Throughout the Paschal season we sing Psalm 118:24, "This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!"
In this verse we proclaim that Pascha night is a new day, a new creation. All things have become new for those who are in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17). Those who taste and see the resurrection on this night can never be the same again. The joy of Pascha fills every part of our lives. On the first day God took darkness and made light (Gen 1:2-3). But this day is even greater than the first. This is the day the Lord has made. This is your resurrection from death to eternal life. This is the new creation. This is the Day of the Lord. On this day we celebrate the New Heaven and the New Earth.
According to St. Gregory of Nyssa the New Heaven is our faith in Christ and the New Earth is a tender heart which drinks up the grace of God just as the earth drinks up the rain which falls on it. To celebrate this new day we keep a joyous Feast until we come to Pentecost in 50 days. On Wednesday of the 4th week of Pascha we celebrate the Mid-Feast with a Liturgy and the Blessing of Water. 40 days after Pascha we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord. During this 50 day period there are no prostrations and we sing "Christ is risen..." in place of the prayer "O Heavenly King."
The week after Pascha is called Bright Week. On this week there is no fasting even on Wednesday and Friday. Instead of our regular prayer rule at home we recite the Paschal Hours. The Divine Liturgy is also served every day of Bright Week if possible.
From Fr. Daniel's Weekly Email