Thursday, 24 May 2012


“I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain; What a wonderful feeling, I’m happy again.” - Arthur Freed
Today is Orthodox Ascension Day. The Ascension of Jesus (anglicised from the Vulgate Latin Acts 1:9-11 section title: Ascensio Iesu) is the Christian teaching found in the New Testament that the resurrected Jesus was taken up to heaven in his resurrected body, [Acts 1:9-11] in the presence of eleven of his apostles, occurring 40 days after the resurrection. In the biblical narrative, an angel tells the watching disciples that Jesus’ second coming will take place in the same manner as his ascension.

The Ascension of Jesus is professed in the Nicene Creed and in the Apostles’ Creed. The Ascension implies Jesus’ humanity being taken into Heaven. The Feast of the Ascension, celebrated on the 40th day of Easter (always a Thursday), is one of the chief feasts of the Christian year. The feast dates back at least to the later 4th century, as is widely attested. The account of Jesus ascending bodily into the clouds is given fully only in the Acts of the Apostles, but is briefly described also in the Gospel of Luke at 24:50–53 and in the ending of Mark 16 at 16:19.

If it rains on this day it is purported to be a very good omen as the heavens opened up to receive Christ and any rain that falls down is holy.  Rainwater gathered and used for bathing has curative properties for all sorts of complaints, but especially so for eye disorders.  Well water from holy wells if gathered early on Ascension morning has similar properties.  Ascensiontide and Whitsuntide are favoured days for “well-dressing” so as to ensure a plentiful supply of water over the next year.

We are experiencing a wet and cold Autumn this year and there is no shortage of water falling from the heavens. Our water storage dams for the metropolitan area of Melbourne are 65% full this year, as compared to 54% last year at the same time. This is wonderful news as only a few years ago we were experiencing terrible droughts and ravaging bushfires. More rain is predicted for the next few days and it is wonderful to look out of the window and see the sheets of water falling down.

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