The Duration of the Easter Season – Its Start and Finish

Holidays & Special Events

By Meagan Drillinger

Easter is one of the most important holidays in the Christian calendar, marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It is a time of joy, celebration, and spiritual reflection for millions of people around the world. However, the exact dates of the Easter season can vary depending on the religious traditions and calendar systems used.

In the Western Christian tradition, Easter Sunday is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. This means that Easter can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25. The Easter season, also known as Eastertide or Paschal season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts for 50 days, ending on Pentecost Sunday.

During the Easter season, Christians commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the events that followed, such as his appearances to his disciples and his ascension into heaven. It is a time of spiritual renewal and growth, with many churches holding special worship services and events to celebrate the Easter season.

While the exact dates may vary, the significance of the Easter season is universal among Christians. It is a time to reflect on the sacrifice and triumph of Jesus Christ, and to find hope and inspiration in his resurrection. Whether celebrated with solemnity or exuberance, the Easter season is a time of faith and joy for Christians around the world.

Easter Season Lent and Palm Sunday

The Easter season, which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, begins with the observance of Lent and concludes with the celebration of Pentecost. Lent is a period of reflection and preparation leading up to Easter, lasting for 40 days (excluding Sundays) and mirroring Jesus’ 40 days in the desert. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. During Lent, Christians are encouraged to engage in acts of self-reflection, fasting, and repentance as they prepare their hearts and minds for the joyous occasion of Easter.

One significant day during the Easter season is Palm Sunday, which marks Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is celebrated on the Sunday before Easter and is an important event in Christian tradition. On Palm Sunday, people gather in churches to receive blessed palm branches, which are a symbol of Jesus’ triumphant arrival in Jerusalem. These palm branches are often used to create crosses or are kept as a reminder of the significance of Palm Sunday in the overall Easter season.

In addition to Palm Sunday, the Easter season encompasses the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion (known as Holy Week), his death on Good Friday, and his resurrection on Easter Sunday. These events form the core narrative of the Easter season and are central to Christian beliefs. The season concludes with the celebration of Pentecost, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus following his ascension into heaven.

Easter Season Dates Significance
Lent Reflection and preparation for Easter
Palm Sunday Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem
Holy Week Events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion
Good Friday Jesus’ crucifixion
Easter Sunday Jesus’ resurrection
Pentecost Descent of the Holy Spirit

Holy Thursday and Good Friday

Good Friday, observed the day after Holy Thursday, commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. It is a solemn and somber day in the Christian calendar. Many churches hold Good Friday services, which usually include the reading of the Passion narrative, prayers, and the veneration of the cross. Some churches also hold processions or reenactments of the Stations of the Cross, which represent different events in Jesus’ journey to his crucifixion. Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence for Catholics and is seen as a time of reflection and repentance. It is a time to remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for mankind’s salvation.

  1. Holy Thursday marks the beginning of the Easter Triduum and commemorates the Last Supper.
  2. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples during the Last Supper, emphasizing humility and service.
  3. Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and is a day of reflection and repentance.
  4. Churches hold special services on Good Friday, including the veneration of the cross and the Stations of the Cross.
  5. Good Friday is also a day of fasting and abstinence for Catholics.

Easter Vigil and Resurrection Sunday

The Easter Vigil is one of the most significant events in the Easter season. It takes place on Holy Saturday night, the night before Easter Sunday. During the vigil, Christians gather in churches around the world to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Easter Vigil typically begins with the lighting of the Paschal candle, a large candle that symbolizes the light of Christ. The candle is blessed and lit from a new fire, and then carried into the darkened church to represent the light of Christ entering the world. This symbolizes the resurrection and the victory of light over darkness.

During the Easter Vigil, several readings from the Old Testament are typically read, recounting the history of salvation leading up to the coming of Jesus. These readings serve to remind Christians of the long-awaited fulfillment of God’s promises in the resurrection of Christ.

After the readings, the atmosphere shifts from reflection and anticipation to joy and celebration as the church is filled with light and the resurrection of Christ is proclaimed. The Easter Vigil typically culminates in the celebration of the Eucharist, where Christians partake in the body and blood of Christ.

Resurrection Sunday, also known as Easter Sunday, is the culmination of the Easter season. It is the day Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This event is considered the cornerstone of the Christian faith, as it signifies the victory of Christ over sin and death.

On Resurrection Sunday, Christians gather in churches for special services that often include joyful music, Scripture readings, and a sermon centered on the resurrection. Many churches also have Easter egg hunts and other activities for children to enjoy.

The Easter season officially ends on Pentecost Sunday, which is 50 days after Easter Sunday. Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and marks the birth of the Christian Church. However, the celebration of the resurrection of Christ and the victory it represents is not limited to a single day or season, but rather is a central aspect of Christian faith and worship throughout the year.

The Octave of Easter

The Octave of Easter is a week-long celebration that begins on Easter Sunday and ends on the following Sunday, also known as Divine Mercy Sunday. It is considered to be the pinnacle of the Easter season and is a time of great joy and rejoicing for Christians around the world.

During the Octave of Easter, the Church commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and reflects on the significance of this event in the Christian faith. It is a time of renewed hope and faith, as Christians remember the victory of Christ over sin and death.

Throughout the Octave of Easter, the Church continues to celebrate the resurrection through liturgical ceremonies and special Masses. The readings during this time focus on the appearances of Jesus to his disciples after the resurrection and highlight the importance of faith and belief.

One of the key days during the Octave of Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday, which falls on the second Sunday of Easter. This day is dedicated to the devotion of the Divine Mercy and emphasizes the mercy and forgiveness of God. Many Christians receive the sacrament of reconciliation and participate in special devotions, such as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

The Octave of Easter is a time of celebration, reflection, and spiritual renewal. It is a time for Christians to rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and to deepen their faith in the hope of eternal life.

Divine Mercy Sunday

One significant event during the Easter season is Divine Mercy Sunday. It is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter Sunday and holds great importance in the Catholic Church. Divine Mercy Sunday honors the message of God’s mercy that was revealed to Saint Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun, in the early 20th century.

Traditionally, Divine Mercy Sunday is marked by special prayers and devotions, including the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the veneration of an image of Jesus known as the Divine Mercy image. The image depicts Jesus with rays of red and white light emanating from his heart, symbolizing the blood and water that flowed from his pierced side during his crucifixion.

The Divine Mercy message emphasizes the infinite love, mercy, and forgiveness of God, and encourages believers to trust in his mercy and seek his forgiveness. It serves as a reminder that no matter how great our sins may be, God’s mercy is always available to us if we sincerely repent and ask for forgiveness with a contrite heart.

On Divine Mercy Sunday, many Catholics participate in special Masses and services dedicated to the Divine Mercy devotion. They seek to receive the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion, both of which are linked to the message of God’s mercy and forgiveness. It is believed that by receiving these sacraments on Divine Mercy Sunday, believers can obtain unique spiritual graces and blessings.

Overall, Divine Mercy Sunday is a significant observance in the Easter season, reminding Christians of the unfathomable mercy and love of God. It serves as an invitation to approach God with trust and seek his mercy, knowing that through his infinite love, forgiveness is always possible.

Ascension Sunday and Pentecost

Ascension Sunday is an important event in the Easter season. It commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven, which took place 40 days after his resurrection. On this day, many Christians gather for worship services to remember and celebrate this significant event in Jesus’ life.

Pentecost, also known as Whitsunday, is another significant day in the Easter season. It falls 50 days after Easter Sunday and marks the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus. This event is described in the Bible, specifically in the Book of Acts. On Pentecost, Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the early Christian church.

During Pentecost, it is traditional for churches to use red decorations and vestments, symbolizing the fire and power of the Holy Spirit. Many churches also incorporate special prayers and hymns into their services that focus on the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers and the mission of the church.

Pentecost is often seen as the culmination of the Easter season, as it marks the completion of the resurrection and ascension stories. It is a time when Christians reflect on the significance of these events and seek to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, spreading the message of Jesus to the world.

Overall, Ascension Sunday and Pentecost are important parts of the Easter season. They provide opportunities for Christians to remember and celebrate key events in the life of Jesus and the early church. These days also serve as reminders of the ongoing presence and work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers today.

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Do you know how long the Easter season is? RISE UP! Daily Easter Reflectoin 5.10.22 ~ All Saints

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Meagan Drillinger

Meagan Drillinger, an avid travel writer with a passion ignited in 2009. Having explored over 30 countries, Mexico holds a special place in her heart due to its captivating cultural tapestry, delectable cuisine, diverse landscapes, and warm-hearted people. A proud alumnus of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, when she isn’t uncovering the wonders of New York City, Meagan is eagerly planning her next exhilarating escapade.

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