the easter octave
“with great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. and God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.”
The week right after a long Lent of fasting and abstinence is called The Easter Octave. It is a time of Feasting—not just on Easter Sunday but really all week long. The Easter Octave is the eight days from Easter to Divine Mercy Sunday. Before my life of dedicated Spiritual Fasting—I really didn’t partake in the Easter Octave. All I knew is that Lent was over and I could eat and drink again. But, that is just not the case!
I understand now that I can feast for this Easter Octave week but then keep delaying and praying all year long to bring about so many miracles in my family and beyond. This is so amazing! During the Easter Octave, each day is celebrated as a Little Easter. There is no need for fasting or delaying of any kind during these eight days. This is such great news, but don’t get in the drive-thru line just yet! Let me help you navigate what this truly means.
An Octave means an eight-day celebration, that is, the prolongation of a feast to the eighth day. The feast itself is considered the first day, and it is followed by six days called “days within the octave.” The eighth or octave day is kept with greater solemnity than the “days within the octave” (With Christ Through the Year by Bernard Strasser, 1947, p. 39).
There are only two Octaves during the Liturgical Year: Christmas and Easter. And, we have reached the Easter Octave—the greatest week of the Church year where Christ is risen. He suffered and died for us on Good Friday and on Easter he is risen—Jesus has conquered death and sin for us by his very death and resurrection. So, we celebrate for eight straight days.
That long stretch of Lent and delay, that suffering undertaken in preparation of our hearts and minds to meet Christ at the Cross is now a cause for this celebration this week and it was so worth it.
Because of adding fasting to my prayers, I have found that I must enter into all the Good Fridays of my life with Christ—right beside him on the cross, to celebrate with Him on all the little Easters on Sunday.
This is where the delay and pray continue all year round with the Eat, Fast, Feast Cycle. This is totally doable and so efficacious to bring the miracles we are so desperate for.
During the entire year we get to celebrate every Sunday as a Little Easter and every Solemnity that is on the Church Calendar is celebrated as well. This is what fasting does to your life—helps you actually live the Church Calendar all year long keeping your overeating and overdrinking in check. This is true freedom and holds great power through the Holy Spirit.