When Is Ascension?

Find the dates for Ascension Thursday and Ascension Sunday

The Ascension of Our Lord, Archangel Michael Church, Lansing, IL. frted/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Ascension of Our Lord, which celebrates the day on which the risen Christ, in the sight of His apostles, ascended bodily into Heaven (Luke 24:51; Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9-11), is a moveable feast. When is Ascension?

How Is the Date of Ascension Determined?

Like the dates of most other moveable feasts, the date of the Ascension depends on the date of Easter. Ascension Thursday always falls 40 days after Easter (counting both Easter and Ascension Thursday), but since the date of Easter changes every year, the date of Ascension does as well.

(See How Is the Date of Easter Calculated? for more details.)

Ascension Thursday Versus Ascension Sunday

Determining the date of Ascension is also complicated by the fact that, in many dioceses of the United States (or, more accurately, many ecclesiastical provinces, which are collections of dioceses), the celebration of Ascension has been transferred from Ascension Thursday (40 days after Easter) to the following Sunday (43 days after Easter). Since Ascension is a Holy Day of Obligation, it is important for Catholics to know on which date Ascension will be celebrated in their particular diocese. (See Is Ascension a Holy Day of Obligation? to find out which ecclesiastical provinces continue to celebrate Ascension on Ascension Thursday, and which have transferred the celebration to the following Sunday.)

When Is Ascension This Year?

Here are the dates of both Ascension Thursday and Ascension Sunday this year:

  • 2017: Ascension Thursday: May 25; Ascension Sunday: May 28

When Is Ascension in Future Years?

Here are the dates of both Ascension Thursday and Ascension Sunday next year and in future years:

  • 2018: Ascension Thursday: May 10; Ascension Sunday: May 13
  • 2019: Ascension Thursday: May 30; Ascension Sunday: June 2
  • 2020: Ascension Thursday: May 21; Ascension Sunday: May 24
  • 2021: Ascension Thursday: May 13; Ascension Sunday: May 16
  • 2022: Ascension Thursday: May 26; Ascension Sunday: May 29
  • 2023: Ascension Thursday: May 18; Ascension Sunday: May 21
  • 2024: Ascension Thursday: May 9; Ascension Sunday: May 12
  • 2025: Ascension Thursday: May 29; Ascension Sunday: June 1
  • 2026: Ascension Thursday: May 14; Ascension Sunday: May 17
  • 2027: Ascension Thursday: May 6; Ascension Sunday: May 9
  • 2028: Ascension Thursday: May 25; Ascension Sunday: May 28
  • 2029: Ascension Thursday: May 10; Ascension Sunday: May 13
  • 2030: Ascension Thursday: May 30; Ascension Sunday: June 2

When Was Ascension in Previous Years?

Here are the dates when Ascension fell in previous years, going back to 2007:

  • 2007: Ascension Thursday: May 17; Ascension Sunday: May 20
  • 2008: Ascension Thursday: May 1; Ascension Sunday: May 4
  • 2009: Ascension Thursday: May 21; Ascension Sunday: May 24
  • 2010: Ascension Thursday: May 13; Ascension Sunday: May 16
  • 2011: Ascension Thursday: June 2; Ascension Sunday: June 5
  • 2012: Ascension Thursday: May 17; Ascension Sunday: May 20
  • 2013: Ascension Thursday: May 9; Ascension Sunday: May 12
  • 2014: Ascension Thursday: May 29; Ascension Sunday: June 1
  • 2015: Ascension Thursday: May 14; Ascension Sunday: May 17
  • 2016: Ascension Thursday: May 5; Ascension Sunday: May 8

When Is Ascension Thursday in the Eastern Orthodox Churches?

The links above give the Western dates for Ascension Thursday. Since Eastern Orthodox Christians calculate Easter according to the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar (the calendar we use in our everyday lives), Eastern Orthodox Christians usually celebrate Easter on a different date from Catholics and Protestants. That means that the Orthodox celebrate Ascension Thursday on a different date as well (and they never transfer the celebration of Ascension to the following Sunday).

To find the date Eastern Orthodox will celebrate the Ascension in any given year, see When Greek Orthodox Easter Is Celebrated (from the About Greece Travel), and simply add five weeks and four days to the date of Eastern Orthodox Easter.

More on the Ascension

The period from Ascension Thursday through Pentecost Sunday (10 days after Ascension Thursday, and 50 days after Easter) represents the final stretch of the Easter season. Many Catholics prepare for Pentecost by praying the Novena to the Holy Ghost, in which we ask for the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. This novena can also be prayed at any time during the year, but it is traditionally prayed beginning on the Friday after Ascension Thursday and ending on the day before Pentecost Sunday to commemorate the original novena—the nine days that the apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary spent in prayer after Christ's Ascension and before the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

More on How the Date of Easter Is Calculated

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