Ascension song Zachary Guiliano May 29, 2014 Liturgy, Poetry By Zachary Guiliano The Ascension of Christ has long fascinated me. To me, it seems like a test case for a theologian’s doctrine of the Incarnation: Does Jesus Christ retain his humanity, even as he is crowned with all authority in heaven and earth, or does he leave it behind in some manner? Eusebius of Caesarea thought the latter and thus was condemned posthumously as a heretic and proto-iconoclast at the seventh ecumenical council (AD 787). One’s views on Christ’s ongoing life as a human being were seen in the late patristic period and into the Middle Ages to have implications for a theology of images, sacraments, or the Church. Setting aside these questions, I felt it necessary a couple years ago to do what theologians have classically done with the mysteries of Christ: celebrate them, rather than attempt to define them too closely. In that spirit of celebration, I offer again this poem. For a more theological take, see my “What the Ascension is (and isn’t)” (June 7, 2014). Ascension song Advertisement The riven earth trembles As up-bearing angels Host him unaware Who dashed foot and hand and heart With five open wounds, Wine-staining his garments red A shame to Massless spirits. What king ever bore that hue In lasting brands of God-filling ink, As he spiraled up Past circling spheres And perfect-pitch choirs, Past powers, puissant, pointed, preening? Up, ever up, Up with a shout, Up with sinews singing, Up with timbreled hands, Up with pulsing, brazen feet, Up with fluted heart and side, Up with beaten, bell-tone crown. It’s not for angels That Abram’s seed sits scarred At the right of power. Nor for healthy, cherubic hordes That such colored fullness Dwells bodily in the heaven, White with horror At this ray of light So singularly prismed. But ‘a little while’ has passed, And gates must be lifted, Everlasting doors give way Before the once-less-than Now-surpassing-angelic Fair King in all his beauty, Man on Heaven’s throne. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.