6 Ways to Keep the Joy of Easter Alive for the Whole Season – EpicPew

6 Ways to Keep the Joy of Easter Alive for the Whole Season

Easter Sunday begins an entire season of joyful celebration for Catholics. Just as Lent is a season, Easter has its own season, beginning with the Easter vigil on Holy Saturday night and ending fifty days later after the Ascension at Pentecost. This makes the Easter season a full ten days longer than Lent.

During this special season in the Liturgical year Catholics are reminded about the hope and joy they are to have now that Christ has risen. It is also a time to recall the importance of Baptism and what that Sacrament means for Catholics. At Mass Catholics will notice the various ways the tradition of the Church encourages the use of sacramentals and symbols that appeal to the senses to help them remember the season and its importance, but the celebration of the Easter season shouldn’t be confined to one hour on Sundays. Read on to find suggestions as to how you can keep Easter alive in your homes throughout this season of joy.

1. Use Easter Water in your home

US {PD} by Angelo acquasantiera at Santa Maria degli Angeli (Holy Water Font at St. Mary of the Angels Church in Rome.

At the Easter Vigil, water is blessed with a special blessing and the Easter candle (representing Christ) is plunged into the water. This Easter Water is then used to bless the faithful during the sprinkling rite at Mass, for baptisms, and for special blessings. Some of this water is also made available to the faithful for use in their homes. Bring some home and place in your private Holy Water fonts, or use it to bless yourselves as you come and go from your home, at bedtime, or at prayer time. As you do so, recall the importance of your Baptism and thank God for the sacraments, and be conscious that blessing yourself with Holy Water removes venial sin.

2. Continue the Lenten practices that brought you closer to God

During Lent you probably heard a homily (or several) about the purpose of Lenten practices and how they are meant to mortify the senses and bring one closer to God by allowing one to develop a virtuous habit. When Easter comes, the temptation to throw caution (and the virtuous habit) to the wind can be strong; but this would be counter-productive. Instead, set aside the more austere practices and mortifications, but keep the good habits! If you deepened your prayer life by adding extra prayers, devotions, or time for meditation, keep those prayer habits, but change the focus from Lenten penance and contemplating Christ’s Passion to Easter joy and contemplating the reality of the Resurrection. Allow the season of Easter to continue to deepen and expand your prayer life as you keep growing in relationship with Jesus.

3. Celebrate new life in nature

Attribution: Redbud in Bloom near Cincinnati, OH. Photo by Greg Hume

A wise woman once commented that “nature is Liturgical.” In many parts of the United States, the season of Easter coincides with springtime and the natural seasons of new life. Take some time this Easter season to enjoy nature. Notice the budding trees and flowers. Visit a farm where calves, lambs, and chicks are being raised. Go for a hike, a walk, or a visit to a forest, a nature trail, or a park and encounter God in His creation. Easter reminds us of the the rebirth we all experienced through Baptism. Nature, too, reminds us of rebirth during this time of year.

4. Keep fresh flowers around

Getting out into nature isn’t always possible, but bringing nature indoors is easy to do. During Lent your church was probably quite bare and austere, with minimal to no decorations, flowers, or colors besides the Lenten purple. Now that Easter is here, it is appropriate for your church to be bursting with flowers, colors, and decorated with white and gold. Since the home is meant to be a little monastery and the family the domestic church, it is appropriate to bring fresh flowers and bursts of color into your homes in an intentional way during the Easter Season. Adorn your home altar with white and gold, and add extra candles to your saint tables or on your mantle.

5. Pray the Regina Caeli

Attribution: US {PD} Diego Velázquez – Coronation of the Virgin – Prado

During the Easter Season the traditional Angelus, which is prayed at morning, noon, and evening, is replaced by the Regina Caeli. You may notice this prayer to Our Lady being sung or chanted at Mass. Make praying this Marion antiphon together as a family a habit during the Easter Season. Here is the text in english and a link where you can also find it in latin:

V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia. 
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia. 
V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia. 
R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia. 
R. For the Lord has 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.


6. Allow yourself to feast and celebrate

After the penances and fasting of Lent, it may seem over-indulgent to feast during the Easter season, but this is what the Church expects you to do! Living the Liturgical year actually provides a great deal of balance to one’s life, even right down to eating habits. As long as one exercises temperance and doesn’t cross the line to gluttony, liturgical seasons of celebration are meant for extra feasting and moderate indulgence. This is the time to enjoy the bigger slice of cake, the choice piece of steak, the extra large coffee, and the additional piece of chocolate. It’s the time to listen to (good) music, wear the comfy slippers, and bring beauty into your homes. Why? Because just as we mortify our senses during Lent and practice penances that should remind us that we need salvation and to repent, allowing our senses to feast during Easter, if we are rightly disposed, reminds us of the Heavenly Feast that awaits us because of the Resurrection.

However you decide to continue your Easter celebrating this season, let it be a time of joy and hope. Christ’s Resurrection from the dead makes possible our own resurrection one day, and this is a great cause for joy! Happy Easter!

Featured Image: {PD} US Public Domain: Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder (Dutch – Flower Still Life).