Girton College Chapel May 24th: The Ascension

A little glimpse into Girton, photo by Lilia Janik

Welcome back to Girton’s ‘virtual chapel’ evensong page! This Thursday was the feast of the Ascension, the glorious finale of the Easter Season, so today’s service, takes a break from our series on The Lord’s Prayer, to take up the theme, and explores the mystery of the Ascension, and all our readings, music, and reflections develop it in different ways. The choir, once more accompanied by the Conservatoires’ Cornett & Sackbutt Ensemble directed by Jeremy West, will bring us music from Lassus and Ingegneri, and this week, I am happy to say, they will also sing our psalm for us! (You can find the choir’s CDs Here) Once more we will enjoy responses and prayers set for us by up and coming composer Rhiannon Randle, and I will offer you a sonnet and reflection for this great feast in the church Calendar

Introductory Responses


V:O Lord, open thou our lips.
R:And our mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
V:O God, make speed to save us.
R:O Lord, make haste to help us.

V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
R: .As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
V: Praise ye the Lord.
R:The Lord’s Name be praised.

Psalm 19 is set by Gareth Wilson and sung for us this week by the choir:

Psalm 19 – Wilson

  1. THE heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
  2. One day telleth another: and one night certifieth another.
  3. There is neither speech nor language: but their voices are heard among them.
  4. Their sound is gone out into all lands: and their words into the ends of the world.
  5. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun: which cometh forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a giant to run his course.
  6. It goeth forth from the uttermost part of the heaven, and runneth about unto the end of it again: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
  7. The law of the Lord is an undefiled law, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, and giveth wisdom unto the simple.
  8. The statutes of the Lord are right, and rejoice the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, and giveth light unto the eyes.
  9. The fear of the Lord is clean, and endureth for ever: the judgements of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
  10. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey, and the honey-comb.
  11. Moreover, by them is thy servant taught: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
  12. Who can tell how oft he offendeth: O cleanse thou me from my secret faults.
  13. Keep thy servant also from presumptuous sins, lest they get the dominion over me: so shall I be undefiled, and innocent from the great offence.
  14. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart: be alway acceptable in thy sight,
  15. O Lord: my strength, and my redeemer.

Glory Be to the Father, and the theSon and to the Holy Ghost

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen

Jeremy West gives us a glimpse of our bluebell woods!

As it is Ascension Sunday our first reading is taken from the end of Luke’s Gospel and is read for us by Maureen Hackett Official Fellow and Junior Bursar

Luke 24:44-end

Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’

  Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,

  and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day,

  and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

  You are witnesses of these things.

  And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’

The Ascension of Jesus

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them.

  While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.

   And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy;

   and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

In place of the Magnificat we hear Surge Propera by Ignegneri

Just some of the choir, fellows, and musicians who make all these beautiful things happen! Photo by Jeremy West

The Epistle for Ascensiontide is read for us by Gareth Wilson, director of Chapel Music

Ephesians 1:15-end

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason

  I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.

  I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him,

  so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints,

  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.

  God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

  far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come.

  And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church,

  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

In place of the Nunc dimities we will hear Levavi Oculus Meus by Lassus

The Choir’s Glorious Lassus CD!

Final Responses set by Rhiannon Randle sung by Girton Choir

V:The Lord be with you.
R:And with thy spirit.
V:Let us pray.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.

V:O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us.
R:And grant us thy salvation.
V:O Lord, save the Queen.

R:And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.
V:Endue thy Ministers with righteousness.
R:And make thy chosen people joyful.
V:O Lord, save thy people.
R:And bless thine inheritance.
V:Give peace in our time, O Lord.
R:Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.
V:O God, make clean our hearts within us.
R:And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

‘Sing the waning darkness into light’ Photo Martin Bond

Sermon and sonnet by the Chaplain: The Ascension

The text of the poem:

Ascension Day

We saw his light break through the cloud of glory

Whilst we were rooted still in time and place,

As earth became a part of heaven’s story

And heaven opened to his human face.

We saw him go and yet we were not parted,

He took us with him to the heart of things,

The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted

Is whole and heaven-centered now, and sings;

Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness,

Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight,

Whilst we our selves become his clouds of witness

And sing the waning darkness into light;

His light in us, and ours in him concealed,

Which all creation waits to see revealed.

Our Anthem this evening is Cantati et Psalite by Ingegneri

Sing through the clouds that veil him from our sight. Photo by David Johnson

Now here, as always is the blessing which concludes our service:

A Blessing from the Chaplain:

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his son Jesus Christ our lord, and the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you and remain with you and those whom you hold in your hearts, this day and always, Amen

Here we are gathered last year as I launched our traditional three rockets for ascension!



Filed under Girton

4 responses to “Girton College Chapel May 24th: The Ascension

  1. James Moore


  2. Barbara Parry

    For the Ascension, I have an image of Fledge (the transformed London cab horse Strawberry: Pegasus?) carrying Digory and Polly to Aslan’s country, and returning with an apple to help heal the world from CS Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew?

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