The Octave of Easter and the Sunday of Divine Mercy: Today is Divine Mercy Sunday, and the celebration of Our Lord’s Resurrection continues in the Church for eight days, called the Octave of Easter. Each day of the Octave is ranked as a Solemnity in the Church’s liturgical calendar, the highest ranking of liturgical feasts. At Masses during the Octave of Easter, as on Sundays, the Gloria, is recited or sung. And at the end of each Mass of the Octave, the double Alleluia is sung at the dismissal. The idea of an Octave of a great feast has its roots in the Old Testament. There are many Jewish feasts that lasted for eight days, for example, the feast of Passover and the feast of Tabernacles. In the Catholic Church, we celebrate eight days of Christmas as well as eight days of Easter. The Octave of Easter ends today, on the Second Sunday of Easter, the Sunday of Divine Mercy. In the Jubilee Year 2000, at the Mass in which he canonized the humble religious Sister Faustina Kowalska, Blessed John Paul II declared that from then on throughout the Church the Second Sunday of Easter would also be called the Sunday of Divine Mercy. This is entirely appropriate since, as Blessed John Paul II reminded us, “Divine Mercy is “the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity…” Through Saint Faustina, our Lord promised an abundance of graces to the faithful who devoutly observe the Sunday of Divine Mercy.