What is Easter Octave?

What is Easter Octave?easter octave 2

The Easter Octave is the eight days of celebration of the Catholic Church, from Easter Sunday to the Sunday following it, which is the Divine Mercy Sunday. The Church celebrates the Easter Octave with high importance to emphasize the greatness and solemnity of Easter, above all other feasts in the liturgical calendar.

The days following Easter Sunday are properly called Easter Monday, Easter Tuesday, Easter Wednesday, Easter Thursday, Easter Friday, Easter Saturday and that next Sunday, the Divine Mercy Sunday. The Divine Mercy Sunday is placed appropriately after Easter Sunday to remind us that, indeed, Divine Mercy is a precious gift we received from Easter, after Jesus had risen and triumphantly overcome the power of sin and death for us. The marks of wounds He received by the nails that pierced His palms is a picture most notable and particular to the Divine Mercy.

 

The Easter Octave liturgy

During the Easter Octave, the liturgy is also made more special by the singing or recitation of Gloria, and at the end of the mass, the double Alleluia is sung by the priest followed by the faithful.

The readings during the Octave of Easter are about Jesus’ appearance to His disciples, including the following:

  • Jesus’ very touching encounter with Mary Magdalene at the tomb (John 20:11-18)
  • Jesus’ extraordinary revelation to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)
  • Jesus’ appearing in the midst of His disciples greeting them with “Peace be with you!” (Luke 24:36-48)
  • Jesus’ appearance to the disciples by the Sea of Galilee where there was a miraculous catch of fish (John 21:1-14)
  • Jesus appearing to Thomas removing His doubt (John 20:19-31)
In the Gospel Acclamation, we use this verse from Psalm 118:24 during the Octave of Easter:
 
Alleluia, alleluia! This day was made by the Lord: we rejoice and are glad. Alleluia! 
The Easter Octave is a time to continuously live and recall the goodness of God who have made such a great day of rejoicing possible for us! 
Points for Reflection: 
Jesus’ conquered sin and death once and for all by his resurrection. That is why we have the celebration of the great feast of Easter. By His rising again, Jesus made us all Easter people. For everyone who believes in this great mystery of our redemption, eight days will not be enough to be joyful and thankful.
Am I an Easter person? Do I constantly celebrate the day of my salvation? Do I radiate the joy of being especially loved by God even while I live my busy life at home or at work?
 
Read more on the Divine Mercy Sunday, Easter Sunday reflections and the Easter Message of Pope Francis 2016.

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