Next Thursday, June 2, is the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Hampartsoum), which is celebrated forty days after Easter. The universal church has celebrated the Ascension since the fourth century. According to Biblical scripture the Ascension took place in the village of Bethany, on the Mount of Olives, in the presence of our Lord’s disciples. After giving them commandments and blessings, the Lord was “received up into heaven and sat on the right hand of God,” (Mark 16:19), and “a cloud received him out of their sight,” (Acts 1:9). In the early centuries of Christianity, Hampartsoum was one of the most popular feast days for the faithful and was celebrated with merriment and festivities. There are many Armenian traditions associated with this dominical feast. Perhaps the most popular one is fortune telling (vijagakhagh).
Today he ascended with divine power on the Father’s chariot accompanied by hosts of angels who sang and cried out: You princes, lift up your gates, and the King of glory shall come in. The powers on high were amazed and in fearful voice cried out to each other: Who is this King of glory who comes in flesh and is wonderful in power? You princes, lift up your gates and the King of glory shall come in. The lordships on high sang a new song in marvelous voice: This is the Lord of glory, the Savior of the world and the deliverer of the human race. You princes, lift up your gates, and the King of glory shall come in.
(From the Liturgical canons of the Armenian Apostolic Church).
Above explanation of the Ascension Day is re-posted from of the Eastern Prelacy’s weekly E-Newletter