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Days of Easter Season: Easter is a Season of Holy Days, Not a Single Holiday

By

Crucifix
Daniel Sambraus

Easter Season:


In Christianity, Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus, which Christians believe happened three days after he was buried. Easter is not an isolated holiday: it is the culmination of the season of Lent, which lasts 40 days, and begins the season of Pentecost, which lasts 50 days. Because of this, Easter is a holiday which stands at the center of the Christian liturgical calendar and serves as a focal point for numerous other celebrations, commemorations, and vigils. Read More...

Ash Wednesday & Easter:


Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent and falls somewhere between February 4th and March 11th, 6 1/2 weeks before Easter. Early in Christian history the length of Lent varied, but in the 7th century it was fixed at 40 days as a reminder of the 40 days Jesus fasted in the desert. Christians are expected to engage in both fasting and abstinence on this date. Read More...

Clean Monday & Easter:


Clean Monday is the Monday that begins the season of Great Lent in Eastern Orthodox Churches. This corresponds to the season of Lent found in Western Christendom, although the periods of these two seasons are calculated differently. Both use a period of 40 days between the beginning and end of Lent, but whereas Western Christendom doesn’t count Sundays because Jesus is recorded as having resurrected on a Sunday, Eastern Orthodox churches to count Sundays. Read More...

Feast of the Annunciation & Easter:


In Christianity, the “Annunciation” refers to the announcement of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. This event is celebrated every year as the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25th. Because of its proximity to the spring equinox, the Feast of the Annunciation is effectively a Christian celebration of one of the four “Quarter Days” celebrated in ancient pagan and nature religions. Read More...

Palm Sunday & Easter:


Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday, is the first day of Holy Week which ends with Easter the following Sunday. It commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem prior to being crucified a few days later. Actual ceremonies typically include a procession of palm fronds which are blessed and will later be burned, their ashes to be used in the next year’s Ash Wednesday. Read More...

Lent & Easter:


Lent is the penitential period of 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter. The name lent is a Germanic word which was originally used to refer to the spring season generally. Over time, however, it came to be used to replace the Latin term quadragesima, which means “forty days.” According to biblical accounts, Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days of fasting, meditation and reflection before beginning his ministry. Read More...

Pentecost & Easter:


Probably derived originally from a harvest festival among the Canaanites, Petecost (Greek for “fifty days”) was a festival among the ancient Hebrews which came exactly fifty days after passover. In later Jewish literature it was sometimes claimed that it commemorated the anniversary of Moses' receiving the Law at Mt. Sinai. The Jewish term for this day is Shavuot. Read More...

Whit Sunday & Easter:


Whit Sunday is a Christian holiday during Pentecost, the 50 days following Easter (it originally coincided with the Jewish feast of Shavuot). It falls on the first Sunday after Easter. Although this date is rarely observed today, during the Middle Ages Christians would often celebrate for up to an entire week. Many forms of celebration, for example the use of a May Pole, indicate that this date was used to incorporate various pagan celebrations and traditions. Read More...

Holy Week & Easter:


Holy Week is the final week of Lent. It begins with Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday, and ends with Easter Sunday. During this week Christians are expected to devote time to the study of the passion of Jesus Christ - his suffering, his death, and his eventual resurrection which is commemorated on Easter. Read More...

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday, also called Holy Thursday, is the Thursday before Easter and the date during Holy Week to commemorate both Judas’ betray of Jesus and Jesus’ creation of the rite of Eucharist during the Last Supper. Early Christians celebrated it with a general communion taken by both the clergy and lay members of the church and marked the date for penitents have have a public reconciliation with the community. Read More...

Good Friday

Good Friday is the Friday before Easter and the date during Holy Week when Christians do penance and commemorate the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The earliest evidence of Christians engaging in fasting and penance on this date can be traced back to the second century - a time when many Christians celebrated every Friday as a feast day in remembrance of Jesus’ death. Read More...

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is the day before Easter and is the date during Holy Week when Christians engage in preparations for Easter services. Early Christians normally fasted during the day and participated in an all-night vigil before a baptism of new Christians and celebratory Eucharist at dawn. In the Middle Ages many Holy Saturday events were transferred from the nighttime vigil to dawn services on Saturday. Read More...

Lazarus Saturday
Lazarus Saturday is a part of the Easter celebrations of the Eastern Orthodox Church and commemorates the time when Jesus is believed to have raised Lazarus from the dead, signalling Jesus’ powers over life and death. It is the only time during the year that the resurrection service is celebrated on a different day of the week. Read More...

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