Proclaim Paschal Joy: Live Liturgically in the Easter Season

As we swap 40 days of fasting for 50 days of feasting, let’s be intentional in our celebration of the Resurrection.

Christ is risen! May we proclaim that joyous message in our celebrations.
Christ is risen! May we proclaim that joyous message in our celebrations. (photo: ‘THE RISEN CHRIST,’ AMBROGIO DE STEFANO BORGOGNONE, 1510; Unsplash)

Our Lord is not dead, but alive! And we live to tell this glorious truth. Likely, Lent has felt long. In fact, I hope it has. Penance is no small task. But all of this — the aching, the falling, the getting back up — doesn’t end in death. And that is a glory worth proclaiming.

If we deck the halls when Our Lord is born, how much more should we elevate this feast? This season marks the single greatest reality of our Catholic faith: that by his death and resurrection, we have been freed. If these words have become stale to you because you have heard them many times, use this season to rekindle your wonder and awe. As we swap 40 days of fasting for 50 days of feasting, let’s be intentional in our celebration. Here are some ideas:

 

Give Words to Your Hope

“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks for a reason for your hope” (1 Peter 3:15, NAB). 

This season is hope incarnate. This, Christ’s resurrection, is the reason that we hope. “We are the Easter people, and alleluia is our song!” (Pope St. John Paul II). Words have great power, and people are hungry for the truth. This season, find a bit of space in your daily prayer to express why you hope. And then, hopefully, you’ll be asked and be ready to explain your hope to others.

 

Gather and Be Merry

Easter, the oldest feast of the Church, is a wonderful time to bring together family, friends or neighbors in festivity. Host a party. Swing wide your hearts and doors and share in some good old-fashioned fellowship. 

Bring fresh flowers into every room, throw a breezy linen across your table, decorate Easter eggs, pull out those pretty napkins and fill that table to overflowing! Fill your mantel, and blare songs of praise. Put in the effort, and let your home proclaim the glory of the Risen King. It is only right and just to celebrate to the nines. After all, the One you seek is among the living.

 

Tap Into the Culture

Marrying a Middle Eastern man has expanded my culinary world. 

I’m moved to prayer as I crush chickpeas and drizzle olive oil. These very foods were served in Jesus’ time, in the region where he lived. When he sat down to eat, these foods would have covered the table. 

As I learn the traditions of Middle Eastern cooking, several things stand out: stunning colors, the meticulous presentation techniques passed from generations, and the sheer amount of chopping. Many of the dishes require foods to be chopped finely, which means lots of time hovering over a cutting board. But as I stand mincing garlic and zesting lemon, I am invited to lean into the very rhythm our Blessed Mother kept as she would have prepared these foods for her Son. With each slice, I am united to her, learning from her, becoming more like her.

This Easter season, consider trying a Mediterranean recipe yourself. As you practice these perhaps-new-to-you recipes, allow your kitchen to become a tiny Jerusalem.

 

Find Little Resurrections 

One of the most intimate ways I experience my faith and encounter Christ is through the natural world. The cycle of life and death is written into our hearts and bodies. But it is also written into our planet. Everywhere you look, you will see tiny deaths and beautiful risings. 

Where I live, the liturgical year seems to mimic nature. If Lent marches to the dirge of a dead winter, then Easter trumpets spring with tufts of green and hopeful blooms.

During these sacred 50 days, go outside for a “resurrection walk.” 

Listen for the birds. Step close to a tree or bush and admire a new bud, or a full-grown blossom, depending on where you live. 

In the natural realm you’re sure to find something that echoes the reality that from death comes life, and in unveiling that certainty, you can reflect on the greatest hope. 

As Catholics, we are careful to decide what we will give up for the 40 days of Lent. 

This Easter season, be just as determined to decide how you will celebrate, how you will reflect the glory of God, and how you will live his wondrous resurrection. 

“Alleluia: the cry that expresses paschal joy!”

Bridget McCartney Nohara writes 

from Ontario, Canada.