If the sacrifices of Lent seemed to last a long time, make sure the rejoicing of Easter lasts longer!
It is a beautiful thing that after the privations of 40 days of Lent, the Church gives us 50 days to celebrate Easter!
The first week of this season (the Octave) is marked with special intensity, with each day getting the designation of solemnity (so no need for Friday penance!).
Now the Octave is over, but we’ve still only just begun the Easter season.
Here are some suggestions for keeping up the Resurrection atmosphere for the full 50 days
- Begin a time of family prayers. Rejoice in the Resurrection as a family with a simple ritual of morning or evening prayers. Reflect together on the next day’s Gospel reading, or simply take turns telling Our Lord something you’re grateful for about that day. Or here you can find prayers to use as a family.
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- Get a hymnal for your home. Begin your prayer time with a hymn for the Easter season. Not only will you be able to enjoy all the beautiful hymns for Easter, you will become more aware of each of the liturgical seasons. In addition, your family will soon be able to sing the hymns at Mass without the hymnal! My family uses the Adoremus Hymnal, which you can find here.
- Keep your Easter table decor throughout the Easter season. The liturgical colors are white or gold. This is so easy to do with a table cloth or even just a table runner.
- Desserts. I hate to even suggest it after all the chocolate we have already consumed, but, let’s face it, we all associate sweet treats with celebrations. Make your favorite desserts each Sunday.
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- Make a Paschal Candle for your table or prayer area. You can buy a kit or follow instructions from the internet like these. If you’re not crafty, buy a baptismal candle from a local Catholic store. Light this at your family meal or prayer time.
- Plant an Easter garden with flowers already in bloom from your local nursery. The extra color and life in your yard will bring to mind the new life in Christ that was made possible by His Resurrection. At the very least, get some Easter lilies and do your best to keep them alive!
- Take on a project of service to others.
- Have parties or invite over those friends you have been wanting to get together with. Easter is a great reason to be with loved ones.
- Since Easter ends with the celebration of Pentecost, begin a novena to the Holy Spirit, to end on that day. At this site, you will not only find a novena prayer, but you can sign up to receive daily reminders by e-mail.
The Holy Spirit as Divine Artist
- Pray the Regina Caeli. It is a quick, beautiful prayer to Our Lady that can be recited or sung and replaces the Angelus at morning, noon, and evening during the Easter season. We focus on different aspects of the Blessed Virgin Mary during the various feasts because they help bring to light different truths about Our Lord, whose life, death and resurrection are the reason for the whole year of liturgical celebrations.
The Regina Caeli Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia. For he, whom you did merit to bear, alleluia. Has risen as he said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia. For the Lord is truly risen, alleluia. Let us pray: O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, his Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.