party on…

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! Christos Anesti! Alethos Anesti!

Angnolo Bronzino c. 1552

Easter isn’t over. In fact, Eastertide is a period lasting fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. So no, it’s not back to liturgical life as normal. There is still some significant partying to be done. Divine Mercy Sunday, the Ascension and a plethora of saints are all celebrated before the season officially ends on Pentecost.

I’ve often heard others describe Catholics as people who mourn their faith. Seriously. I’ve actually heard this repeated multiple times. I wonder how many Catholics they actually know because they truly know nothing about our liturgical calendar or our faith to make such a bizarre statement. Yes, bizarre. We party harder, for longer, and more frequently than most protestants whose holidays last a single day. I guarantee you, all those Christmas trees you see tossed out for the trash on December 26th where not put there by Catholics.

I think people may assume we are a mournful lot because we embrace suffering, celebrate the death of saints, admire martyrs, venerate relics and other stuff that can be misconstrued as macabre. We are appropriately mournful when the time calls for it, like Good Friday or when we are sorry for our sins.

This is a healthy ebb or flow of temperament. I find protestant religions that rely heavily on that “good feeling” throughout the entire year to fall into a sort of apathetic sense of false contentment. I’ve often wondered how you appreciate joy if you don’t have the pain of suffering which to measure from. If Christ is always resurrected then really how awesome is the day commemorating His actual resurrection?

So you see, we appreciate more and celebrate with a greater intensity because we mourn when the situation calls for it. Lent can be emotionally draining, long and painful, with 40 days of penance and fasting. We are half starved and cranky. Then we have Easter! Our Lord has risen and you won’t find a more spiritually and physically famished group of people than Catholics ready to sing Alleluia and celebrate over a rack of lamb.

Happy Eastertide, all. The partying doesn’t stop here.

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  • Patricia

    Great post!  Happy Bright Week! And in the Catholic East we celebrate Christ’s Glorious Resurrection with no kneeling until Pentecost & keeping the royal doors of the iconostasis open wide during the Divine Liturgy (symbolizing the gates of heaven flung open wide by Christ).  

    As for single-day Protestant holidays…perhaps not even that…
    Being that Christmas 2011 fell on a Sunday, several Protestant churches in our town had signs outside reading something to the effect of:  “JESUS is the Reason for the Season! No services this Sunday in honor of Christmas”   HUH???

    • LindaJ

      I know, how crazy is that???