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The fortieth day of Easter, Ascension, marks the exaltation of the risen Christ. As the liturgical culmination of the Easter season, it's an opportunity for some wonderful choral and organ music.

The past few years, St John's and the Cathedral have held a joint service in the evening; this year would have been St Johns's turn to host that service. Instead, we will be offering a simpler online service of prayer today (available from 12:15pm). The Cathedral's organist will be offering the entire organ suite L'Ascension, by Olivier Messiaen, available as an online stream, from 5pm.

Here is a recording of the first movement of l'Ascension, recorded by myself for the St John's prayer service today, on our Casavant organ. The full title of this movement, in English, is "The majesty of Christ asking for the Father to glorify him"; and Messiaen has added a further quotation from the opening of what is referred to as the Priestly Prayer of Christ, the 17th chapter of John: "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you."