How Long Until Low Sunday
April 2024

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The History of Low Sunday: Origins, Significance, and Traditions

Ever ponder why the Sunday following Easter is known as Low Sunday? This day, also known as the Easter Octave Day, signifies the Easter Octave’s conclusion and the Easter season’s commencement in the liturgical calendar

This article will examine Low Sunday’s origins, significance, and traditions and discover some fascinating facts about this important Christian holiday.

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The Origins of Low Sunday

Low Sunday derives its appellation from the fact that it follows the “high” Easter Sunday celebration. The term “low” refers to the diminution of liturgical celebration and the resumption of ordinary time following the splendour of Holy Week and Easter. 

Low Sunday” was first mentioned in the eighth-century Gregorian Sacramentary, a liturgical text.

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Here Are Some Interesting Facts And The Historical Significance Of Low Sunday

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The Significance of Low Sunday

Low Sunday is an important day in the Christian religion for various reasons. The liturgical calendar represents the end of the Easter Octave, a period of eight days beginning with Easter Sunday, considered one day of celebration. 

Low Sunday is also the first Sunday of the 50-day Easter season, which concludes with the commemoration of Pentecost

Quiet Sunday is also associated with the theme of mercy because it was on this day that Jesus appeared to his disciples and displayed his wounds as a symbol of his mercy and forgiveness.

The Traditions of Low Sunday

Different Christian denominations observe Low Sunday in various ways. Low Sunday is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday in the Catholic Church, a designation Pope John Paul II instituted in 2000. 

On this day, the faithful are encouraged to receive the sacrament of penance, take part in the Eucharist, and pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. 

Thomas Sunday is Low Sunday in the Orthodox Church, honouring the Apostle Thomas, who doubted Jesus’ resurrection until he saw his wounds.

Interesting Facts about Low Sunday

  • Low Sunday’s Gospel reading is always the story of Doubting Thomas, who is fundamental to the liturgical celebration of this day.
  • In some regions of Europe, it is customary to decorate Easter eggs on Low Sundays and use them in activities such as egg rolling and egg tapping.
  • In the Anglican Church, Low Sunday is also known as Quasimodo Sunday, a name derived from the Latin introit for the day, “Quasi modo genetic infants” (“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word”).
  • As it was on this day that Jesus appeared to his disciples and said, “Peace be with you,” almsgiving is also associated with Low Sunday. “As the Father sent me, so send I you” (John 20:21).

As Christians, the celebration of Low Sunday allows us to contemplate the central message of our faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

It serves as a reminder that through his death and resurrection, Jesus has conquered sin and death and given us the gift of eternal life. In addition, it challenges us to reaffirm our commitment to a life of faith and service to others.

One of the significant traditions of Low Sunday is the Catholic Church’s commemoration of Divine Mercy Sunday. 

The Divine Mercy message, as revealed to St. Faustina Kowalska in the 1930s, emphasises God’s compassion and mercy, particularly towards those who struggle with sin and despair. 

Divine Mercy Sunday is an occasion for the faithful to receive the sacrament of penance, participate in the Eucharist, and pray for the Divine Mercy Chaplet. 

Catholics strive to deepen their understanding of God’s mercy and to experience his love and forgiveness through these acts of devotion.

Easter egg decorating is a significant tradition associated with Low Sunday, particularly in Eastern Europe. This custom derives from the ancient Christian custom of dying eggs crimson to represent the blood of Christ shed on the cross. 

Today, the tradition of egg decoration encompasses a variety of designs and techniques and is frequently accompanied by egg-related sports and activities, such as egg rolling and egg tapping. 

These Easter traditions serve to reinforce the joy and faith that are at the heart of the holiday.

In the Anglican Church, Low Sunday is also known as Quasimodo Sunday, a name derived from the Latin introit for the day, “Quasi modo genetic infants” (“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word”). 

This name emphasises the association of Low Sunday with spiritual development and renewal. It encourages believers to approach the church’s teachings with infantile simplicity and to cultivate a hunger for spiritual sustenance.

Low Sunday marks the Easter Octave’s conclusion and the Easter season’s commencement on the Christian calendar. It allows us to reflect on the central message of our faith, renew our commitment to living a life of faith and service, and experience God’s love and mercy. 

The traditions associated with Low Sunday, such as Divine Mercy Sunday and the decorating of Easter eggs, reinforce the joy and hope fundamental to the Easter celebration. 

As we celebrate Low Sunday, let us remember the message of mercy and forgiveness that Jesus demonstrated to his disciples on this day. Let us endeavour to imitate his daily example.

Meet the author

Jane Parkinson

Jane Parkinson

Jane is one of our primary content writers and specialises in elder care. She has a degree in English language and literature from Manchester University and has been writing and reviewing products for a number of years.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Low Sunday called “low”?

Low Sunday derives its name from the fact that it is the Sunday following Easter, the most essential and revered holiday in the Christian calendar. The term “low” refers to the diminution of liturgical celebration that follows Easter’s splendour. This day signifies the end of the Easter Octave, an eight-day period beginning on Easter Sunday that is celebrated as a single day in the liturgical calendar. Low Sunday also signifies the beginning of the 50-day Easter season, which concludes with the commemoration of Pentecost. Despite being referred to as “low,” this day is significant in the Christian calendar because it reminds us of the message of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.

What is the significance of Low Sunday in the Christian faith?

Low Sunday is an important day in the Christian religion for various reasons. The liturgical calendar represents the end of the Easter Octave, a period of eight days beginning with Easter Sunday, considered one day of celebration. Low Sunday also signifies the beginning of the 50-day Easter season, which concludes with the commemoration of Pentecost. As it was on this day that Jesus appeared to his disciples and showed them his wounds as a sign of his mercy and forgiveness, the theme of understanding is also associated with Low Sunday. In addition, Low Sunday allows us to contemplate the central message of our faith, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and to renew our commitment to living a life of faith and service to others.

What are the traditions associated with Low Sunday?

The traditions associated with Low Sunday vary across Christian denominations, but they all centre on celebrating Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Low Sunday is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday in the Catholic Church. The faithful are encouraged to receive the sacrament of penance, celebrate the Eucharist, and pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Thomas Sunday is Low Sunday in the Orthodox Church, honouring the Apostle Thomas, who doubted Jesus’ resurrection until he saw his wounds. In some regions of Europe, it is customary to decorate Easter eggs on Low Sundays and use them in activities such as egg rolling and egg tapping. In the Anglican Church, Low Sunday is also known as Quasimodo Sunday, a name derived from the Latin introit for the day, “Quasi modo genetic infants” (“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word”).

How do Christians celebrate Low Sunday?

Low Sunday is celebrated differently by Christians of various denominations and cultural backgrounds. In the Catholic Church, Low Sunday is seen as Divine Mercy Sunday. The faithful are encouraged to receive the sacrament of penance, celebrate the Eucharist, and pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. The day is observed with a special liturgy in the Orthodox Church, and the Gospel reading is the account of Thomas handling Jesus’ wounds. In some regions of Europe, Low Sunday is observed by decorating Easter eggs and performing egg-related games such as egg rolling and egg tapping. Low Sunday is a time for the Anglican Church to reflect on the theme of spiritual growth and renewal and to approach church teachings with an infantile simplicity. Regardless of specific traditions, the celebration of Low Sunday offers Christians an opportunity to contemplate the message of Jesus Christ’s resurrection and renew their commitment to living a life of faith and service to others.