Celebrating Ascension Day: A Guide for Christian Families

“After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.” – Mark 16:19 

Ascension Day marks when Jesus Christ ascended into heaven after being with his disciples for forty days following his resurrection. This day represents an important opportunity to honor and reflect on the life and teachings of Jesus, and to strengthen our faith. We will explore the history and significance of Ascension Day and provide ideas for commemorating with your family. We hope to help you celebrate this special day in a meaningful and reverent way.

Explaining Ascension Day to Children: Tips for Parents.

While many adults may already be familiar with this special day, explaining it to children can be quite challenging. That’s why we’ve put together some tips for parents to help them better understand Ascension Day and explain it to their children:

  • Start with the basics. Begin by explaining what “ascension” means. Kids may not understand the term, so use simple language like “going up” or “going to heaven.”
  • Talk about Jesus’ death and resurrection. Help your child understand the background of Ascension Day; Jesus was crucified, died, and then rose from the dead. Then, he spent 40 days ministering to his disciples and reassuring them about the future of their church. This is important because the ascension is a continuation of the resurrection story. Jesus’ commission from the Father was not complete until he sat at the right hand of the Father.
  • Tell the story of the ascension. You can find it in Acts 1:9-11. Read this to your children and explain what happened in simple terms. You can also use drawings or illustrations to help them visualize the story.
  • Explain the importance of the ascension. Tell your children that it marks the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the beginning of the apostles’ work in establishing the church.
  • Talk about the promise of the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He promised to send the Holy Spirit to his followers. Explain the importance of the Holy Spirit and how it helps us today.
  • Celebrate Ascension Day together. You can have a special dinner or participate in a church service (below are a few ideas if you need a place to start!).
5 Ways to Celebrate Ascension Day as a Family.

After you explain the history and importance of Ascension Day, take it a step further by celebrating! This day is a perfect opportunity for quality family time. Here are five ways to celebrate Ascension Day:

  • Pray together. You can gather as a family and say a special prayer for the occasion, or you can do a devotion that includes readings from the Bible and discussion questions. This is a great way to connect and reaffirm your faith together.
  • Attend church services. This is a great opportunity to gather with other members of the community and celebrate the occasion with them. Make sure you check the schedule of your local church to see what services they have planned for Ascension Day. Attending church services together is a great way to teach your children about the significance of the holiday and the importance of faith.
  • Have a family picnic. This is a great way to spend quality timenjoy the beautiful weather. You can prepare a variety of foods that everyone enjoys, and bring some games and activities to keep all ages entertained.
  • Visit a nature park/trail. Nature is the best classroom to teach and celebrate the beauty of God’s creation. You can take your family to a nature park, go on a hiking trail, or even just enjoy a nice walk in the neighborhood. This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the sunshine, get some exercise, and appreciate the outdoors.
  • Do “Sunday School Works!” lessons, games, or crafts together. You can see different options this ministry offers to teach Ascension Day to children here! 
Family Prayer Ideas for Ascension Day.

This is a great way to help teach children about the importance of this day, and establish a deeper connection with their faith. Here are five great ideas for family prayer:

  • Create an Ascension Day prayer jar. This can be a lighthearted and fun way for your family to bond. You can start by finding a small jar or container and decorating it with markers/paint or stickers. Then write some prayers on small pieces of paper. You can take turns pulling out a piece of paper and reading it aloud. Then take a moment to pray together, thanking God for His love and the blessings He brings.
  • Set up a family table altar. This can provide a dedicated space for prayer and reflection. Choose a table or surface and decorate it with candles, flowers, Bible/crucifix, and other meaningful items. As a family, you can take turns leading prayers and reading Bible passages, discussing the significance of the Ascension and what it means to each of you.
  • Attend Ascension Day mass or services. This can also be a beautiful way to celebrate. Seek out local religious institutions and attend a service together. You can spend time after the service discussing the sermon and how it relates to this special day.
  • Hold a family feast. Prepare your favorite foods and enjoy each other’s company while reflecting on the significance of this special day. You can share stories, thoughts, and blessings related to Ascension Day, then end your dinner prayer with a moment of silence to remember the Ascension of Jesus.

Celebrating Ascension Day is a great opportunity to reflect on the teachings of Christ and deepen our faith in Him. Through traditions such as attending church, sharing meals, and praying together, we can honor this important occasion and instill valuable lessons and values in our children. Overall, Ascension Day is a wonderful opportunity to come together as a family and celebrate our faith.

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