Resurrection cross tulip Easter. Photo credit: udra11 Shutterstock CNA
Washington D.C., Apr 18, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Chocolate bunnies and marshmallow Peeps have graced the shelves of U.S. stores for weeks in anticipation of Easter, but now that the actual Easter Season has begun, how should Catholics observe it?
“We cannot, as Christians, walk out of Easter liturgy and wash our hands of the business. Our life is forever changed, and it can never be what it was, if we believe that a man has walked out of the tomb,” said Fr. Hezekias Carnazzo, director of the Institute of Catholic Culture.
Easter Sunday begins the liturgical season of Easter, which continues through the celebration of the Ascension to Pentecost Sunday, 50 days in all. Each day of the Octave of Easter, the first eight days of the season, is a solemnity and ends on the Second Sunday of Easter, or Divine Mercy Sunday.
The Easter Triduum follows the 40-day penitential season of Lent, which is marked by penance, prayer, and almsgiving.
However, once the Triduum is over and Catholics cast off their Lenten penances, what comes next? Was Lent just one big detox program, and is the Easter Season a marathon of steak dinners, chocolate eggs, Netflix binges and bigger bar tabs, while practices of daily Mass and prayer are neglected?
Not so, said liturgical experts, who stressed that Catholics can both celebrate Easter and also grow in their spiritual life.