Christ is Risen! Alleluia! INDEED He is Risen! Alleluia! People think the Church doesn't like to have fun, but who else celebrates for 50 days straight? The stores have taken down the bunny decorations and put the chocolate on sale-but Catholics are still greeting each other with "Happy Easter!" Why?
Easter is called the "Solemnity of Solemnities" which basically just means "party of parties". We have been SET FREE by Christ's Resurrection! If eternal life isn't worth celebrating, what is? The Resurrection culminates all the covenants made by God- it is the fulfillment of the promises of the Lord made throughout salvation history.
"Our birth would have been no gain, had we not been redeemed. O wonder of your humble care for us! O love, O charity beyond all telling, to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!... O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a redeemer!" -Exult Easter Proclamation
In college, I had a friend who would tell me "embrace the Feast!" which struck me, we are told to embrace penance during Lent, but we are often afraid to feast. Do we think we are unworthy of celebrating because of our sinfulness? Jesus wants us in Heaven with HIm. He wanted to die for us. He does not expect us to only suffer, He wants us to rejoice and tell others of His resurrection. Our celebration is not filled with selfishness. However, our celebration is preceded by the recognition of our sinfulness; we are aware of our need for a Savior, so we rejoice when we know we indeed have a savior in Jesus Christ. Celebrating brings us closer in community. Community is a part of the Christian life, it can help us be more at home in the Church, just like our own families celebrate important days of the year. We can take this time to grow closer to our communities by celebrating Easter to it's fullest.
How can we truly "embrace the feast" of this Great Mystery?
Greet others with the traditional Easter greeting by saying: "Christ is risen, Alleluia!" Then if greeted with this the person responds with "Indeed He is Risen! Alleluia!"
Attend Easter Octave Masses. Did you know the Octave Masses are very intentional to help us dive into the richness of our faith. The origin of this started with the early Church, when they did not celebrate daily Mass except for the Easter Octave. The purpose in these daily masses were to introduce the newly baptized to the faith they had just accepted. Throughout Easter the first readings are from the Acts of the Apostles, this includes the personal growth of Peter into his role and Rock of the Church, Pope after he denies Jesus during His Passion.
Enjoy the feast side of Easter- EAT.
Decorate your home in white sashes and springtime flowers White is the official Easter color, as well as lilies and other spring flowers have great symbolism in the Church.
Reflect on what it means to live a resurrected life in Christ What changed for you after you met Him? Praying Lectio Divina with the resurrection story or the first chapters of Acts can help you dive deeper into the octave.
Listen to Easter songs and hymns People enjoy celebrating with songs, there are plenty Easter hymns and songs to offer! Sing that Alleluia loud and proud!
The Paschal Mystery is big. We will not fully understand it in our lifetime, but the Church gives us the Easter octave and the season to unpack it in a deeper way. How do we do that and help our youth do that as well?