We still have 7 days to celebrate!

Most people, even believing Christians, assume that the celebration of Christ’s passion and resurrection ends on Easter Sunday. In fact, Easter Day is the beginning of Easter season in the Church calendar! It kicks off fifty days of celebration, where we rejoice in the death of death, and where we look forward to the glorious day when Christ will return and when we and the entire universe will be remade!

From Trinity Episcopal Church in Hamilton, Ohio:

The queen of all the liturgies of the church is the Great Vigil and first Eucharist of Easter. We gather in the tomb-like darkness of Holy Saturday night and, suddenly, a great flame is struck among us. This flame is the new fire of Christ in-breaking among us in the midst of the tomb. The Paschal Candle is lighted from the fire and the celebrant processes throughout the Nave (the part of the church where the pews are – from the Latin word for ship or navy), symbolizing the pillar of fire by which God led the Hebrews out of Egypt toward the promised land. With the first reading from the resurrection narratives all the lights come on and we sing alleluias for the first time since Epiphany season, and we find the church beautifully decorated for Easter with the vestments of white and flowers everywhere. We then joyfully celebrate together the first Eucharist of Easter tide.

Easter tide begins with that first Alleluia at the Great Vigil, continues through the festive Eucharists of the Day of Resurrection, and ends 50 days later on the Day of Pentecost. During this season, the liturgical color is white and liturgies are uplifting and joyful. God has turned us full circle: from the ash heap of our lives of Ash Wednesday He has brought us into fullness of life and joy. God does, indeed, have the final word. The Paschal Candle burns in the church near the font throughout this season and at all baptisms and funerals.

Celebrate the joy and hope of the resurrection!