The feast of Easter is a season of fifty days, from Easter Eve through the Day of Pentecost. From early times the Greek word pentecost (fiftieth day) was used also for the whole Paschal season. The word “alleluia” (praise the Lord) is said or sung repeatedly, which contrasts sharply with the season of Lent when the alleluia is omitted. The color of liturgical vestments and hangings is white or gold. The Book of Common Prayer notes that it is customary for the Paschal candle to burn at all services of the Easter season. The “Alleluia, alleluia” may be added to the dismissals and their responses during the Great Fifty Days.
Contrary to what many people think, Easter is not a single day. It is actually a season that begins on Easter Sunday and continues for seven full weeks. This seven-week cycle is known historically as the Great Fifty Days or the Week of Weeks. During this time, the church celebrates the Lord’s resurrection, His appearances to the disciples after Easter, His post-resurrection teachings, His ascension into heaven, and the disciples’ eager anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Ascension Day, the 40th of the Great Fifty Days, is frequently commemorated with a special evening worship service since it always falls on a Thursday.