This means that the created world has been brought back “into communion with God,” he said, and that realization should change how we see everything.
“I would think the first best way to celebrate the season is to go to daily Mass. That is bar none the best,” Baer said. “Because it really puts you in the mind of the Church, with regard to the season. The prayers change every day, but they’re all focused on the Resurrection.”
Catholics should also continue any good practices they fostered during Lent such as prayer or almsgiving, he insisted, and should give attention to virtues they cultivated from Lenten penance.
“The Easter season is for fostering those virtues that you’ve planted during Lent and allowing them to grow,” he said. This requires taking “concrete steps” and not just vague promises to ensure that good habits are maintained, he added.
For instance, if someone gave alms during Lent, they could resolve to give money to the poor a certain number of times per week, he said.
However, Easter shouldn’t just be lived at church, but “it’s got to live out in our everyday lives,” Carnazzo told CNA. There must be a “more intense realization that every aspect of my life has come into communion with God.”
“What about reading the Gospel in our homes or singing the Gospel in our homes before we bless the food at the dinner of that Sunday?” he suggested.
Another way to do this is for Catholics to throw a party, he said, which we can enjoy in a new way having first fasted during Lent.
“The reason the Church has us set aside meat [during Lent] is because we’ve become dependent on those things,” Carnazzo explained. “The key to the celebration of Easter and Pascha is the re-ordering in our life, that now I eat meat as a gift from God,” he said.
If someone has given up meat for 40 days, he explained, they will appreciate its goodness all the more: “Suddenly they take a bite of meat, and what do you say? ‘Thank you, God!’”
And Catholics should party together.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
“I think what makes a feast really a feast is that it’s shared, with friends,” Baer said, and where drinks served “heightens the conviviality and the joy.”
“Everyone should be asking themselves right now, who should I invite to my home [during the Easter Season]?” Carnazzo said. They should also consider inviting the newly baptized at their parish over to their homes.
“We’ve forgotten our ability as Christians to go out and really have a party,” he said. “Our society is starving because of that. We’re the ones who are supposed to be showing everyone else what true joy is, but unfortunately we’ve forgotten it ourselves.”
“We’ve got to rediscover that for the sake of society.”
This article was originally published on CNA April 18, 2017, and was updated April 6, 2023.