Not a day but a whole season: Eastertide, the Feast of Resurrection. And so we live in the joy of the great 50 Days that will culminate on Pentecost. We mark these days in several ways at St. Paul's.
1. We substituted the Kyrie litany (943) for the Kyrie in the Divine Service
2. We substitute Splendor and Honor (950) as the Hymn of Praise in the Divine Service (mega cool when the bells accompany the organ and the singing!)
3. We substitute the joyous Celtic Alleluia (951) for the Alleluia in the Divine Service, and the alleluia is lengthened as the gradual is omitted
4. We stand to receive our Lord's body and blood (we normally kneel for the Eucharist).
5. We keep singing Easter hymns all through the 50 Days, including our closing hymn: "He Is Arisen, Glorious Word!"
6. We bump up the chanting - all collects, the Preface, and the Our Father.
7. The paschal candle burns like a pillar of fire beside the Altar (until we move it to the Font again at Ascension, but we keep it lit through the day of Pentecost)
All these changes help mark the days as a time of overflowing joy and celebration when the light of a new creation, breaking forth out of the darkness of the grave, beams with gladdening rays into this sad and broken world. There is a hope beyond all disappointments and grief. The days of Easter are the days when we feel most at home. If the joy of Christmas is that God made His home with us; the joy of Easter is that He has opened the way for us to make our home with Him! "When You had overcome the sharpness of death, You opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers." During these days we bask in the light that streams from that open door. Sins forgiven, death destroyed, fears banished, joys overflowing - who could not love these holy days?