As we all know, many dioceses in America celebrate the Feast of the Ascension this coming Sunday, not today. Back in the 1990′s I was living in the Baltimore diocese, which at that time celebrated this feast on the traditional Thursday. However, the week of the Ascension I had a business trip to Seattle, which, unbeknownst to me, had moved the celebration to the following Sunday. So when Thursday rolled around, I went looking for a Mass, figuring there would be many available on a Holy Day of Obligation like Ascension Thursday. However, I eventually realized that in Seattle it was not in fact Ascension Thursday but just Thursday in the 6th week of Easter (and no Mass was available in a time I could go). Then I returned to Baltimore on Friday and that Sunday my parish celebrated the 7th Sunday of Easter. To me, the Ascension never happened that year – I had been sucked into some liturgical black hole which swallowed up Feast Days with abandon. I felt liturgically unbalanced for years.
Now I live in the Archdiocese of Washington D.C., which celebrates the Ascension on Sunday. But last year, a friend and I went to a Divine Liturgy at Holy Transfiguration Melkite Catholic Church on Ascension Thursday, and they celebrated the feast on that day. Then the next Sunday I went to my parish, which celebrated the Ascension on that day. So to me, the Ascension happened twice last year – I had been able to defeat the liturgical black hole and recalibrate my confused liturgical inner sense.