Easter Sunday is only the beginning!

A great fifty-day feast (known as “Eastertide,” “Easter Season,” or “Easter Time,” as well as “Paschaltide,” “Paschal Season,” or “Paschal Time”) kicks off on Easter Day. In the Church Year, this is quite literally fifty days of feasting.

Easter is the high point of the Church Year. So it makes sense that we would party for so long. After all, the main point of the whole gospel is to prepare us for an eternal celebration and feast.

This is reflected in the fact that our Lenten fast only lasts forty days (not including Sundays), while Easter is fifty days. Fasting will pass away, as Jesus said, but the Great Feast of the Lamb will last for ages of ages (a Hebrew into Greek idiom for eternity!).

So let the feasting begin!

Why fifty days of Easter Time?

Its actually quite simple. After the resurrection, Jesus spent forty days on earth before he ascended, and then there were ten more days after that before the Day of Pentecost.

(Click here to read other posts about Ascension.)

(Click here to read other posts about Pentecost.)

Luke writes in the first chapter of Acts that Jesus “presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.”

In chapter two, we find the followers of Jesus gathered for the Day of Pentecost, which actually means “fifty.” It happened during the Hebrew feast of Shavuot, which is why the followers of Jesus were gathering. The Hebrew festival was originally a harvest first fruits celebration, and later it had evolved into a commemoration of the giving of the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai. 

So the Great Fifty Days are a celebration of the Resurrection of Christ and all that means for us, leading to the launching of the Christian Church and its mission on Pentecost.

How do Christians Celebrate the Easter Season?

Easter Vigil, held sometime after dark on Holy Saturday evening, kicks off Easter. Easter Day Celebrations take place on Easter Sunday.

The Lectionary readings (Sunday Scriptures) during the following Sundays of Easter explore the post-resurrection appearances of Christ, and also the promise of a future resurrection.

We go back to a closed room in which Jesus suddenly appears…but Thomas isn’t there. He doubts. Jesus later appears to him. Poor Thomas, forever cast as “doubting” even though his doubts were a helpful thing that eventually led him to worship Jesus and say, “My Lord, and My God.”

Then we have breakfast with Jesus and Peter. Peter had denied Jesus three times and, after the Resurrection, had returned to fishing. Jesus restores him and gives him a mission: “Feed my Sheep” and “Follow me.” (He also prophecies that Peter will be arrested and martyred. Tough breakfast conversation.)

We revisit Jesus’ teaching on himself and his mission as well. He is preparing his disciples, and us, to take the power of his Resurrection to the world.

Ascension Day falls on the 40th day, which always falls on a Thursday. Because this is a weekday, some churches observe or focus on the Ascension that following Sunday, the Seventh Sunday of Easter. In this we hear Jesus give us the Great Commission, our true Mission Statement.


Here are the Collects for Eastertide

Links go to “Collect Reflections.”

Easter Eve

O God, you made this most holy night to shine with the glory of the Lord’s resurrection: Stir up in your Church that Spirit of adoption which is given to us in Baptism, that we, being renewed both in body and mind, may worship you in sincerity and truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Easter Day

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may, by your life-giving Spirit, be delivered from sin and raised from death; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

or this

O God, who for our redemption gave your only begotten Son to die upon the Cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the devil and the power of death: Grant us grace to die daily to sin, that we may live with him in the joy of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.  Amen.

Monday of Easter Week

Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that we who celebrate with reverence the Paschal feast may be made worthy to attain to everlasting joys; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Tuesday of Easter Week

O God, who by the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light: Grant that we, who have been raised with him, may abide in his presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever.  Amen.

Wednesday of Easter Week

O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in the fullness of his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Thursday of Easter Week

Almighty God, you show those in error the light of your truth so that they may turn to the path of righteousness: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Friday of Easter Week

Almighty Father, who gave your only Son to die for our sins and to rise for our justification: Give us grace so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve you in purity of life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Saturday of Easter Week

Heavenly Father, you have delivered us from the dominion of sin and death, and brought us into the kingdom of your beloved Son: Grant that, as by his death he has called us to life, so by his love he may raise us to eternal joys; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Second Sunday of Easter

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Third Sunday of Easter

Almighty God, you gave your only Son to be for us both a sacrifice for sin and an example of godly living: Give us grace thankfully to receive his inestimable benefits, and daily to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Fourth Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd)

O God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd of your people: Grant that, when we hear his voice, we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Fifth Sunday of Easter

Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal glory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Sixth Sunday of Easter (Rogation)

O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week are the traditional Rogation Days.

Ascension Day

Almighty God, whose only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven: May our hearts and minds also there ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Sunday after the Ascension

O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting.  Amen.

Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday)

Almighty God, on this day, through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, you revealed the way of eternal life to every race and nation: Pour out this gift anew, that by the preaching of the Gospel your salvation may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

or this

O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of this week are the traditional summer Ember Days.


What is the “Greeting” for Easter Season?

We say “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Christmas!” but what about Easter? Does it have a greeting?

Yes, there is an ancient and universal greeting of celebration for Easter:

Greeting: Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Response: The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!

This is called the Paschal Greeting, or the Easter Acclamation. One of the reasons that we don’t say “Alleluia” in Lent is so that the impact of this acclamation will be that much greater.

So: Alleluia! Christ is risen!