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.
Read more at Upper Room.