Easter Season is here!
Easter is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. It is celebrated on Sunday, and marks the end of Holy Week, the end of Lent, the last day of the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday), and is the beginning of the Easter season of the liturgical year.
As we know from the Gospels, Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day following his crucifixion, which would be Sunday. His resurrection marks the triumph of good over evil, sin and death. It is the singular event which proves that those who trust in God and accept Christ will be raised from the dead.
Since Easter represents the fulfillment of God’s promises to mankind, it is the most important holiday on the Christian calendar.
The first eight days constitute the Octave of Easter and are celebrated as solemnities of the Lord
Since 2000, the Second Sunday of Easter is also called Divine Mercy Sunday. The name “Low Sunday” for this Sunday, once common in English, is now rarely used.
The solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated on the 40th day of Eastertide (a Thursday), except in countries where it is not a Holy Day of Obligation. In such countries it is celebrated on the following Sunday (the 43rd day of Eastertide). The nine days from that feast until the Saturday before Pentecost (inclusive) are days of preparation for the Holy Spirit the Paraclete,which inspired the form of prayer called a novena.
The Sundays from Easter to Ascension Day, besides being called the First, Second (etc.) Sunday after Easter, have their own titles. The first is the “Dominica in albis”, or Low Sunday. The second Sunday is derives its name from the Gospel for that the Sunday, which is Good Shepherd and referred to as “Misericordias Domini”.The third Sunday is called from the Introit “Jubilate” and the Latin Church has assigned to it the feast of the Patronage of St. Joseph.
The octave of Easter comprises the eight days which stretch from the first to the second Sunday. It is a way of prolonging the joy of the initial day.In a sense, every day of the Octave is like a little Sunday.
The word “Easter” comes from Old English, meaning simply the “East.” The sun which rises in the East, bringing light, warmth and hope, is a symbol for the Christian of the rising Christ, who is the true Light of the world. The Paschal Candle is a central symbol of this divine light, which is Christ.It is kept near the ambo throughout Easter Time, and lit for all liturgical celebrations.
On the fortieth day after Easter the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated, except where, not being observed as a Holyday of Obligation, it has been assigned to the Seventh Sunday of Easter