I re-discovered this year why Easter is a feast. There was such abundance in my celebration, starting with the rich symbols and rituals of the Vigil service on Saturday night. It began outside with a blazing fire that left all of us reeking of wood smoke, and continued with the gradual accumulation of light in the church as the flame from the Paschal Candle was passed from one person to the next. The readings from the Old Testament told of God’s creative and liberating power. The alleluias burst forth in song, and the Gospel proclaimed Christ risen from the dead. The water of Baptism flowed freely and all gave thanks for the blessing of newly-initiated members into our church family. I went to bed feeling inspired by the beauty of our liturgical life.
The next morning my family gathered at my sister’s home for brunch. Not only was the food abundant and delicious, but so was the laughter that rippled out from our storytelling. I closed the day with a prayer of gratitude for the festive nature of Easter and all that I experienced over the course of the weekend.
Someone once told me that, at one time, the Church forbade fasting during the Easter liturgical season. I can’t verify this, but believe it must be true. If Lent is a season for fasting, Easter is the polar opposite. The seven weeks that stretch from the Sunday celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord to the vibrant festival of Pentecost are meant for raucous praise and unending gratitude. What better way to celebrate than to immerse ourselves in the gracious gifts that God bestows upon us through the sharing of food, family, and faith? The Easter weekend was just the beginning. Christ has risen! Let the feasting continue!
Look ahead on your class or family calendar. Note the different opportunities for continuing the Easter festival through the celebration of church, family, and community events.
Download my calendar cards for Keeping the Easter Feast and use it in your home or catechetical sessions throughout the Easter season.