Eastertide (also called the Easter Season as well as Easter Time) or Paschaltide (also called the Paschal Season as well as Paschal Time) is a festal season in the liturgical year of the Episcopal Church and other churches that focuses on celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It begins on Easter Sunday, which initiates Easter Week in Western Christianity and Bright Week in Eastern Christianity. There are several Eastertide customs across the Christian world, including sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church, and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb. The Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, traditionally decorates churches throughout Eastertide. Other Eastertide customs include egg hunting, eating special Easter foods and watching Easter parades.
Eastertide is the period of 50 days, spanning from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. It is celebrated as a single joyful feast, called the “great Lord’s Day”. Each Sunday of the season is treated as a Sunday of Easter, and, after the Sunday of the Resurrection, they are named Second Sunday of Easter, Third Sunday of Easter, etc. up to the Seventh Sunday of Easter, concluding with Pentecost Sunday.
Easter Sunday and Pentecost correspond to pre-existing Jewish feasts: The first day of Pesach (פסח) and the holiday of Shavu’ot (שבועות). In the Jewish tradition, the 49 days between these holidays are known as Counting of the Omer (ספירת העומר).
The first eight days constitute the Octave of Easter and are celebrated as solemnities of the Lord.
Since 2000, the Second Sunday of Easter is also called Divine Mercy Sunday. The name “Low Sunday” for this Sunday, once common in English, is now rarely used.
The solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated on the 40th day of Eastertide (a Thursday) and also celebrated on the following Sunday (the 43rd day of Eastertide). The nine days from that feast until the Saturday before Pentecost (inclusive) are days of preparation for the Holy Spirit the Paraclete, which inspired the form of prayer called a novena.
Paschal Tide is a season of joy. The color for the Office is white; the Te Deum and Gloria are recited every day. On Sundays the “Asperges” is replaced by the “Vidi Aquam” which recalls the solemn baptism of Easter eve. Prayers are said standing, not kneeling.
- From Wikipedia