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|This article forms part of the series on the |
|Liturgy of the Preparation|
|Liturgy of the Word|
|Great Litany |
Litany of Fervent Supplication
Litany for the Departed
Litany of the Catechumens
|Liturgy of the Eucharist|
|Cherubic Hymn |
Litany of the Completion
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Eastertide is also known as the Great Fifty Days. It is one long alleluia from Easter Day until Pentecost: two feasts that correspond to the Jewish feasts of Passover and Shavuot. It is the most joyful season in the liturgical year: the liturgical colour is white and gold, and churches are full of flowers, especially lilies.
It seems that, originally, the early church celebrated Christ's ascension on the fiftieth day. However, based on the chronology of Luke, this was later moved to the fortieth day by the fourth century. Therefore, although the fifty days are a unity, the last fortnight focuses firstly on the ascension, and secondly on the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Eastertide consists of seven Sundays: Easter Day is the first, and the others are numbered accordingly — the Second Sunday of Easter follows. In some traditions, the Sunday before Ascension Day is Rogation Sunday.