WHEN IS EASTER OVER?
In the Church liturgical year, Easter is far more than just a one-day celebration. East-er is actually a seven-week season of the year called Eastertide. It begins at sun-down the evening before Easter Sunday (the Easter Vigil) and lasts or six more Sundays until Pentecost. The readings on the Sundays of Easter focus on the Church as witness to the resurrection. We hear of both the struggles and hope of Jesus’ followers. We can’t help but see the similarities between the early church and the challenges (struggles and hopes) facing Jesus’ followers today. How do those parallel experiences help us to recognize Jesus’ presence in our world and in our lives?
Signs of Christ’s new life fill the church during this glorious season! Look around at Mass during the Easter Season and you will find the color white. White represents Christ’s victory over death through his glorious resurrection. The with garment we received at our baptism is a sign that all of the baptized share in the new life of Christ. The white pall that is laid on the coffin of those who have died reminds us that we, too, share in Christ’s eternal and everlasting victo-ry.
The large white candle near the ambo in the Sanctuary is called the Paschal or Easter candle. It is a symbol that Christ is the light of the world and through his crucifixion, death and resurrection (known as the Paschal mystery) we all experience new life. The Baptismal Font is a symbol that all of the baptized have been “born anew” in Christ. During the Easter season, we are reminded of our baptismal promises and how we are each called to build up the Body of Christ on earth.
During Lent we worked to remove things that kept us from having a deeper relationship with God and others. Now that we have experienced the new life that comes to us through Jesus’ resurrection, how have our lives changed? What are some ways you can witness to the resurrection this Easter Season?