Finland and Finnish communities abroad are called to build the communal celebrations of the Ascension Day on 25 May 2017. The idea is that festives would be prepared everywhere in the spirit of a vernal celebration.
The turn of spring into summer is a time of festivity and preparation. Winter is behind and nature comes to life. Schools celebrate their spring festivals and graduation ceremonies. Confirmation students and counselors are preparing for the upcoming confirmation camps in the summer. The 2017 Ascension Day celebrations continue the spirit of the spring festivals. They may also give rise to new traditions.
The Holy in Everyday life
The Ascension Day is a holy day in the middle of the week. Sometimes normal weekdays and holy days are considered to be opposites. That is, Sunday is a holy day while other days belong to everyday life.
On the Ascension Day we are told about the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven. The ascended Christ is present with his congregation through the Holy Spirit in the Word and the sacraments. The presence of Christ in everyday life is grace, it is meant to be lived out in communion with others. God’s love gives rise to mercy towards other people.
Old and New
Many districts have strong Ascension Day traditions. In 2017 these traditions will be continued and we’ll also be looking for new ways to spend the Ascension Day together.
In most churches and parishes, the Ascension Day begins with a Mass or a service. Some stimulus material for the Masses is being prepared by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland.
The day may be continued with communal celebrations. For assisting in these preparations, we have prepared some material. In your community, are you getting together to eat, sing and talk? Or are you planting together an apple tree or perhaps some other kind of tree? Or, are you preparing an Ascension Day Fete? Or something else altogether?
Ascension Day and the Centennial of Finland’s Independence
The Ascension Day celebrations offer a natural way to join the Finland 100 commemorative project.
You may join the “Let’s eat together” activity by organising a celebration which takes place around a communal table. Check out the “Let’s eat together” promotional video.
Join the “Future Fir” project by planting an apple tree or some other kind of tree.
The activities surrounding the centenary of Finland’s independence also provide ideas and further networks. Invite organisations from your area to plan a common festivity!
Join us in making the Ascension Day 2017 a communal celebration! You can follow the preparations for the celebration on this page.