1. Students should understand the icon and its characters and be able to tell the story of the Ascension.
  2. Students should know that Ascension occurs 40 days after Pascha -- a movable feast date.


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Review the icon, seeing how much they already know: Christ is the central figure, clothed in white (Why?) and bestowing a blessing on the world with hands outstretched, the Theotokos just below Christ, the disciples (including whom as a replacement for Judas? Matthias)  Are they in the city or the countryside?


  1. Scripture readings:

Gospel: Luke 24: 36-end, read also Matthew 28:16-end

Epistle: Acts 1: 1-12

Old Testament: Isaiah 2:2-3, Isaiah 62: 10-63:3, Zechariah 14:1,4,8-11


  1. Songs of the Feast;

Troparion: Thou has ascended in glory, O Christ our God, and gladdened Thy disciples with the promise of the Holy Spirit, having become confident of the blessing. Verily, Thou art the Son of God, the Deliverer of the world!

Kontakion: When Thou didst fulfill thy dispensation for our sakes, uniting the terrestrials with the celestials, Thou didst ascend in glory, O Christ our God, inseparable in space, but constant without separation, and crying unto thy beloved, I am with you, and no one shall be against you.


  1. Discussion questions:

What were Jesus’s promises on Ascension? (there are 3: to send the Spirit, to be with them always, and to return in glory) What did He tell his disciples to do? Where did the Ascension occur? (on the Mount of Olives, near Bethany) In what way is the Ascension the crowning of the Paschal mystery? Which of the apostles pictured in the icon could not possibly have been there? (St. Paul) Why? (He was converted on the road to Damascus, much later.) Why is he pictured in the icon? (He was a witness to the resurrection just like the others since Jesus Himself appeared to Saul.)

Where does Jesus sit now? (at the right hand of the Father) Where is that? (the point here is that it is not an earthly place; thus the angels asked the bewildered disciples why they were looking at the sky) A cloud came and removed Jesus from the sight of His disciples; where else do we see a cloud with a divine appearance? (Red Sea, Mt. Sinai and the 10 Commandments, Mary at the Annunciation, Transfiguration) What did the apostles do between Ascension and Pentecost? (wait!!!) Compare and contrast Ascension and Transfiguration.


            6.   Close with prayer.