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 | Alison Blanchet

Let's Develop Tangible Joy in Easter's 50 Days

About two years ago I wrote my last bulletin announcement, turned in my keys and for the first time in my adult life I began a job that was in no way affiliated with any religious institution. When I tell this story, I’m always quick to add that my family and I are still devout Catholics — this was just where the Lord was leading us.

After almost 20 years of living life on a liturgical calendar, I was shocked, and slightly embarrassed, at how quickly I lost track of what the Church was celebrating. I almost missed needing to swap out a salad when an enticing meat lasagna was set out at a staff lunch on a Friday in Lent and was surprised to realize that most of the working world does not take Easter Monday off.

When my pastor asked me how things were going, I replied honestly: “Father, I do like my new job, but I did not fully appreciate how hard it is to be faithful when you’re not working in a church everyday!”

Prayer and worship is much easier to include when it’s part of a job description. I especially noticed this during the season of Easter.

While Lent gains slightly more attention every time a fast-food chain promotes their fish sandwich, the season of Easter is even longer — 50 days and ending on Pentecost, and is also important to celebrate. The resurrection of Christ and our ultimate hope to be united with him after our death is at the heart of our faith and the hopeful message that so many desperately need to hear.

Indulging in what we sacrificed for Lent can be one tangible way to celebrate the Easter season, but we can do more than just eat chocolate again.

At the Easter Vigil, we celebrate that Christ is the light of the world. Create a space in your home where you can keep a candle safely lit — or a battery powered candle turned on if, like me, you have a toddler who just discovered throwing — next to a Bible or image of Christ. It can serve as a reminder that the light of Christ is eternal even when the world can feel very dark.

I discovered seasonal playlists on YouTube and Spotify a few years ago, and I’ve enjoyed benefitting from what others have curated. Looking up “Easter Worship Playlist” or similar keywords online can give us prayerful soundtracks so that even if we’re running errands or doing chores we can incorporate worship into our day.

The Easter season ends on the feast day of Pentecost. Reading the Acts of the Apostles, which begins with this feast, is another favorite way to meditate about what it meant to be a disciple of Christ in the early days of the Church. The conversion of St. Paul and the growth and suffering of the early Church can give us so much on which to reflect and pray. This is our Church, and the Acts of the Apostles tells the start of our story.

The world moves on pretty quickly after egg hunts, but with some planning and effort, we can continue to celebrate the season of Easter. After 40 days of penance, our Church gives us even more time to remember Christ’s resurrection and our hope of eternal life with him!

Alison Blanchet lives in Panama City with her husband and three children. She works as a therapist for children and teens. Email her at