“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)

Easter Sunday is, quite simply, the most important celebration in its calendar.

Though Christmas and Good Friday are both essential, the hope and strength of the Christian faith rests on the fact that Jesus did not stay in the grave. The gospels proclaim it, and St. Paul explains it in his letter to the church in Corinth.

As (the women) entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.'” (Mark 16:5-6)

“And if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is in vain and your faith is in vain….
Look, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When this perishable body puts on imperishability and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:

“Death has been swallowed up in victory.
“Where, O death, is your victory?

“Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:14; 51-55)

Easter Sunday ushers in 50 days of celebration known as Eastertide or the Easter Season, which culminates on the day of Pentecost. These 50 days account for the period after Jesus’ resurrection to his ascension, when “he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God…” (Acts 1:3) and the ten days between Jesus’ ascension and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, which means 50th.