Planning Liturgies During the Great Fifty Days

Making the fifty days of Easter into one season and one long celebration through:

The Alleluia!
Vesting the worship space


Prodigious and joyful use of the Alleluia!


Use the Easter Acclamation before the Entrance Hymn each Sunday:

Christ is risen !  Alleluia, alleluia!
He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Use the Alleluia as part of the Greeting, using the words from the Easter Psalm:

Alleluia, alleluia!  This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Alleluia!  Alleluia!
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.

Use the Alleluia as part of the Dismissal:

Go in peace.  Serve the Lord.  Alleluia, alleluia!
Thanks be to God!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Use “Worthy is Christ” as the hymn of praise.

Use “Thank the Lord” as the post-communion canticle.


Easter Hymns

Hymns that are lively and spirited will help to carry the celebration through the fifty days.  If at all possible in your planning, use an Easter hymn as the Entrance Hymn each week.  Possibilities include [note that all these hymns have Alleluias]:

Easter Sunday ELW 382
Easter 2 ELW 386[You could use stanzas 1-4 for Entrance Hymn, stanzas 5-9 as Hymn of the Day.]
Easter 3 ELW 365, 367
Easter 4 ELW 385, 362, 369
Easter 5 ELW 377, 380
Easter 6 ELW 449, 366
Ascension ELW 393
Easter 7 ELW 392, 826
Pentecost ELW 395



Processions done well add a festive mood to any liturgy.

Have a regular entrance procession.
Use as many folks as possible following the cross, including banners and Bible bearers, acolytes and choir.
Have the Sunday School kids make gold streamers, running up the center aisle and down the sides during the Entrance.
Use a Recessional with a spirited and lively Sending Song (leave them clapping their hands and tapping their toes)
Make use of a Gospel Procession, surrounding the Gospel with Alleluias.


Vesting the Worship Space

Try some potted flowering plants among the lilies that will last the season. It always seems like the lilies fade and so does our mood.
Seasonal banners, white and gold streamers and wall hangings can enhance the festivity.
A new and large Paschal Candle clearly visible. You could buy a plain one that someone in the congregation could decorate. Light it as soon as you arrive at the church on Sunday morning; put it out just before you leave.  Be sure it is lit all the Sundays of Easter.
If your font is movable, you might move to the font to the head of the center aisle.Place the Paschal Candle there, with lots of flowers and water.