Our fifty days of celebration of the Easter Season continues. Citing St. Athanasius, the Norms of the Liturgical Year decrees that the fifty days of this season “are celebrated in joyful exultation as one feast day, or better as one ‘great Sunday’.”
Drawing on Tertullian, Augustine, and other Church Fathers , the early Christians did not conceive of these days as a “time after” (Easter Sunday) or “time between” (Easter and Pentecost) but rather as a lengthy celebration of “rejoicing in the resurrection, ascension, conferral of the Spirit, and founding of the church. The early Christian Community understood these events not as separate episodes succeeding each other in time, but as different facets of one and the same mystery of Jesus’ exaltation as Lord.”
In our region of the country, Easter corresponds with the arrival of spring. As we experience the gradual warming of temperatures and the blooming of springtime flowers, we are experiencing the resurrection. This year in particular, as more people become vaccinated, we see new life in the rising of people into our community again after a long time of confinement and isolation. This too is a sign of resurrection for us.
In addition, the season of Easter is a time for the celebration of other important sacraments. It is a time of year when many people receive the Sacraments of Initiation, that is, Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
We have already celebrated the Sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist for two of our adult candidates at the Easter Vigil. Next weekend we will celebrate the First Eucharist with our young people at the 11:00 Mass, May 1st. On Pentecost Sunday June 5th, a number of our young adults will be confirmed by Bishop Fisher at the Cathedral.
In addition to these sacraments our young people who have completed the preparation for the Sacrament of Penance will celebrate the forgiveness God offers us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Saturday morning April 30th.
Please continue to pray for these people as they celebrate the gift of our faith this Easter season.
In addition to all these wonderful celebrations, the Diocese of Buffalo is celebrating its 175th anniversary with a special Mass at the Cathedral next Sunday, May 1, 2022 at 3:00PM.
The Diocese was established on April 23, 1847. Until this time the diocese was part of the Diocese of New York. On this day the Diocese of New York was divided into two other Diocese, Buffalo being one of them and Albany being the other. The Buffalo Diocese included what is now the Diocese of Rochester and portions of Northern New York.