The Promise is to You

Celebrating 50 days of Easter

Easter celebrates the greatest event of all time, so it is meant to be the greatest celebration of each year. “The first eight days of the Easter Season make up the octave of Easter and are celebrated as Solemnities of the Lord” (Universal Norms for Liturgical Year and Calendar, 24). Divine Mercy Sunday concludes the octave.

The celebration does not end there. The fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost are celebrated in joyful exultation as one feast day, or better as one ‘great Sunday.’ These above all others are the days for the singing of the Alleluia” (ibid., 22).

Culturally we tend to place more emphasis on the season of Lent than we do on Easter Season. We choose acts of penance, fast, tithe, and stay focused on Lent for the whole forty days.

By designating a longer Easter Season, the Church is telling us that we should focus even more on celebrating the resurrection. Just as you ask Jesus what He wants you to do for Lent, ask Him what He wants you to do for Easter Season.

Here are some ideas for celebrating with your whole heart, mind, body and soul. Special thanks to those who contributed ideas: Lauren Hughes, Tirienne Leonard, Carolyn Millard, Jennifer Rea, Elizabeth Siegel, Colleen Vermeulen, Ann Ward, and Mark Zielman.

  • Read the Easter story in the different Gospels. Imagine what it was like to be one of the people in the story. Act it out with your family.
  • Go to daily Mass as often as possible.
  • Instead of an act of penance, make an act of praise and thanksgiving each day. Sing Easter songs, especially ones with “Alleluias.” Many Easter songs can be found online. Have your own praise and worship session.
  • Visit Jesus in the Adoration Chapel.
  • Celebrate with special Easter prayers. Use the Liturgy of the Hours or The Stations of Light (also called Via Lucis, or Stations of the Resurrection, available online). Light a special Easter candle in your home during your prayer times or meals.
  • Pray the Glorious mysteries of the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
  • Teach Easter songs to your kids. Let them play along on their own “instruments,” whether those are toy instruments or pots and pans.
  • Continue worshiping with powerful music at Upper Room’s Praise & Worship. Check the schedule here. All ages are welcome.
  • Bake Easter treats throughout the season. (Parents, this way you can spread out the sweets.)
  • Decorate your home with flowers and other Easter symbols. Take advantage of post-Easter sales that start the day after Easter; after all, that’s only the beginning of the season. Leave the decorations up for all fifty days.
  • Create an Easter scene with an empty tomb, the angels, the women, and the disciples. There are many variations online with instructions for kids.
  • Invite friends over for a meal. Especially consider inviting parishioners whom you may not yet know, people who live alone, or friends who do not yet know Jesus.
  • Look for service opportunities that you can do as a family. Help a new mother with child care, food, or spring cleaning. Take a meal to someone going through a difficult time.
  • Raise a butterfly (kits are available) and explain to your children that butterflies are a symbol of resurrection and new life. Create a butterfly garden with butterflies’ favorite plants. Planting seeds and watching them break through the earth with new life is another representation of the resurrection.
  • Make time to do something you love and haven’t done in a while, such as painting, knitting, watching a funny movie, playing sports, etc. God wants us to take joy in life!
  • Take time to enjoy the outdoors and remember the glory of God.
  • When you’re feeling down, meditate on the resurrection and ask Jesus to bring resurrection to the darkness in your life. Pray this for others who are suffering. Watch for signs of new life.
  • Choose spiritual reading pertaining to the season – for example, historical evidence for the resurrection, the life of the early Church, or how to live each day in the joy of the resurrection.

Use one or more of these ideas to create a new tradition. Establish new habits of celebration that will last for you and your family for years to come!

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By Christy Whiting, Upper Room Director. She’s pursuing a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. This article first appeared in CTK’s newsletter, The Open Door, in April 2018.

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