The Feast of the Ascension, also called Ascension Thursday, follows 40 days after Easter Sunday and is a Holy Day of Obligation. The Feast of the Ascension is probably treated in many places today as one of the ho-hum feast days, but historically it was a major feast (thus, its status as a holy day of obligation). In order to think of it and treat it with the same reverence as Christians of days past, it helps to reflect on it more deeply.
Painting Easter eggs is a beloved ancient tradition for Eastern Catholic churches as well as Orthodox. The eggs are often dyed red to represent the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross.
The Easter eggs are then blessed by the priest at the end of the Easter vigil and distributed to the faithful. The shell of the egg represents the sealed Tomb of Christ, and cracking the shell represents Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Historically, Christians would also abstain from eating eggs during a strict Lent, so Easter was the first chance to eat eggs again after a long period of abstinence. In some cultures it is also common to paint wooden Easter eggs and hand them out as gifts to friends and family.
Because receiving God’s saving grace through the Sacraments is something to be celebrated, everyone coming into the Church should receive a keepsake or a memento of the special occasion (especially from their sponsors and any Catholic family members). Preferably something that will help them to grow in their faith as new Catholics. Every new convert should have that sacramental, whether it be a crucifix, a rosary, or a prayer book, that they can look at with gratefulness and say, “I received this gift when I became Catholic.” It will always be a reminder for them of all the graces they received that helped bring them home to the Catholic Church.
One recent account of a scientifically analyzed Eucharistic Miracle was witnessed by our own Pope Francis while he was Cardinal Bergoglio. We’ve included two accounts for you below, a blog article written about the miracle as well as a YouTube video by one of the witnesses. Hopefully reading and viewing these accounts will deepen your awe and reverence when receiving Holy Communion, and also encourage you to spend more time in Eucharistic Adoration.
Holy Week is the most sacred week in Christianity, the pinnacle of the liturgical year, even more sacred than Christmas. Holy Week commemorates the final week of Our Lord’s life, the reason for which Christmas happened.
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, when Jesus made his final entrance into Jerusalem, and culminates with Easter Sunday. As Holy Week progresses to its final days the solemnity heightens.