This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Ascension Day cruise

There are many people round the world who celebrated Ascension Day on Thursday, after 40 days of Eastertide, and others who celebrate it today, after 43 days. As it says in Acts 1:7, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

Eccleston Square

Eccleston Square: behind this sinister door the date of Ascension is decided.

As a result some people have managed to celebrate Ascension twice this year, and others not at all, depending on where they were on the relevant dates, and which calendar they were following. I myself was in France on Thursday, and in England on Sunday, thus getting a double helping.


Fear not - I shall do this again in three days time for the CBCEW.

Anyway, next year readers of this blog will have the opportunity to celebrate Ascension Day four times (and, if you are a good Catholic, it will be an obligation to do so), by taking part in the Eccles(ton) Ascension Day Cruise!

Vincent Nichols

Ahoy there, shipmates! Cardinal Nichols will be our tour guide!

Day 1: We fly to St John, a Pacific Island located at 179°E. It is Thursday 14th May 2015 when we arrive, so we attend the Ascension Day Mass. Then the S.S. Eccles will take us to St Basil, an island on the other side of the international dateline, where it is still Wednesday.

Day 2: It is now Thursday in St Basil, so off we go to Ascension Day Mass. We are probably confused, and still jet-lagged, so the rest of the day is free for sight-seeing.

The S.S. Eccles.

Day 3: It is Friday in St Basil, and we embark in the S.S. Eccles for St Cormac, an island just over the dateline. When we arrive it is Saturday night.

Day 4: Bless my soul, it is Sunday on St Cormac, and they are going to celebrate Ascension Day! So we go to Mass. When that's over, we take the S.S. Eccles back over the dateline to the island of St Vincent, where it is Saturday night once more.

Day 5: Well strike me pink if it isn't Sunday on St Vincent, and they want to celebrate Ascension Day! Off we go...

Day 6 (optional): fly to Ascension Island, where it is perpetually Ascension Day.

Songs of Praise

... or 41 days, or 42, or 43, or...

QUAERITUR (I asked Fr Z. but he could not answer): What do you call the days between Ascension Day (Thursday) and Ascension Day (Sunday)?


  1. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine was in Rome at this time. Having arrived on Wednesday evening, the next morning he tottered into the church nearest to where he was staying, where the Mass of Thursday of the sixth week of Eastertide was celebrated. On Sunday, he went to St Peter's (as one does), where the Mass of the seventh Sunday of Eastertide was celebrated, so he missed the Ascension completely.

    It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

  2. One exciting spin-off from this is the opportunity to experience the novelty of a six-day Novena. Unless, that is, the Bishops decide to reinstate the nine-day Novena by moving Pentecost to the following Wednesday …

  3. And for the sake of completeness, the Catholic Communications Network (the media office for the Catholic Church in England and Wales, as it describes itself) announced that "Ascension Sunday" (whatever that is) has been designated by the Catholic Church as World Communications Sunday. For us lucky people in England and Wales, that means a pile of leaflets and a Second Collection "to fund the work of the CCN". O joy, o rapture...

  4. Friday was Suspension Day. Saturday, I believe, was the Feast of the Visitation. Which you could have celebrated twice if you'd enacted your cunning plan this year.

  5. What kind of lazy cruise is this? By attending a few Saturday evening (vigil) Masses, too, you could easily have had another couple of Ascension Days. Modernist!

  6. But will you be sailing backwards to Christmas (Island)?

  7. In Scotland they have retained Ascension Thursday. Although its about all they have retained.