Christ The Lord is Risen! Alleluia! Risen Indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia! Mr. Pablo Cuadra Religion Class
Scripture 1 Corinthians 15: 14,17
“ And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins”
The Season of Easter
Easter is the “Solemnity of Solemnities”. The principal feast of the liturgical year.
Pope Leo I calls Easter the “Festum festorum”, the “Feast of Feasts”. “Christmas,” he says, “is celebrated only in preparation for Easter”.
Easter, “The Great Sunday”, is one of the five liturgical seasons of the Church cycle or year. These season are: Advent, Christmas, Ordinary time, Lent, and “EASTER”.
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Matthew 28:6
What does Easter celebrate?
"O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?
O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?“
1 Corinthians 15:55
The most glorious season of Easter celebrates the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from dead.
This great event, for Christians, occurred on the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion around A.D. 33.
The early church perceived his resurrection as the central witness to a new act of God in history and the victory of God in vindicating Jesus as the Messiah.
The resurrection of Christ is the cornerstone upon which faith is built, the connecting link between the Old and New Testament’ witness of God’s redeeming works.
This event marks the central faith confession of the Church and was the focal point for Christian worship, observed on the first day of each week since the first century (Acts 20:7)
The Resurrection and the Life of the World to Come
Catechism of the Catholic Church # 646
“ Christ's Resurrection was not a return to earthly life, as was the case with the raisings from the dead that he had performed before Easter: Jairus' daughter, the young man of Naim, Lazarus.
These actions were miraculous events, but the persons miraculously raised returned by Jesus' power to ordinary earthly life. At some particular moment they would die again. Christ's Resurrection is essentially different. In his risen body he passes from the state of death to another life beyond time and space. At Jesus' Resurrection his body is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit: he shares the divine life in his glorious state, so that St. Paul can say that Christ is "the man of heaven".
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead ... even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
1 Corinthians 15:19, 20, 22
What is the meaning of the word Easter?
The term Easter is derived from “Eastre” an old Anglo-Saxon word dating prior to 899 A.D.
The word Eastre relates to Estre, the goddess of the rising light of day and spring, an important deity in Germanic paganism and folklore.
Easter is the English equivalent for the official Latin term for the resurrection which is “Pascha resurrectionis”.
Did you know?
In all Romance languages such as: Rumanian, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese, the name of the Easter festival is derived from the Greek name, “Pascha” which is itself derived from Pesach, the Hebrew festival of Passover.
When does the season of Easter begin?
The season of Easter is a movable feast, it does not have a fix date. It falls at some point between late March or April each year.
Easter Sunday is calculated the following way. The Sunday after the first full moon of the vernal or spring equinox, using the Jerusalem meridian as the basis for reckoning.
Easter begins following the forty days of Lent that culminate with the Sacred Triduum, the three holiest days of the Church’s year. These days are: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. These days are observed from dusk to dusk.
The celebration of the Easter season begins with the Easter Vigil at sundown on Holy Saturday.
This service is the first official liturgy of Easter Sunday, the glorious celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
To calculate the Easter date for coming years you can use the following link and enter the year for which you need the precise date:
Did you know?
The Easter Vigil is also called the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter.
The Easter Vigil begins at Sundown on Holy Saturday and it is composed of four sections:
1. The service of Light (blessing of the fire).
2. The Liturgy of the word (the history of salvation readings).
3. Christian Initiation and the renewal of Baptismal vows. (Baptism and Confirmation).
4. Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion).
How long is the Easter Season?
The glorious season of Easter last for fifty days. From the Easter Vigil (The first celebration of Easter Sunday) to the Feast of Pentecost Sunday .
The word Pentecost is derived from the Greek word “pentekoste”, meaning fiftieth day.
The feast of Pentecost marks the end of the glorious season of Easter and the beginning of the second half of Ordinary time.
Did you know?
Easter is not one day or one solemnity. It is a fifty day celebration.
The fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday together comprise what the General Instructions of the Roman Missal terms “The Great Sunday”.
Did you know?
Prior to the liturgical reforms of Vatican II, the Easter season known as Eastertide lasted for forty days.
From Easter Sunday until the feast of the Ascension of the Lord. It was on this day that the Paschal candle was traditionally extinguished.
This feast of the Ascension is still celebrated on the fortieth day of the Easter season which is a Thursday. This feast is a holy day of obligation.
The liturgical reforms of Vatican II expanded the celebration of Easter from forty to fifty days to highlight the theological significance of Pentecost as part of the resurrection experience and the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise of the sending of the Holy Spirit.
The Octave of Easter
The first week of Easter begins on Easter Sunday and continues for eight consecutives days known as the Octave of Easter.
In the liturgical sense an Octave has two main purposes: In the first sense, it is an eight-day extension of a major solemnity.
In the second sense, an octave is the eight day following the major solemnity. Each of the days in the Octave of Easter are celebrated with the rites proper to Easter Sunday.
This is done to highlight the great importance of the glorious Easter season.
Did you know?
Pope John Paul II declared in 2000 the second Sunday of the Easter Season as “Divine Mercy Sunday”.
In a decree dated 23 May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that "throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come."
On this day Catholics reflect, in a very special way, on the abundant, unending, healing mercy of God.
On this Sunday, many parishes offer the opportunity for sacramental confession. The remission of all temporal punishment due to sin is one of the many graces bestowed by the resurrected Lord upon all the penitents who approach the sacrament of reconciliation on this special day of Mercy and forgiveness.
Pope Benedict XVI’s Message Urbi et Orbi 2008 (excerpt)
“ The astonishing event of the resurrection of Jesus is essentially an event of love: the Father’s love in handing over his Son for the salvation of the world; the Son’s love in abandoning himself to the Father’s will for us all; the Spirit’s love in raising Jesus from the dead in his transfigured body. And there is more: the Father’s love which “newly embraces” the Son, enfolding him in glory; the Son’s love returning to the Father in the power of the Spirit, robed in our transfigured humanity. From today’s solemnity, in which we relive the absolute, once-and-for-all experience of Jesus’ resurrection, we receive an appeal to be converted to Love; we receive an invitation to live by rejecting hatred and selfishness, and to follow with docility in the footsteps of the Lamb that was slain for our salvation, to imitate the Redeemer who is “gentle and lowly in heart”, who is “rest for our souls” (cf. Mt 11:29)”
To read the entire message go to the following link:
The symbols and sacramentals used during the Holy season of Easter are:
A. Fire (symbol of the Holy Spirit)
B. Paschal Candle
C. Water (Baptism)
D. Alleluia (proclamation)
E. Liturgical Color (white)
F. Oil (for baptism and confirmation)
G, Blessings (Easter baskets)
Did you know?
The Paschal candle is a sacramental that symbolizes the Resurrected Lord.
The paschal candle is one of the major symbols used during the Easter Vigil. It is made of pure wax and replaced each year.
The Paschal candle has a place of prominence in the sanctuary of the Church during the glorious fifty days of the Easter season.
The Paschal candle is blessed during the service of the light at the Easter Vigil and used for the blessing of the baptismal water on this solemn night.
The Paschal candle is used two times in the life of every Catholic Christian. The day of our baptism and the day of our funeral. To highlight our dying and rising in Christ.
Easter and The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)
At the Easter Vigil the Catechumens receive the sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
The Catechumens enter into the Period known as “Mystagogy” or “Period of Post-baptismal” Catechesis, that last for the 50 days of Easter.
The community of faith welcomes the neophytes (newly baptized) assisting them to enter more fully into the spirit of the Paschal Mystery celebrated during the Easter season.
Easter this Year 2008 is celebrated from Easter Sunday March 23 to Pentecost Sunday May 11.
Future Easter Dates 2009-2016
2009 April 12
2010 April 4
2011 April 24
2012 April 8
2013 March 31
2014 April 20
2015 April 5
2016 March 27
Blessing of Food :
Eastern and Latin rite Catholics both have the custom of blessing the food that is going to be consumed on the Easter Sunday dinner. This blessing usually takes place in the morning of Holy Saturday.
House Blessings :
On the eve of Easter the homes are blessed in memory of the passing of the angel in Egypt and the signing of the door-posts with the blood of the paschal lamb.
Easter “ An invitation to New Life, a call to conversion”
St. Paul says, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection” Philippians 3:10
The following story illustrates the importance of conversion
“ About eighty years ago a man picked up the morning paper and, to his horror, read his own obituary! The newspaper had reported the death of the wrong man. Like most of us, he relished the idea of finding out what people would say about him after he died. He read past the bold caption which read, “Dynamite King dies”, to the text itself. He read along until he was taken aback by the description of him as a “merchant of death”. He was the inventor of dynamite and had amassed a great fortune from the manufacture of weapons of destruction. But he was moved by this description. Did he really want to be known as a “merchant of death’? It was at that moment that a healing power greater than the destructive force of dynamite came over him. It was his our of conversion. From that point on, he devoted his energy and money to works of peace and human betterment. Today, of course, he is best remembered, not as a “merchant of death,” but as the founder of the Nobel Peace Prize—Alfred Nobel. [Sower’s Seed of Encouragement]
Easter is the season of life and hope. The life and hope only the resurrected Christ can bring. The same life and hope that strengthened the faith of the frightened disciples after the crucifixion.
That same life and hope reminds us that the trials and misfortunes of our present life are nothing compared to the unending glory of the life to come. Easter is the celebration of life eternally transformed by love, “life beyond life”, “love beyond love”.
Easter is the celebration of hope in the midst of a world often submerged in doubt and despair. It is this Easter faith, faith in the Lord’s resurrection, that becomes the sustaining force that directs our steps with courage into the challenges of everyday life, into the question marks of the unknown, and the uncertainty of the future.
It is this Easter faith in the resurrected Lord that reminds us that we do not walk alone in life. Like on the road to Emmaus, the resurrected Lord is walking with us, in us, and through us - leading us to the life that never ends and the love that never fades away. The Lord is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! Risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Have a happy and blessed Easter season!
Pablo A. Cuadra
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