Sunday, March 23, 2008


Easter, which begins this Season, is the greatest Feast of the year for Christ is risen! The alleluia, which was omitted from the Mass since Septuagesima, returned at Vespers on Holy Saturday, and is now heard after every Introit, Antiphon verse, and Response. The Vidi Aquam replaces the Aspèrges, and the Regina Coeli replaces the Angelus. The Paschal candle remains lit in the Sanctuary until Ascension Thursday, and like the Christ Candle during the Twelve Days of Christmas, we have a Paschal Candle in our homes, too, until the Ascension (see the page on Easter Sunday for more on the Paschal Candle).

...and the Lenten fast is over!

During this Season, we are obliged to receive the Eucharist to fulfill the Church precept that we receive the Eucharist at least once a year. During Lent, most of us have already fulfilled the precept to go to Confession at least once a year, but if we haven't, we can do that now.

During the Octave of Easter, we greet each other (and even answer our telephones) with the triumphant "Christus resurrexit!" (Christ is risen!) to which comes the response "Et apparuit Simoni, alleluia" (and appeared unto Simon, alleluia!). This joyous greeting totally crystallizes the mood of this season. This triumphant attitude is also shown by the replacing of the Angelus with the Regina Coeli throughout Paschaltide.
A note on terminology: The word "Easter" is actually a word rooted in the name either of an alleged Teutonic goddess (Eostre) or, more probably, from the name "Eostur" meaning the "season of rising" and indicating springtime. It is only used in the English language. It came into use because the month of April was known in Anglo-Saxon countries as easter-monadh, and Eastur became an old Germanic word meaning springtime. Other languages have different names for Easter -- "Pascha" (Latin and Greek), "Pasqua" (Italian), "Pascua" (Spanish), "Paschen" (Dutch), Pasg (Welsh), etc. -- all of which derives from the Hebrew word "Pesach" meaning "Passover." The point is that the claim that "Easter is a pagan holiday" because of the word "Easter" is ridiculous. The English word for it might have pagan origins deriving from Eostre and/or the word for springtime, but the Solemnity is rooted in the Old Testament Pesach which was fulfilled at the Crucifixion which gave us the fruits of the Resurrection. In addition, all the names for the days of the week are "pagan" in origin, too. Sunday is named for the Sun; Monday for the Moon; Tuesday for god Tiu, Wednesday for Woden, Thursday for Thor, Friday for Freya, and Saturday for Saturn, so anyone who balks at celebrating "Easter" because of its "pagan origins" had better not refer to the days of the week by their English names!
From Fish Eaters

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