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Easter is FIFTY Days

chart for Lent and Easter Seasons

Easter is not a day; Easter is not a week; Easter is 50 Days – 8 Sundays… concluded on the Day of Pentecost.

50 is 7×7+1
8 is the day outside time (beyond the sequence of 7); 8 is the number of those on the ark;…

Facebook limits the number of days that an event can run – we used to run a 50-day-long event. Yes – we struggle to celebrate for 50 days. Even facebook won’t allow an event now to go beyond two weeks!

40 days of abnegation in Lent – easy as! 50 days of celebration – what Lent was preparing for… hmmm… that’s a different matter altogether…

Easter is a way of life…

Renewal of worship has rediscovered the value and significance of the Easter Season. Easter is not just “Easter Day,” it is the fifty days from Easter Day until the Day of Pentecost. During this season, Sundays might be better named “of Easter” rather than “after Easter” (“The Third Sunday after Easter,” for example, is better termed “The Fourth Sunday of Easter”).

Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost do not form three seasons. The Easter season celebrates the three dimensions of the resurrection, ascension, and the sending of the Spirit. Ascension material is appropriately used as Ascension Day approaches. Pentecost material is appropriate from Ascension Day to the Day of Pentecost. Easter threads, of course, remain suitable up to and including the Day of Pentecost.

These fifty days, a seventh of the year, form our great “Sunday” of the year. “Alleluia! Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!” forms the greeting in every service during Eastertide. Similarly “Alleluia! Alleluia!” is added to the Dismissal and the people’s response (these are equivalent to the “Alleluia” added at the beginning and end of the Daily Services). These help to give these celebrations a distinctive festal feel.

The Paschal Candle is lit at every service up to and including the Day of Pentecost. “Glory to God in the highest” may be used daily from Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost. Alternatively, some communities use it daily for the first week of Easter.

We in the southern hemisphere could make far more use of a Service of Light throughout the fifty days of Easter. Daily, or on certain days, people might gather in church in the evening, to light the Paschal Candle and sing the (at least sixteen centuries old) “Hail gladdening Light” (Phos Hilaron) or another hymn. Thanksgiving for light may follow, incense may be used (Ps 141:2), and parts of Night Prayer, Evening Worship, or the Daily Services may be used. Such a Service of Light, appropriately simplified, can form a very attractive focus for family prayer or prayer in a housegroup…

Here is the facebook event you can click to remind you that Easter is 50 days…

I hope, if you appreciated this post today, that you share it (facebook and so on). And do remember to like the liturgy facebook page, use the RSS feed, and sign up for a not-very-often email, …

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