your face.

Then, when the road we travel find its end,
draw us to follow where you now ascend.
Christ, in your every footstep we would go,
coming at last to know the joy you know.

Send down the Spirit, as you promised, Lord,
that we may share your name with all the world.
Though you have gone, yet with us ever stay;
walk with us into everlasting day.
Rabbula Gospels 6th century By Dsmdgold – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RabulaGospelsFol13vAscension.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10562784

Christ’s Body

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.

John 14:3

Christ ascending bodily to heaven prepares the way for us to go bodily to heaven. This is for the tune AURELIA, commonly sung as “The Church’s One Foundation.”

You clothed in flesh your glory;
in glory clothe me, too.
Your body bears a story
where all the tales are true.
So I, your grace imploring
though fading as the dew,
yet hope you are transforming
my form to something new.

This flesh, a helpless infant
and weak before the world,
is feeble as your kindred
who fell to Herod's sword,
yet in its depths is kindled
the embers of your word,
and even as it dwindles
I follow you, oh Lord.

The body must be buried;
the seed must still be sown
then rise alive and carried
from roots that thrive unshown.
Our earth to heaven married;
sheer glory wed to bone,
when we, ever unwearied,
shall dance before your throne.
Ascension, 1408, By Andrej Rublëv Photo by Daniil – From http://lj.rossia.org/users/john_petrov/335107.html?mode=reply, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1589364

Ascension (Fulda)

For the feast of the Ascension tomorrow, to the tune of FULDA (“Oh Sacrament Most Holy”):

Returning to the Father,
Christ sends us to baptize
a world of sons and daughters
as one beneath the skies.
    He will not leave us orphans
    to work and wait alone,
    for Christ in us is working
    to bring all to his throne.

We do not know the season;
we did not set the time
when all, at last, receive him
and share his love divine.
    He will not leave us....

Await him in the city;
with prayer and patience, wait.
The Spirit coming swiftly
our hearts will new create.
    He will not leave us....

And when we have received it,
go forth and bear Christ's name.
'Til all the world believe it,
go boldly and proclaim.
    He will not leave us....
By Adriaen van Overbeke – https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/antwerp-school-circa-1510-1520-the-ascension-of-5790472-details.aspx, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83155533