Nope, we’re not wishing you a belated Easter. Instead, we’re wishing you a happy Easter season. Easter isn’t just one day of celebration! As Catholics, we celebrate the joy and beauty of Easter for fifty days.
Yep, you read that right. Fifty days.
So how can you continue the feast of Easter, especially when you’re in lock down mode due to Coronavirus?
There are countless restrictions on what our daily lives look like right now. However, there are no restrictions on the amount of Easter joy we can have in our hearts as we celebrate the risen Lord!
Looking for a few, simple ways to celebrate the Easter Octave while you’re in lock down mode? Check out these ideas.
1. Serve others
Works of corporal and spiritual mercy are a beautiful way to remember the greatest act of Love Christ showed us by dying and rising from the dead.
But these acts of service look a lot different these days. You can’t go volunteer at many of the places you could have last year at this time. But you can still serve those around you with a heart of joy!
Maybe it’s making a special breakfast, reading your child’s favorite book one more time, or checking in on a neighbor to make sure everything is okay. Whatever it looks like, make time to joyfully serve others during this Easter season.
2. Pray at the hour of Divine Mercy
On Good Friday, we recall the hour of mercy (3pm) where Christ offered his life for our sins and opened wide the gates of Heaven. But we can remember the hour of mercy all throughout the Easter season!
You can pray the Divine Mercy chaplet, read the diary of Saint Faustina, or bow your head at 3pm to remember the gift that Christ gave us that gives us a reason to celebrate Easter.
3. Decorate your home
You can’t go on a Hobby Lobby shopping spree, but you can be intentional with the way you decorate your home during the Easter season! Maybe you can create a backyard flower bouquet using what you have. Or you can cut out a banner from printer paper and hang it with whatever you have around.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to rival Instagram’s best-decorated Easter home posts. Simply enjoying decorating for decorating’s sake.
4. Start a novena
There are fifty days of Easter, which leaves a lot of room for praying a few nine day novenas! Some that start during the Easter season include:
- The Divine Mercy Novena
- St Gianna Beretta Molla Novena
- St. Peregrine Novena
- Our Lady of Fatima Novena
- St Rita of Cascia Novena
But you can also pray any novena you like over the course of any nine days. So ask the Lord if he’s asking you to grow close to any particular saint or devotion this Easter season and listen for his answer!
5. Say the word “Alleluia” a LOT
We couldn’t say “Alleluia” for forty days. So now, let’s make up for lost time and say it over and over. Say it in prayer, or in daily conversation with friends and family. Whether you’re whispering it in the quiet of your heart or shouting it from your rooftop, let’s celebrate the fact that Christ is risen. Alleluia!
6. Make space for holy leisure
Let’s face it, many of us thrive while being busy. So during the Easter season (and beyond!) make room for holy leisure.
Enjoy the company of the people you’re living with. Read a good book. Watch a movie and have a meaningful discussion about it afterward. Whatever brings you genuine and holy joy, take part in it during this season of celebration.
7. Treat yourself
We fast during Lent so we can enter more fully into the feast of Easter. So if you gave up sweets, eat your dessert first! If you gave up coffee, make a really good cup of coffee to enjoy out on your back deck in the morning. Cold showers make up your morning routine during Lent? Savor the comfort of a warm shower.
It’s these little things that bring us joy throughout this time of lock down.
Now, if you gave up something that is a vice, don’t pick that up with renewed fervor. Anger, pride, envy, and the like should be left behind. But you can rejoice knowing that the war is already won! Jesus has conquered death and sin and calls you to enter into a new life. So enter into this new life and strive for virtue with your whole heart.
8. Light some candles
Starting with the Easter fire at Easter Vigil, this is a season of light. So let your home reflect that as you celebrate the Easter season at home. Pull out the candles and light them throughout your house.
Remember, Pentecost (the official end of the Easter season) is the birthday of the Catholic Church. So make sure some of the candles you light are the birthday candles on a Pentecost cake!