A Guide for Easter Feasting

After the penitential season of Lent, it is time to celebrate! Easter is the most important season of the Church's liturgical year, but we often don't know how to celebrate.
A guide to feasting well

After the penitential season of Lent, it is time to celebrate! Easter is the most important season of the Church’s liturgical year, but we often don’t know how to celebrate. We can change that by gathering as a fraternity, including our family and other friends as well, to make the entire Easter season a time of rejoicing. Schedule at least one event during April to celebrate.

We are used to thinking of the spiritual life as giving things up or doing things that are hard, and it can seem foreign to think of the Christian life as celebratory, involving eating, drinking, music, dancing (of the traditional sort), and having fun. Celebration is a public expression of the joy of faith that draws us together to give thanks to God.

This is a biblical vision, as we see in Acts of the Apostles that as the early Christians were “breaking bread in their homes,” pointing to the Eucharist, they also “partook of food with glad and generous hearts, praising God” (Acts 2:46-47). Festivity extends the formal worship of the Church into culture, praising God through acts of communal celebration.

Fasting does prepare us for feasting. We let go of our attachments during penitential seasons so that we can enter festivity with a free heart and without excess. Festivity makes the right use of earthly things as a joyful act of praise, but it does not overindulge in them, falling back into domination by material things. There can be no genuine feasting without fasting first, as the two go hand and hand.

We can rediscover Easter festivity, extending it throughout the entire season. Normally, we wake up Easter Sunday to find candy in our Easter basket, go to Mass, and have a family dinner, but then everything is back to normal the next day. Easter is the greatest celebration of the Christian year, with an octave of solemnities and a season of fifty days, lasting even longer than Lent! We need to make these days different; we need to make them a big deal and show that by how we celebrate them.

Festivity requires a few things: 1) the right occasion, 2) a community, 3) a feast, and 4) good Christian fun. Festivity is not partying and is meant to express our joy on a holy day by taking time to give thanks and rejoice.

Easter 50 will help you to take advantage of the entire Easter season as a time of festivity. Now that we have the right occasion to celebrate and a community to celebrate with—our family and fraternity—all we need to do in addition is to plan times to feast and celebrate together. Put at least one date on the calendar during the month of April.

Here are some ideas for Easter festivity.

Build a fire. The Easter Vigil begins with a fire to represent the light of the Resurrection. Traditionally, Christians would light their own fire during the Easter season for the same reason, gathering around the light as a sign of how Christ’s light illumines the world. Praying with a candle during your daily prayer can also represent the light of the Resurrection.

Take a walk. The Resurrection brought about a renewal of the whole world. We can continue the past custom of walking in new Easter clothing and candles to sanctify the world in our own way. Enjoy spring weather to take a walk as a fraternity or as a family.

Enjoy laughter. The tradition of Easter laughter entailed gathering for stories and singing to soak in the joy of the season. We can celebrate with stories, music, games, and other forms of recreation.

Eat and drink. Host a festive meal in the Easter season as a fraternity with family and friends. Make 

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