I have never really understood why next Sunday is called Low Sunday.
Yesterday was Easter Sunday. This high and holy day is preceded by forty days of fasting as Christians practice the spiritual discipline of sacrifice and "give up" something during Lent. This period of reflection, penitence, and self-denial is a time of preparation for believers as they remember the suffering of Jesus. It culminates with triumphant worship commemorating Christ's victory over death.
Worship services in churches all over the world were full yesterday. Christians joined together and celebrated the resurrection of our Lord as they sang with great enthusiasm, "Christ the Lord is risen today. Alleluia!"
Next Sunday is known as Quasimodo Sunday or Low Sunday. The name Quasimodo Sunday comes from the Introit of the Catholic Mass which is said on this day. In Latin it begins with the phrase, Quasi modo geniti infantes -"As newborn babes...." It speaks of those who are baptized on Easter and points to the renovation of humans through the Resurrection.
The famous character Quasimodo, in Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, is said to have been found abandoned on the doorsteps of Notre Dame Cathedral on the Sunday after Easter.
In the words of the novel: "[Archdeacon Claude Frollo, Quasimodo's adoptive father] baptized his adopted child and called him Quasimodo; whether it was that he chose thereby to commemorate the day when he had found him, or that he meant to mark by that name how incomplete and imperfectly molded the poor little creature was. Indeed, Quasimodo, one-eyed, hunchbacked, and bow-legged, could hardly be considered as anything more than an almost. "
While there is a simple explanation for Quasimodo Sunday, there are differing opinions about why next Sunday is called Low Sunday. One suggestion is that the Sunday following the "high" feast of Easter probably refers to the lack of high ritual used on Easter. Others say that Low Sunday is a perfect name since many fewer people attend worship as compared to Easter Sunday. Adam Copeland says, "While this may be true in some churches, (next Sunday) should include all the joy and celebration of Easter as it is still the Easter season. It's not a time for letdown, and is best described as 'The Second Sunday of Easter' to capture Easter continuity."
Jesus' triumph over sin and death is "once for all time." The Resurrection of Jesus was an historical event that has every day and eternal effect. Therefore every day is Easter for Christians. Jesus said, "Because I live, you shall live also." That promise is as real today as it was yesterday and will be real tomorrow and next Sunday as well.
[Taken with permission from "Monday Morning in North Georgia," April 25, 2011. North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.]