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From the Bishop

An Easter Customary

especially for the clergy


The Easter Season is meant to be celebrated as The Great Fifty Days, an “unbroken Sunday” that lasts until Pentecost. This will require some additional liturgical planning on your part to keep us focused on the resurrection theme. Here are some things you may wish to consider:

THE SANCTUARY should be festive and colorful, using banners and Easter flowers at the altar every Sunday during the season. You may also want to provide some additional flowers at the baptismal font or around the paschal candle each week.

THE PASCHAL CANDLE, which should have been removed from the church during Lent, is the primary symbol of the presence of the Risen Christ. It should be placed in a prominent position where all can see it and should be kept burning at all services throughout the Great Fifty Days. 

THE OPENING ACCLAMATION for the Easter Season is to be used at all services (weekdays included) in place of the usual acclamation that is used at other times of the year, not in addition to it. Likewise, the Gloria in Excelsis or Te Deum, not the Kyrie, should be used at all masses during the Easter Season, weekdays and Sundays alike. 

COLLECTS AND SCRIPTURE LESSONS for each weekday of the Easter Season may be found in Lesser Feasts and Fasts, and I encourage you to use them. On Sundays, the First Lesson is traditionally the one from Acts, instead of the Old Testament Reading, followed by the Epistle and then the Gospel.

MUSIC SELECTIONS should continue to be used from the Easter hymns at all services throughout the season.  See The Hymnal 1982 numbers 174-213. The “alleluia” should be used with the fraction sentence at the Breaking of the Bread. You may wish to use a sung setting such as S 151, S 152, S 154, S 155, and S 167-S 172. 

THE EASTER BLESSING should be used at the conclusion of all masses during the season. Two forms are provided in The Book of Occasional Services. I recommend the second option for regular use. 

THE EASTER DISMISSAL is to be used at the conclusion of all services during the season. Please note that there is only one way for it to be done, not several variations. Which ever dismissal words are chosen, it is said as follows:

Deacon or Priest:       “Let us go forth in the name of Christ. Alleluia, Alleluia.”
People’s response:      “Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.”

 

Faithfully in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth