Christ is risen! Alleluia! Easter, the day we celebrate Christ's resurrection!
This is the single most important feast day of the Church. With Christ's death and resurrection, Christ has conquered sin and death, the gates of heaven are now open to man and woman. This is the Feast of Feasts, the Solemnity of Solemnities, the highest Feast of the Church, the holiest day of the year. Like the churches, the household is decorated with numerous flowers, like lilies and hyacinths, and the table decorated with the finest linens and place settings.
The celebration of the Easter Vigil is the beginning of the season of Easter. The Vigil is the Christian feast par excellence, the feast of new birth, new beginnings, salvation renewed, and humanity restored to the Lord. While the Vigil marks the end of the paschal fast, the end of the celebration of Holy Week, and the end of repentance and conversion for which Lent prepared the community, it is much more a beginning. It is the beginning of a new season of grace and a time of joy and thanksgiving, for Easter is not one day or one solemnity—it is a fifty day celebration, and the fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday together comprise what the General Instruction terms "the great Sunday".
The Easter candle, lighted for the first time from the new fire of the Easter Vigil, is placed in a prominent place in the sanctuary between Easter and Pentecost and should be lighted for all liturgical services in this season and should be incensed whenever incense is used in the fifty days.
The color of the vesture for the season is white, and the cloth or frontal for the altar should be white as well. Liturgical hangings or banners should be made of white and contrasting colors and should reflect the season of new life, fulfillment, rejoicing and joy at the season.
The Time Of Easter or Eastertide
The seven Sundays of the Easter season rank as the paschal Sundays and, after Easter Sunday itself, are called the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Sundays of Easter. The period of fifty sacred days ends on Pentecost Sunday. The first eight days of the Easter Season make up the octave of Easter and are celebrated as solemnities of the Lord.
On the fortieth day after Easter the Ascension is celebrated. This solemnity directs our attention to Christ, who ascended into heaven before the eyes of his disciples, who is now seated at the right hand of the Father, invested with royal power, who is there to prepare a place for us in the kingdom of heaven; and who is destined to come again at the end of time. The weekdays after the Ascension until the Saturday before Pentecost inclusive are a preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
This sacred season of fifty days comes to an end on Pentecost Sunday, which commemorates the giving of the Holy Spirit to the apostles, the beginnings of the Church and its mission to every tongue and people and nation. (Excerpted from the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and Ceremonial of Bishops)