The Holy Season of Easter
The Easter season flows from the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday and concludes fifty days later on Pentecost. It is a joyous season in which we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension, as well as the coming of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the Church. This is a time of rejoicing, when Alleluia should be sung with renewed and heartfelt emotion after having completed the forty days of penitential preparation of Lent.
The Easter season is full of symbols which remind us of the new and abundant life that Jesus has won for us. The primary symbol is the Paschal Candle which stands in a prominent place in the sanctuary and is lit for every liturgical celebration until the conclusion of Pentecost. The newly blessed water and holy oils used in the celebration of the Sacraments also direct our minds to the purpose of Easter and that we are God’s redeemed and holy people.
Easter Practices & Devotions
Renewal of Baptismal Promises
Easter is a season of celebrating the new life we have received through our Baptism and a recommitting to our baptismal call to proclaim to “the ends of the earth the Good News.” On Easter Sunday, as a Community we renew our baptismal promises and then are sprinkled with the newly blessed water. It is customary for Catholics to take home some of this newly blessed water for use at home throughout the year.
Scripture Readings at Mass
During the Easter season, the Liturgy of the Word follows a different format for selection of Scripture readings. Outside of Easter, the first reading is taken from the Old Testament. During Easter the first reading is always taken from the Acts of Apostles and recounts the growth of the early Church.
Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary
During Easter, Catholics are encouraged to reflect and ponder upon the Glorious Mysteries of the rosary which are liturgically celebrated during this season.
Special Liturgical Celebrations during the Easter Season
- The Resurrection of the Lord (Easter)
- Divine Mercy Sunday
- The Ascension of the Lord