Easter is the central feast of the church year. We rejoice that Jesus overcame death, and that we too can be certain of eternal life when we trust in him.
The Easter season begins with the celebration of Jesus' resurrection on Easter Sunday. In the Western church the date of Easter Sunday varies between March 22 and April 25, and falls on the first Sunday after the full moon occurring from March 21. Easter continues from Easter Sunday for 50 days, concluding with the celebration of Pentecost. There are seven Sundays of Easter and the Bible readings in worship services continue to focus on the joyful Easter messsage.
The feast of the Ascension occurs on a Thursday, 40 days after Easter Sunday. This commemorates the event of Jesus' ascending back into heaven, to take his place at the right hand of his Father. The focus is on Jesus' completion of all his work on earth rather than on leaving behind his disciples.
Bethlehem holds a special evening service on Ascension Day. Many congregations follow the practice of moving the feast to the following Sunday.