The 40th day of Eastertide, the Major Feast of the Ascension, both exhilarates and saddens me, year after year. It always falls on a Thursday — because Easter itself is always a Sunday — exhilarates because of what it celebrates and saddens because of its non-observance in many corners of modern-day Christendom.

The ascension of the resurrected Jesus into heavenly realms has special appeal in that we make reference to it regularly in our principal creeds (the Apostles’ and the Nicene, asserting, “He ascended into heaven.