celebrating 50 days of easter

Easter is more than just one day. In fact it's so important that it is it's own Liturgical Season, and the longest one at that! The Easter Season spans the fifty days from Easter Sunday through Pentecost Sunday. It begins with the celebration of the Easter Octave; the first eight days of the season. The Octave begins with Easter Sunday, and continues until the first Sunday after Easter; Divine Mercy Sunday. Each day of the Octave is treated like an extension of Easter because of their importance.

The readings during the Easter Octave convey the story of Jesus first appearing to his friends and disciples after the resurrection. They not only remind us of the importance of the resurrection, and what it means for all of us, but also teaches us important lessons about faith and the need to try to see Jesus in everyone.

This is also the period that Jesus tells his disciples to go out and proclaim the gospel to all. It concludes with Jesus' famous interaction with "Doubting Thomas" (John 20:19-31). Thomas, who wasn't present when Jesus first appeared to the other disciples, insists that if he can put his hands into Jesus' wounds he will believe as well. Jesus' answer gives us a glimpse at the patience and infinite love that God has for all of us, if only we open our minds and hearts to him.

Divine Mercy image

The Feast of the Ascension occurs 40 days after Easter and celebrates Jesus's return to God after being with his disciples after the resurrection (Acts 1:9-11).  It is a central element of our tradition and is included in the creed recited at mass each Sunday. It is also a Holy Day of Obligation and Catholics are required to go to Mass on that day. Traditionally this Feast day was held on Thursday, but some diocese have moved it to the following Sunday. Please check our Sacraments & Worship Times page, or that of your local parish, for more info.

Below you will find very short (about 2 min. and 8 min.), informative videos about Pentecost and the Feast of the Ascension. Have a very Blessed and Happy Easter!

"Pentecost in 2 minutes"

Bishop Baron on Why the Ascension Matters

Holy Cross Church 221 Plumtree Rd, Springfield, MA 01118