Paschal Time


We give the name of Pascal Time to the period between Easter Sunday and the Saturday following Pentecost Sunday. It is the most sacred portion of the liturgical year, and the one towards which the whole cycle converges. We shall easily understand how this is, if we reflect upon the greatness of Easter, which is called the feast of feasts, and the solemnity of solemnities, in the same manner, says St. Gregory, as the most sacred part of the [Jewish] Temple was called the Holy of holies; and the book of sacred scripture, wherein are described the espousals between Christ and the Church, is called the Canticle of Canticles. It is on this day that the mission of the Word Incarnate attains the object towards which He has hitherto been tending: man is raised up from his fall and regains what he had lost by Adam’s sin.

Christmas gave us a Man-God; three days have scarcely passed since we have witnessed His infinitely
precious Blood shed for our ransom; but now on the day of Easter our Jesus is no longer the victim of death:
He is a conqueror, who destroys death, the child of sin, and proclaims life, that undying life which He has
purchased for us. The humiliation of His swathing bands, the sufferings of His agony and cross, these are
passed; all is now glory—glory for Himself, and glory also for us. On the day of Easter, God regains, by the
Resurrection of the Man-God, his creation such as He made at the beginning; the only vestige now left of
death is that likeness to sin which the Lamb of God deigned to take upon Himself. Neither is it Jesus alone
that returns to eternal life; the whole human race also had risen to immortality together with our Jesus. ‘By a
man came death,’ says the Apostle; ‘and by a Man the resurrection of the dead; and as in Adam all die, so
also in Christ all shall be made alive.

The anniversary of this Resurrection is, therefore, the great day, the day of joy, the day par excellence; the day to which the whole year looks forward in expectation, and on which its whole economy is formed. But as it is the holiest of days—since it opens to us the gate of Heaven, into which we shall enter because we have risen together with Christ—the Church would have us come to it well prepared by bodily mortification and by compunction of heart. It was for this that she instituted the fast of Lent, and that she bade us, during Septuagesima, look forward to the joy of her Easter, and be filled with sentiments suitable to the approach of so grand a solemnity. We obeyed; we have gone through the period of our preparation; and now the Easter sun has risen upon us!

“In this glorious Season of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, know of my prayers, and especially the remembrance of you and your intentions during Holy Mass and the Divine Office.”

Taken from “The Liturgical Year” by Dom Prosper Gueranger, OSB