This weekend we celebrate the Second Sunday of Easter (or Sunday of Divine Mercy), which falls at the end of the Octave (8th day) of Easter. Today, we fail to understand the importance of an octave. In the Old Testament, there were many feasts that lasted 8 days. The last day was always considered the greatest day—the grand finale. The early days of the Church celebrated many octaves. Today, there are only two—Christmas and Easter. The greatest is Easter with even the weekday Masses being the greatest feast, a solemnity, during which the Gloria is recited. At the end of the Easter Octave, a special gift is available—a plenary indulgence (remission for all temporal punishment due to sin). All that’s needed is for the person to attend Mass on the Second Sunday of Easter (or Sunday of Divine Mercy) are the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff), and recite in any church the Our Father, the Creed, and add a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you). For the plenary (full) indulgence, a person must be completely detached from affection to sin, even a venial sin. Still a partial indulgence will be granted to those who at least, with a contrite heart, pray to the merciful Lord Jesus a legitimately approved invocation.
- Fr. Carl