Eight is Great – But it’s Only a START

by Paula Zwenger

After the forty days of Lent and the Triduum, we’ve arrived at the apex of the liturgical year. The joy of Easter brings with it a new season. Though the Easter Season will last a EightSidewalkTilesfull fifty days, it begins with a very special eight days. We are now living the octave of Easter!

The octave of Easter comprises the eight days which stretch from the first to the second Sunday. It is a way of prolonging the joy of the initial day. In a sense, every day of the Octave is like a little Sunday. – United States Council of Catholic Bishops

Only one other liturgical season of the Roman Catholic calendar shares the favor of this beautiful and solemn celebratory custom. Can you name it? If you answered “Christmas”, then your liturgical connect-the-dots skills deserve an A+.

Why an Octave? What is the Significance of Eight?

It’s important to remember that there is no ‘magical’ property found in use of any particular number. Though early Church Fathers gave attention to the sacredness and significance of some numbers, they strongly warned against the practice of assigning superstitious meaning based on any type of numerological system.

Over time some numbers gained association with certain ideas. There are Old Testament roots which carry the designation of eight (i.e. Jewish feasts of Passover or Tabernacles), New Testament scriptures (i.e. the Beatitudes), and finally, over time eight has come to signify resurrection or baptism (i.e. on the eighth day after entering Jerusalem Jesus rose from the grave).

In current day, we celebrate the Easter octave. Each day within the Octave of Easter is ranked as a solemnity, the highest liturgical designation on the Church calendar. That means for the next eight days, right up to Divine Mercy Sunday, we’ll be celebrating as if each day is Easter Sunday!

As Catholics, we are called to evangelize the truths of Christ’s teachings not for eight days, or to eight people, or even through eight seasons. We’re called day in and day out to live as Easter people.

To help you enjoy this special octave and carry on in days beyond, the following riddle-rhymes take a look at the readings for each of the next eight days. Find a hint within each rhyme by using the bolded letters. Rearrange them to find a word or phrase contained in that day’s readings.

Take them one day at a time, or do them all in one sitting. Find answers as a group/family, or if you like competition, answer separately or form small teams and keep points. Bonus for the little ones in the family – how many times can you find Easter “eggs” in the riddles? Count them up to remember how many days are in an octave.

An Easter Octave Eggs-travaganza

Introduction

YOu know you’re In precisely the righT place
where all who love oUr Risen Lord should be,
so celebRate this octave in His grace,
Deciphering some hidden words To see.
Each day will have a specIal little rhyme,
Containing letters bolded by design
Do readings Of the day ahead of time,
theN rearrange to find aN answer fine.

Example: (bolded letters) O-I-T-U-R-D-T-I-C-O-N-N (rearranged) I-N-T-R-O-D-U-C-T-I-O-N

 

Easter Sunday
Acts 10:34a, 37-43/Col 3:1-4 or 1Cor 5:6b-8/John 20:1-9

The stirring in our heartS this Easter morn,
arrives with joy to greEt this gloried day
when Jesus roSe and Hope in men was boRn
that all might one day overcome the grave.
Believe in Him and preach hIs holy Word,
embracing all wIth wondered thaNks to fill
the heart of every man. May they, so stirred,
Eggs-ude all ways His ever holy will.

Hint: Three Word Answer

 

Monday of the Octave of Easter
Acts 2:14, 22-33/Matthew 28:8-15

The Coming days you’ll See eggs-emPlary
behavior by the FollOwers of Him
who Taught the world To hEar and know the truth –
their bravery not founded on a whim.
Now each Arrives with boldness, ovErjoyed –
to share the Good NewS freely, near and far
The HoLy Spirit fires The Hearts of those
whO follow JeSus giving All they are.

Hint: Four Word Answer 

 

Tuesday of the Octave of Easter
Acts 2:36-41/John 20:11-18

Eggs-ceptional the gifts that they portrayed –
the way their lives were Blessed to follow trUe
Through sAdness of the days before the grave,
they’re promised after death a life anew
We recognize the Savior aNd His words,
soft spOken when we weep at soRrow’s door”
Yet always He is standing By our sIde
to lead the way to heaven’s holy shore

Hint: One Word Answer

 

Wednesday of the Octave of Easter
Acts 3:1-10/Luke 24:13-35

WheN Peter told thE lonely, crippled maN
to “rise & walk” in JeSus’ Holy name,
we take this as A sign of how to live.
With faithfulness may we do mUch the same.
While on our walks, like Cleopas and friend,
may we be meT, eggs-static for the spark
to fan to flame, withIn ouR numBered days –
and seRve as light to world Grown ever dark.

Hint: Two Word Answer

 

Thursday of the Octave of Easter
Acts 3:11-26/Luke 24:35-48

ImAgine the eggs-hilirating feel,
wheN Israelites Saw wOnders being done
while apostles Urged “Repent!” and could hEal;
theY pointed straight to Jesus, God’s own Son
We pray thaT Christ will opEn up our mInds,
as He did thE Apostles’ long ago
we tuRn aWay from evil tie that binds,
and focuS on the One who loves uS so.

Hint: Three Word Answer

 

Friday of the Octave of Easter
Acts 4:1-12/John 21:1-14

The leaders of that time would nOt embrace
thE truth of Christ as God; they tuRned away.
Eggs-onerated, He beCame our base,
establishing the ChuRch we love tOday.
Apostles, back at fishing, saw a man –
He stood oN shore of Tiberias Sea
Dear JeSus cooked, and sErved them all again.
They didn’t ask, but kNew that iT was He.

Hint: One Word Answer

 

Saturday of the Octave of Easter
Acts 4:13-21/Mark 16:9-15

The leaderS of the time would do their best,
whiLe waRning with egGs-acting words to stOp
the spreading of the news of Christ.
The blest apostles still on fire would never droP
their PreAching. They, on fire would bOldly Tell
of wonders Jesus worked. Yet stilL He came,
assuring whEn theIr new-found Courage fell,
coMmissioning them – sEt all Hearts aflame.

Hint: Three Word Answer

 

Second Sunday of Easter or Sunday of Divine Mercy
Acts 2:42-47/1Pet 1:3-9/John 20:19-31

The early churCh communiTy was known,
dEspite the trIals and hardship thEy endured,
with pUre eggs-ultant joy their Basic tone,
with confidEnce in God’s almighty Word.
Dear ThOmas doubted, as some may today,
Yet Jesus then appeAred to Him to say
“Believe – do not Persist” in errant way,
My peace is With you. Go, and give the same.

Hint: Four Word Answer

___________

Answers:

Easter Sunday: HE IS RISEN
Easter Monday: ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
Easter Tuesday: RABBOUNI
Easter Wednesday: HEARTS BURNING
Easter Thursday: YOU ARE WITNESSES
Easter Friday: CORNERSTONE
Easter Saturday: PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL
Divine Mercy Sunday: PEACE BE WITH YOU

Hidden Easter “eggs” – Eggs-ude, Eggs-emplary, Eggs-ceptional, Eggs-static, Eggs-hilarating, Eggs-onerated, Eggs-acting, Eggs-ultant

 

Art: Marigold garden; pictures and rhymes  Greenaway, Kate

——————————————————————————————

image1
Paula Zwenger
is a wife, mother, and grandmother who, upon finding herself an empty nester, tried on the hat of rhyme loving writer. It fit very well. Her joy manifests completely while taking the ups and downs of life and wrangling them into poetry. She also has a passion for creating rhymed treasure hunts with a Catholic flare to celebrate the faith and learn a thing or two along the way. You can find her musings at RhymeLovingWriter.com.