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A fifty day celebration

30 November, 1999

This is an extract from “Those Three Days: A resource for the celebration of the Easter Triduum”, by John McCann and Pat O’Donoghue. It highlights some suggestions for the fifty days between Easter and Pentecost.

The celebrations continue for fifty days
The earliest Christian references to ‘Pentecost’ use it to refer not so much to the fiftieth day (now Pentecost Sunday) as to the whole fifty days of Easter.  They are, in a sense, one big long Easter Sunday.  This is reflected, for example, in the name given to the Sundays after Sunday: no longer are they called ‘Sundays after Easter’, but ‘Sundays of Easter’.  The readings throughout this season from the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel according to John reflect brightly the light of the Resurrection.  Some thought might be given to finding various of keeping the sense of festivity alive:

  • The paschal candle is kept lighting at all liturgies. After Pentecost Sunday it is removed to the baptistry and only appears in the sanctuary thereafter for funerals.
  • Look at how the church building is decorated.
  • Replace the penitential rite with the blessing and sprinkling of water on Sundays.
  • Consider singing the Gloria more often during this season.
  • Be more lavish in your use of traditional liturgical signs: candles, incense, music, etc.
  • This is the ideal time for communion under both kinds.
  • Plan an ‘Easter Garden’, either inside the church (but away from the altar) or outside.


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