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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
"We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus." (Romans 6:9-11)
Happy Easter! The word "Easter" comes from Old English, meaning the "East." The sun, which rises in the East, "bringing light, warmth and hope, is a symbol for the Christian of the rising Christ, who is the true light of the world." This year Easter Sunday is celebrated on April 21. The greatest of all liturgical seasons, Easter is a time to rest in "the joy of glorified life and the victory over death, expressed most fully in the great resounding cry of the Christian: Alleluia!" I The Exsultet: The Proclamation of Easter
"The word, 'Pascha,' or 'Pasch,' comes from the Greek word for the 'Passover.' The early Christians used the word to describe the resurrection of Jesus as the Christian Passover. Today, we sometimes refer to the death and resurrection of Jesus as the Paschal Mystery, which is derived from the word, 'Pasch.' Orthodox Christians still use the word, 'Pascha' when referring to Easter. Learn more from Our Sunday Visitor.
The proclamation of Easter does not end with Easter Sunday: That is only the beginning. The Easter season, known as Easter Time, is celebrated for 50 days. It culminates with the celebration of Jesus' ascension into heaven, and Pentecost, which marks the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and birthday of the Church. The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is Thursday, May 30, but since it is a moveable feast, it is transferred in many dioceses, including the Diocese of Little Rock, to Sunday, June 2. Pentecost will be celebrated Sunday, June 9.
The "Via Lucis" ("Way of Light") is a meditation on 14 stations that begin with Jesus rising from the dead and conclude with the celebration of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. It was developed in 1988 and has become a popular devotion during the Easter Season. Unlike the Stations of the Cross, this mediation, also known as the Stations of the Resurrection, are all based on events recorded in Scripture. See this guide on how to pray these stations.
We hope the following resources help you get the most from this joyous season of victory over death.
What is the Easter Vigil? — The biblical themes of light removing darkness and life overcoming death runs through the entire Mass, which consists of four main parts: the Service of Light, the Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of Baptism and Liturgy of the Eucharist.
"Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?" — The resurrection of Jesus is the be-all and end-all of the Christian faith. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, all bishops, priests and ministers should go home and get honest jobs, and all the faithful should leave their churches immediately, because Christianity is a fraud and a joke. As Paul himself put it: “If Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain.”
Easter Symbols and Food — Among the popular Easter symbols, the lamb is by far the most significant of this great feast. The Easter lamb represents Christ with the flag of victory. The origin of the Easter egg is based on the fertility lore of the Indo-European races. To our pre-Christian ancestors it was a most startling event to see a new and live creature emerge from a seemingly dead object.
Tradition of Blessing Easter Baskets and Easter Lilies — In many cultures, families bring food that will be eaten on Easter Sunday to church in a basket for a special blessing on Holy Saturday. The tradition of decorating with Easter lilies came into practice in the 1800s. The white flower is a symbol of purity and new life that heralds the resurrection of Jesus.