Now the queen of seasons, bright with the day of splendor,
with the royal feast of feasts, comes its joy to render;
comes to glad Jerusalem, who with true affection
welcomes in unwearied strains Jesus’ resurrection.
Easter is the best season of them all, the royal feast of feasts. For in this season, we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, in which death is defeated, sin is conquered, and evil is vanquished. We get 50 whole days to celebrate the glory of Easter. And we need it. It’s not easy to grasp the mystery and majesty of what happened when Jesus walked out of the tomb on Easter morning.
On Good Friday, the powers of the world did their best to extinguish God’s perfect love. For a moment, it might have looked like evil had won. But early on the morning of Easter, women found an empty tomb. They went and told others who were disciples of Jesus. Before long they all met him. They saw him. They spoke with him. They saw that his promises had come true. On the third day he had been raised.
Before long, those followers of Jesus told others. And they told others. Soon thousands and thousands, and millions and millions, of people wanted to know the power of God’s transforming love in Jesus Christ. The Easter season invites to remember that Easter changes everything, not only for Jesus, but for us and for the whole universe.
So how is Easter different from other seasons? In this bright, joyous season, we focus on Easter and its aftermath. We say more alleluias. We sing louder. We use lots of golden vestments and any bling we can manage. We light the Paschal Candle, towering over all the other candles, to symbolize Christ’s light in the world.
To help you get through the season, this blog of course offers daily reflections for the 50 days of Eastertide. Forward Movement also publishes a book with reflections, Easter Triumph, Easter Joy: Meditations for the Fifty Days of Eastertide. These reflections, written by Scott Gunn, take the reader through the whole season with the overarching question: how does the triumph of love over death and evil change our world and our very lives? You can buy the book in paper from Forward Movement, Amazon, or your local bookseller. There’s also an ebook for Kindle or Apple Books.
If you are looking for teaching resources, you might like these downloadable infographics about Holy Week and Easter.
Easter gives us 50 days to celebrate, 50 days to begin new habits so we can live an Easter life.
Lamps in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem. Photo by Scott Gunn.