Thoughts from Lori+, April 23, 2014

Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

That is our traditional Easter greeting throughout the season of Easter, whether in church or when we meet on the street. And “throughout the season of Easter” is the key. For all of the branches of Christendom that are more closely related to our catholic roots such as ourselves, Easter Day is the beginning of The Great Fifty Days; that is, the 40 days between Easter and Ascension, plus the 10 days from Ascension to Pentecost. So Easter is far from over. It’s just begun!

There are several traditions that represent the season. We exchange that Easter greeting at the opening of every Eucharist; the liturgical color for the altar hangings and vestments is white (for the Resurrection); and the Paschal (or Christ) Candle is lighted during every service through the Day of Pentecost. Furthermore, it’s traditional to omit the Confession, and to stand, not only for the Prayers of the People, but also for the Great Thanksgiving. These last two practices are ways to express our recognition that we have been and are forgiven, and that we are worthy to stand before God – not by our own virtue, but by the virtue and sacrifice of Christ on our behalf.

Like our long winter, Lent is over, and the spring of the Resurrection is upon us. Of course this is our reality always, but we live out the drama year after year to be reminded. And at the end of The Great Fifty Days of Easter and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we will once again be reminded of the power of the Spirit in our lives. This is what it means to be liturgical Christians; what it means to observe the church calendar. We experience the whole range of The Story. Our story.

Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!