The fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost are celebrated in joy as one feast day, indeed as one great Sunday! These are the days above all others in which the Alleluia is sung.
The first eight days of the Season are called the
Octave of Easter
, during which the liturgy presents the preaching of the apostles who were witnesses to the resurrection. These eight days are celebrated as Solemnities. At Mass, the Gloria is sung or recited, and the double Alleluia is added to the dismissal and its response.
(the Paschal Victim) is sung at the mass of Easter Sunday.
The entire Easter Season should be a special time to pray for the newly baptized (neophytes).
Throughout the fifty-day season, the Pascal (Easter) Candle—a symbol of the presence of the risen Christ among His people—is given a prominent place in the sanctuary—near the altar or ambo. It is lighted for all liturgical services and remains in the sanctuary until Evening Prayer of Pentecost. The paschal candle is decorated with the following symbols:
- The Cross: the symbol of our faith and salvation.
- Five wax nails: Reminders of the five wounds of our Lord.
- The Greek letters for Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, recall that Christ, who referred to himself in this way, was present at creation (the beginning) and will come as Judge at the end of time.
- The Year of our Lord: 2015, denotes the year in which the candle was blessed.
- The Flame: This, of course, is the principal symbolism of the candle—the risen Christ is the Light of the World.
- "Alleluia," a Hebrew acclamation meaning "Praise the Lord."
A vessel containing water blessed at the Solemn Easter Vigil could be put in a suitable place in church, available for the faithful.
The liturgical color used during Eastertide is white, denoting light, purity, joy, triumph, and glory.
During the Easter Season, the traditional noon and evening prayer of the Angelus is replaced by the Regina Coeli.
Order of Prayer, 2013 (Paulist Press)