|The Paschal Icon: The Descent into Hell|
One of the more beautiful Catholic liturgical traditions (and useful if you are a procrastinator like I am!) is the octave. Easter and Christmas each have an octave -- sadly, Pentecost lost its octave after the Second Vatican Council -- that lasts for eight days. Eight being the number of super perfection (seven being the perfect number, It took God seven days to create the world, seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, seven corporal and spiritual works of mercy and of course, seven sacraments.
But it is on Easter, when , in the words of the Exsultet, Christ "broke the prison bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld" which is the dawning of the eighth day, when all is brought to fulfillment in the Resurrection of the Lord.
There is only Easter Sunday, but it lasts for eight days. Which is why, almost a week later, I am finally getting around to sharing Easter greetings with those of you reading this blog!
(In case you are wondering, the Easter greeting "Christ is Risen!" in the title of this post is in English, Spanish, Tagalog and Tlingit, all spoken by those who make up the Catholic Church in Southeast Alaska where I live.)