It's Not Over Until The Big Candle Moves!

Today is the 4th Sunday of the seven-week season of Easter Time. It is still obvious in our church environment and liturgies that Easter is not over but something that we continue to celebrate. Several special features of Easter Time liturgies are different from the rest of the year and serve to remind us of the joyous Easter Vigil.
The central Easter Vigil symbols of water and light are used throughout the fifty days of the Easter season.  The paschal candle is placed near the ambo or altar until Pentecost and is lit during liturgical celebrations to remind us that Christ is indeed our light.  After Pentecost evening prayer, it is placed next to the font for the rest of the year.
The use of the rite of sprinkling is very appropriate now as it is a tangible reminder of the Vigil and initiation.  This is especially evident in the form of the blessing set down for Easter Time:
May this water be for us a memorial of the Baptism we have received,
and grant that we may share in the gladness of our brothers and sisters
who at Easter have received their Baptism.

The baptismal font may be highlighted by placing it near the entry to the worship space or in the centre of the assembly if moveable, or by decorating it with greenery if not.

White or gold, the colour of Easter, is another key symbol of this time of joyous celebration. Vestments, banners and decorations of gold and/or white are used throughout this period until the red of Pentecost appears.

The Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer nearly always begins

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

During Easter Time this changes to

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
at all times to acclaim you, O Lord,
but in this time above all to laud you yet more gloriously,
when Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.

The document on the liturgical year says that the fifty days of the Easter season are “the days for the singing of the Alleluia”.  Easter Time presents us with great reasons to greet the gospel with special joy in song.  If ever eucharistic acclamations were to be shouts of joy, it is now!  The hymns of the Easter season liturgies are filled with alleluia and praise as the Church proclaims the hope of resurrection.

The Solemn Blessing for Easter Time sends us forth as Easter people to bring joy, freedom and hope to the world.

May God, who by the Resurrection of his Only Begotten Son
was pleased to confer on you the gift of redemption and of adoption,
give you gladness by his blessing.
May he, by whose redeeming work
you have received the gift of everlasting freedom,
make you heirs to an eternal inheritance.
And may you, who have already risen with Christ in Baptism through faith,
by living in a right manner on this earth,
be united with him in the homeland of heaven.

Elizabeth Harrington