Yesterday was “Monday in Easter Week” in the official Anglican Prayer Book, A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa (NZPB page 593). Today is “Tuesday in Easter Week” (page 594). Tomorrow is… ummm… well not mentioned actually! This “tradition” goes all the way back to the First Prayer Book of Edward VI. But, as far as I know, not before that. As far as I know the missals have always provided propers for every day of Easter week. Anyone know otherwise?
So why stop at Tuesday? And what about contemporary revisions? As far as I know all reputable contemporary revisions have abandoned this Sunday-Monday-Tuesday-then-nothing “tradition”. Anyone know other examples than New Zealand? NZPB has many other quirky things, but no one has yet completed a commentary to explain them. So, if you know the answer to this one – do please tell.
The New Zealand Lectionary often overrides NZPB quirkiness. But not this time – as you see in the image above. In fact towards the end of what I and most contemporary liturgy regard as a 50-day Easter Season, the lectionary abandons “common” prayer, allowing for either “Ascensiontide” (with a change recommended in the non-formulary Daily Office, “Celebrating Common Prayer”) or (in smaller type) continuing for people like me (and majority Christianity) to celebrate Easter until the Day of Pentecost (in smaller type).
Easter ends today?
I know it is hard to keep those Alleluias resounding for 50 days. We have a culture that finds it much easier to grovel and do without for 40 days (46 days including Sundays) than to celebrate and party for 50 days! [NZPB as previous BCPs all call the next proper “after Easter”] But is there something particular about Englishness that we can only celebrate for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday?
If you agree with me that Easter lasts 50 days then join the Facebook event “Easter is 50 days“, encourage others to join, put the “Easter is 50 days” badge on your blog or website, correct people these 50 days whenever they inappropriately use “after Easter” – including clergy 🙂