Skip to comments.A Common Date for Easter is Possible
Posted on 05/28/2009 8:28:16 AM PDT by annalex
A Common Date for Easter is Possible
Contact: Juan Michel, World Council of Churches, +41-22-791-6153, +41-79-507-6363 firstname.lastname@example.org
MEDIA ADVISORY, May 28 /Standard Newswire/ -- The hope that all Christians will be able to celebrate Easter on the same day in the future was reaffirmed by an international ecumenical seminar organized by the Institute of Ecumenical Studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, 15 May.
The problem is just about as old as the church itself: As Christianity started to spread around the world, Christians came to differing results on when to commemorate Jesus Christ's death and resurrection, due to the different reports in the four gospels on these events.
Attempts to establish a common date for Easter began with the Council of Nicaea in the year 325. It established that the date of Easter would be the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox. However, it did not fix the methods to be used to calculate the timing of the full moon or the vernal equinox.
Nowadays the Orthodox churches use the 21 March of the Julian calendar as the date of the equinox, while the churches of the Western tradition that is the Protestant and Catholic churches base their calculations on the Gregorian calendar. The resulting gap between the two Easter dates can be as much as five weeks.
All participants at the seminar in Lviv, which included Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant theologians from a variety of European countries, endorsed a compromise proposed at a World Council of Churches (WCC) consultation in Aleppo, Syria, in 1997. The proposal was to keep the Nicaea rule but calculate the equinox and full moon using the accurate astronomical data available today, rather than those used many years ago.
Concretely, participants at the seminar expressed the hope that the years 2010 and 2011, when the coincidence of the calendars will produce a common Easter date, would serve as a period during which all Christians would join their efforts "to make such coincidence not to be an exception but rather a rule" and prepare for an Easter date based on exact astronomical reckoning and celebrated by all Christians on 8 April 2012.
However, the seminar entitled "A common date for Easter is possible" did not turn a blind eye to what participants considered to be "the main problem": "not the calculations, but the complex relations and missing of trust among different Christian denominations because of long divisions."
French Orthodox theologian Prof. Antoine Arjakovsky, director of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies, pointed out: "Whilst the astronomic reckoning of the Nicean rule comes closer to the Gregorian calendar than to the ancient Julian one, the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches did take a step towards the Orthodox churches in Aleppo, accepting that the date of Easter should be established on the base of a cosmic calendar rather than by a fixed date as had been proposed prior to the inter-Orthodox meeting in Chambésy in 1977."
Other speakers at the ecumenical seminar were Rev. Dr Dagmar Heller, professor at the Ecumenical Institute Bossey and executive secretary of the WCC Faith and Order Commission, Jesuit Father Milan Zust, an official of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Prof. Konstantin Sigov, director of Saint Clement Centre in Kiev, Ukraine.
Further to the students of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies a consortium between the Ukrainian Catholic University, the National University of Lviv and several other European universities the seminar had gathered representatives of the city's major denominations: the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches of the patriarchates of Moscow and Kiev as well as the Autocephalous Orthodox Church in the Ukraine, the Greek and Roman Catholic Churches, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Baptist and the Evangelical Church.
Frequently asked questions about the date of Easter
Proposals from the Aleppo consultation
More information about the seminar (Ukrainian Catholic University website)
Additional information: Juan Michel,+41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363 email@example.com
The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, from the Methodist Church in Kenya. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
Copyright © 2009
Do we have Orthodox Old Calendarists around the forum?
Eh? The answer seems obvious to me. It follows Passover.
What if Jesus likes having two parties? Kind of like when your parents are divorced and you to celebrate each major even at both houses.
Good luck with that. I’m skeptical every Christian group would agree on this.
Frequently asked questions about the date of Easter
Q. Why isn't Easter on the same date every year - like Christmas, for instance?
A. The short answer is that in the 4th century it was decided that Easter would fall after the first full moon following the vernal or spring equinox. (The equinox is a day in the year on which daytime and night-time are of equal length. This happens twice a year, once in spring and once in autumn.)
A more detailed answer would be this:
We know from the New Testament that Jesus' death and resurrection happened around the time of the Jewish feast of Passover. According to Matthew, Mark and Luke's Gospels, the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples was a Passover meal, while John's Gospel says that Jesus died on the feast of Passover itself. In those days, the Jews celebrated Passover on the "14th day of the first month" in accordance with the Bible's commands (see Lev. 23:5, Num. 28:16, Josh. 5:11). The months of the Jewish calendar each began at new moon, so the 14th day would be the day of the full moon. The first month, Nisan, was the month that began from the spring new moon. In other words, the Passover was celebrated on the first full moon following the vernal equinox and was therefore a movable feast.
Early sources tell us that this very soon led to Christians in different parts of the world celebrating Easter on different dates. As early as the end of the 2nd century, some churches were celebrating Easter on the day of Passover itself, whether it was a Sunday or not, while others would celebrate it on the Sunday that followed it. By the end of the 4th century there were four different methods of calculating the date of Easter. In the year 325, the Council of Nicaea attempted to bring in a unified solution that would retain the link with the date of Passover as celebrated in Jesus' time. Eventually, therefore, Easter's date was established as movable.
Q. So how is the date of Easter calculated?
A. The Council of Nicaea established that the date of Easter would be the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox.
Q. Why, then, despite the universal rule laid down at Nicaea, do different parts of the Church still celebrate Christ's resurrection on different dates?
A. The first thing to remember is that, even after the Council of Nicaea, differences in the date of Easter remained, since the Council had said nothing about the methods to be used to calculate the timing of the full moon or the vernal equinox.
But the real problem behind the situation we have today arose in the 16th Century, when the Julian calendar, which had been established in 46 BC, was superseded by the Gregorian calendar. It took some time for the new calendar to be adopted by all countries (it did not happen in Greece until the start of the 20th Century!). However, the Orthodox churches still use the Julian calendar to this day to calculate the vernal equinox and the full moon that follows it. This is why they calculate a different date.
Q. Why did the Gregorian calendar reform happen at all? Was it necessary?
A. The calendar reform established by Pope Gregory XIII was necessary because the Julian calendar used in those days had begun to lag behind astronomical reality - which is to say that by the time 21 March came around on the calendar, the actual, astronomical vernal equinox had already happened.
The fundamental problem behind this is that the astronomical year - that is, the time the earth takes to make its journey round the sun - is not exactly 365 days: it's actually 365 days, five hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds. However, as the year has to be divided into equal portions for practical purposes, leap years have to be introduced to resolve the problem.
Q. What's the difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars?
A. The difference between the two calendars lies precisely in how they resolve this problem. The Julian calendar's solution was to add a leap day every four years, with the end result that the Julian calendar year was an average of 11 minutes and 14 seconds longer than the earth's actual journey around the sun. This meant that the astronomical facts and the calendar calculations would eventually be out by one day in every 128 years. The real equinox, for instance, would then happen one day earlier than the date given on the calendar. The Gregorian calendar attempted to correct this by shortening the average calendar year. It introduced the additional rule that, in contrast to the Julian calendar's leap-year rule, there would be no leap day in years whose number could be divided directly by 100 but not by 400. Thanks to this reduced number of leap years, the Gregorian calendar comes closer to astronomical reality - although it, too, is not "exact" - but the difference between the facts of astronomy and the calendar date is now only 26 seconds a year. It takes 3,600 years to develop a lag of one day. At present, the Julian calendar is running 13 days "slow" of the Gregorian; by the year 2100, the difference will be 14 days. This means that the vernal equinox, which is established as 21 March and on which the date of Easter depends, falls in the Julian calendar on a day which under the Gregorian calendar is 3 April.
Q. So are the two dates always two weeks apart?
A. No. The gap between the two Easters is different every year. It can be as much as five weeks. Besides the fact that the dates of the vernal equinox lie 13 days apart, we also have to consider when the full moon falls. So, if the full moon falls within the 13 days between the Gregorian and Julian equinoxes, Orthodox Easter will be later.
There's another complication here, which is that, alongside the equinox, the sun and moon have a part to play as well. Under the Julian calendar, the full moon is calculated using the so-called Metonic cycle (a 19-year cycle under which the phases of the moon fall on the same date every 19 years). However, this calculation is not astronomically accurate either, so it, too, leads to the dates shifting out of place. When this is added to the discrepancy between the Julian and Gregorian equinoxes, it can lead to a difference of up to five weeks between the Orthodox and Western dates for Easter.
The Nicaea ruling contains one other provision that is extremely important for the Orthodox churches. It states that Easter should not be celebrated "with" (Greek "meta") the Jews. Today's theologians are no longer entirely certain what was meant by this, but Orthodox Easter still cannot fall on the same day as Passover. If it does, it is postponed by a week.
Q. This year (2007), both Easters are on the same date. When does this happen?
A. The two dates coincide when the full moon following the equinox comes so late that it counts as the first full moon after 21 March in the Julian calendar as well as the Gregorian. This is not a regular occurrence, but it has happened more frequently in recent years - in 2001, 2004 and 2007. In the near future, it will also take place in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2017, but, after that, not again until 2034.
Q. In that case, though, why do some Orthodox churches celebrate Western Christmas?
A. All churches celebrate Christmas as a fixed feast and all (apart from the Armenian church) hold it on 25 December. However, since the Russian Orthodox Church, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Georgian Orthodox Church follow the Julian calendar, they celebrate Christmas on what, under the Gregorian calendar, is 7 January. The Greek Orthodox Church, the Bulgarian Church, the Antioch and Alexandria Patriarchates and the Romanian Orthodox Church follow the Gregorian calendar (except with respect to the calculation of Easter), and celebrate Christmas at the same time as the Western churches. Only the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates Christmas on its original date of 6 January and the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on the same day.
Q. Are there any efforts to bring the two Easters together?
A. Efforts have been and are still being made to achieve this. For various reasons, there were particular efforts to tackle the question at the beginning of the 20th Century. In 1902, Patriarch Joachim III of Constantinople began a discussion aimed at achieving greater unity among Christians.
The decision of the Greek Parliament to introduce the Gregorian calendar in 1923 sparked conflict between Church and State. It was not least for this reason that a pan-Orthodox congress was called in May 1923, which revised the Julian calendar to lend it greater astronomical accuracy. This calendar, known as the Meletian Calendar, is only two seconds longer than the calendar year, which means it takes 45,000 years to develop a lag of one day. Calculations are based on observations from Jerusalem rather than Greenwich. The calendar is thus the most accurate yet. However, its introduction led to divisions within the Orthodox Churches - particularly the Greek and Romanian Orthodox Churches. Since then, the issue has time and again been on the agenda of pan-Orthodox conferences.
At the same time, discussion was getting under way in secular life. The business world was seeking a simpler and more sensible method of calculating the date of Easter. In 1928, the British Parliament passed the Easter Act, calling for Easter to be held on a fixed Sunday - the Sunday following the second Saturday in April. However, the Act stipulated that this should only be introduced with the unanimous agreement of the Christian churches.
As early as 1923, the League of Nations addressed the question and forwarded the matter to the Advisory and Technical Committee for Communications and Transit, which, for its part, wanted to introduce a brand-new calendar across the globe, dividing the year into months of equal length. This would have had the effect of requiring one or two days to be included outside of the normal seven-day rhythm of the week, in order to make up for the time lacking. With regard to the date of Easter, the British solution was proposed. The Committee asked the churches' opinion, and found that the majority of Protestant churches, as represented by the Ecumenical Council for Practical Christianity, favoured a fixed date for Easter. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople replied that, although the Orthodox Church would favour a calendar that retained the continuity of the week, it would be open to a fixed date for Easter, as long at it remained a Sunday and all Christian churches were in agreement. The Roman Catholic Church's first response was that the issue could only be resolved by an ecumenical council. Some years later, however, it changed its answer to a definitive "no".
The efforts were taken over by the League of Nations' successor organization, the United Nations, but finally foundered in 1955, after the USA rejected the idea of a new calendar, fearing public opposition on religious grounds.
Nothing changed until the Second Vatican Council, whose Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy stated that the Roman Catholic Church would assent to a common date for Easter - movable or fixed - if all the churches could agree on a solution. The World Council of Churches (WCC) then took up the issue again, surveying its member churches in 1965 and 1967. It found that all the churches would be willing to celebrate Easter on the same day. However, while most Western churches preferred a fixed date, the Orthodox churches wanted a common movable date based on the Nicaea rule. In 1975, the matter was placed on the agenda of the WCC General Assembly in Nairobi, following a request to the WCC from the Roman Catholic Church for the churches to undertake something together on the issue at the General Assembly. Another survey was made of Council's member churches, which echoed the results of the first survey. It became abundantly clear at the General Assembly that a decision could only be reached by the churches themselves, not by the WCC. It was decided that, at that stage, specific proposals would not be helpful, but that work into the issue ought to continue.
Then, at their first pre-conciliar conference in 1976, the Orthodox churches moved to hold a congress as soon as possible. This took place in 1977 in Chambesy. The congress dealt primarily with the pastoral problem that abandoning the Nicaea rule would lead to divisions. This conclusion was repeated at the second pre-conciliar Orthodox conference in 1982 and the revision of the calendar postponed until such time as would, God willing, be more suitable.
The issue was not brought up again at the WCC until 1997. Two of its departments - "Worship and Spirituality" and "Faith and Order" - organized a consultation session on behalf of the executive committee in Aleppo, Syria. This resulted in a concrete proposal keep the Nicaea rule but calculate the equinox and full moon using the accurate astronomical data available today, rather than those used many years ago.
Q. Why has this solution still not been put into practice?
A. The Orthodox church is still grappling with the arguments first brought up at the so-called pre-conciliar conferences in 1977 and 1982.
The problem is that, while the use of the astronomical calculations will mean hardly any change for those churches that use the Gregorian calendar, the Orthodox churches have had painful experiences in the past with schisms resulting from calendar reforms, and are therefore very cautious about them. However, a proposal for the Western churches to move their Easter to coincide with the Orthodox date garnered just as little support.
Tell us your thoughts:
- Should there be one, unified date for Easter, or should the two current dates be kept?
- What do you think would be a solution?
Can’t say that this one is even on my radar.
Easter, the anniversary of our Lord's resurrection from the dead, is one of the three great festivals of the Christian year,the other two being Christmas and Whitsuntide. From the earliest period of Christianity down to the pre-sent day, it has always been celebrated by believers with the greatest joy, and accounted the Queen of Festivals. In primitive times it was usual for Christians to salute each other on the morning of this day by exclaiming, 'Christ is risen;' to which the person saluted replied, ' Christ is risen indeed,' or else, ' And hath appeared unto Simon;'a custom still retained in the Greek Church.
The common name of this festival in the East was the Paschal Feast, because kept at the same time as the Pascha, or Jewish passover, and in some measure succeeding to it. In the sixth of the Ancyran Canons it is called the Great Day. Our own name Easter is derived, as some suppose, from Eostre, the name of a Saxon deity, whose feast was celebrated every year in the spring, about the same time as the Christian festivalthe name being retained when the character of the feast was changed; or, as others suppose, from Oster, which signifies rising. If the latter supposition be correct, Easter is in name, as well as reality, the feast of the resurrection.
Though there has never been any difference of opinion in the Christian church as to why Easter is kept, there has been a good deal as to when it ought to be kept. It is one of the moveable feasts; that is, it is not fixed to one particular daylike Christmas Day, e. g., which is always kept on the 25th of Decemberbut moves backwards or forwards according as the full moon next after the vernal equinox falls nearer or further from the equinox. The rule given at the beginning of the Prayer-book to find Easter is this: 'Easter-day is always the first Sunday after the full moon which happens upon or next after the twenty-first day of March; and if the full moon happens upon a Sunday, Easter-day is the Sunday after.'
The paschal controversy, which for a time divided Christendom, grew out of a diversity of custom. The churches of Asia Minor, among whom were many Judaizing Christians, kept their paschal feast on the same day as the Jews kept their passover; i. e. on the 14th of Nisan, the Jewish month corresponding to our March or April. But the churches of the West, remembering that our Lord's resurrection took place on the Sunday, kept their festival on the Sunday following the 14th of Nisan. By this means they hoped not only to commemorate the resurrection on the day on which it actually occurred, but also to distinguish themselves more effectually from the Jews. For a time this difference was borne with. mutual forbearance and charity. And when disputes began to arise, we find that Polycarp, the venerable bishop of Smyrna, when on a visit to Rome, took the opportunity of conferring with Anicetas, bishop of that city, upon the question. Polycarp pleaded the practice of St. Philip and St. John, with the latter of whom he had lived, conversed, and joined in its celebration; while Anicetas adduced the practice of St. Peter and St. Paul. Concession came from neither side, and so the matter dropped; but the two bishops continued in Christian friendship and concord. This was about A.D. 158.
Towards the end of the century, however, Victor, bishop of Rome, resolved on compelling the Eastern churches to conform to the Western practice, and wrote an imperious letter to the prelates of Asia, commanding them to keep the festival of Easter at the time observed by the Western churches. They very naturally resented such an interference, and declared their resolution to keep Easter at the time they had been accustomed to do. The dispute hence-forward gathered strength, and was the source of much bitterness during the next century. The East was divided from the West, and all who, after the example of the Asiatics, kept Easter-day on the 14th, whether that day were Sunday or not, were styled Qiccertodecimans by those who adopted the Roman custom.
One cause of this strife was the imperfection of the Jewish calendar. The ordinary year of the Jews consisted of 12 lunar months of 292 days each, or of 29 and 30 days alternately; that is, of 354 days. To make up the 11 days' deficiency, they intercalated a thirteenth month of 30 days every third year. But even then they would be in advance of the true time without other intercalations; so that they often kept their passover before the vernal equinox. But the Western Christians considered the vernal equinox the commencement of the natural year, and objected to a mode of reckoning which might sometimes cause them to bold their paschal feast twice in one year and omit it altogether the next. To obviate this, the fifth of the apostolic canons decreed that, ' If any bishop, priest, or deacon, celebrated the Holy Feast of Easter before the vernal equinox, as the Jews do, let him be deposed.'
At the beginning of the fourth century, matters had gone to such a length, that the Emperor Constantine thought it his duty to take steps to allay the controversy, and to insure uniformity of practice for the future. For this purpose, he got a canon passed in the great (Ecumenical Council of Nice (A.D. 325), That everywhere the great feast of Easter should be observed upon one and the same day; and that not the day of the Jewish passover, but, as had been generally observed, upon the Sunday afterwards.' And to prevent all future disputes as to the time, the following rules were also laid down:
- 'That the twenty-first day of March shall be accounted the vernal equinox.'
- 'That the full moon happening upon or next after the twenty-first of March, shall be taken for the full moon of Nisan.'
- 'That the Lord's-day next following that full moon be Easter-day.'
- 'But if the full moon happen upon a Sunday, Easter-day shall be the Sunday after.'
As the Egyptians at that time excelled in astronomy, the Bishop of Alexandria was appointed to give notice of Easter-day to the Pope and other patriarchs. But it was evident that this arrangement could not last long; it was too inconvenient and liable to interruptions. The fathers of the next age began, therefore, to adopt the golden numbers of the Metonic cycle, and to place them in the calendar against those days in each month on which the new moons should fall during that year of the cycle. The Metonie cycle was a period of nineteen years. It had been observed by Meton, an Athenian philosopher, that the moon returns to have her changes on the same month and day of the month in the solar year after a lapse of nineteen years, and so, as it were, to run in a circle. He published his discovery at the Olympic Games, B.C. 433, and the cycle has ever since borne his name. The fathers hoped by this cycle to be able always to know the moon's age; and as the vernal equinox was now fixed to the 21st of March, to find Easter for ever. But though the new moon really happened on the same day of the year after a space of nineteen years as it did before, it fell an hour earlier on that day, which, in the course of time, created a serious error in their calculations.
A cycle was then framed at Rome for 84 years, and generally received by the Western church, for it was then thought that in this space of time the moon's changes would return not only to the same day of the month, but of the week also. Wheatley tells us that, 'During the time that Easter was kept according to this cycle, Britain was separated from the Roman empire, and the British churches for some time after that separation continued to keep Easter according to this table of 84 years. But soon after that separation, the Church of Rome and several others discovered great deficiencies in this account, and therefore left it for another which was more perfect.'Book on the Common Prayer, p. 40. This was the Victorian period of 532 years. But he is clearly in error here. The Victorian period was only drawn up about the year 457, and was not adopted by the Church till the fourth. Council of Orleans, A.D. 541.
Now from the time the Romans finally left Britain (A.D. 426), when he supposes both churches to be using the cycle of 84 years, till the arrival of St. Augustine (A.D. 596), the error can hardly have amounted to a difference worth disputing about. And yet the time the Britons kept Easter must have varied considerably from that of the Roman missionaries to have given rise to the statement that they were Quartodecimans, which they certainly were not; for it is a well-known fact that British bishops were at the Council of Nice, and doubtless adopted and brought home with them the rule laid down by that assembly. Dr, Hooke's account is far more probable, that the British and Irish churches adhered to the Alexandrian rule, according to which. the Easter festival could not begin before the 8th of March; while according to the rule adopted at Rome and generally in the West, it began as early as the fifth. 'They (the Celts) were manifestly in error,' he says; 'but owing to the haughtiness with which the Italians had demanded an alteration in their calendar, they doggedly determined not to change.'Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, vol. i. p. 14.
After a good deal of disputation had taken place, with more in prospect, Oswy, King of Northumbria, determined to take the matter in hand. He summoned the leaders of the contending parties to a conference at Whitby, A.D. 664, at which he himself presided. Colman, bishop of Lindisfarne, represented the British church. The Romish party were headed by Agilbert, bishop of Dorchester, and Wilfrid, a young Saxon. Wilfrid was spokesman. The arguments were characteristic of the age; but the manner in which the king decided irresistibly provokes a smile, and makes one doubt whether he were in jest or earnest. Colman spoke first, and urged that the custom of the Celtic church ought not to be changed, because it had been inherited from their forefathers, men beloved of God, &c. Wilfrid followed:
'The Easter which we observe I saw celebrated by all at Rome: there, where the blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, lived, taught, suffered, and were buried.' And concluded a really powerful speech with these words: 'And if, after all, that Columba of yours were, which I will not deny, a holy man, gifted with the power of working miracles, is he, I ask, to be preferred before the most blessed Prince of the Apostles, to whom our Lord said, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to thee will I give the keys of the kingdom of heaven" ?'
The King, turning to Colman, asked him, 'Is it true or not, Colman, that these words were spoken to Peter by our Lord?' Colman, who seems to have been completely cowed, could not deny it. 'It is true, 0 King.' 'Then,' said the King, 'can you shew me any such power given to your Columba? ' Colman answered, ' No.' You are both, then, agreed,' continued the King, are you not, that these words were addressed principally to Peter, and that to him were given the keys of heaven by our Lord?' Both assented. 'Then,' said the King, 'I tell you plainly, I shall not stand opposed to the door-keeper of the kingdom of heaven; I desire, as far as in me lies, to adhere to his precepts and obey his commands, lest by offending him who keepeth the keys, I should, when I present myself at the gate, find no one to open to me.'
This settled the controversy, though poor honest Colman resigned his see rather than submit to such a decision.
On Easter-day depend all the moveable feasts and fasts throughout the year. The nine Sundays before, and the eight following after, are all de-pendent upon it, and form, as it were, a body-guard to this Queen of Festivals. The nine preceding are the six Sundays in Lent, Quinquagesima, Sexagesima, and Septuagesima; the eight following are the five Sundays after Easter, the Sunday after Ascension Day, Whit Sunday, and Trinity Sunday.
The first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox- it really isn’t that complicated.
The Ecclesiastical Canons of the Same Holy Apostles.
8. If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon shall celebrate the holiday of the passover before the vernal equinox with the Jews, let him be deprived.
Jesus doesn’t like divorce either.
As to parties, we celebrate Mass every day.
Eh? The answer seems obvious to me. It follows Passover.
It is all spelled out in Leviticus 23 It is the YHvH commanded Feast of First Fruits.
If we believe the Word of Elohim and not the Traditions of Man, shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
It is the day following the Shabbat following Pesach.
for those who believe the Word of G-d(Jesus).
It is all spelled out in Leviticus 23
It is the YHvH commanded Feast of First Fruits.
Several Orthodox churches broke off from the Old Calendar, still kept by the Russian Orthodox, so a precedence to follow astronomical calendar exists among the Orthodox.
(And the first one to ask Julian calendar April or Gregorian calendar April gets smacked.)
But here's a fact question: do all Jews evrywhere, worldwide, observe Passover at the same time? Or do they have calendrical issues too?
It’s always 15th day of the month of Nisan, which corresponds to the full moon of Nisan. The day has varied somewhat for reasons related to harvest, but it’s been mathematical for 1000 years or so.
It’s 8 days outside of Israel and 7 inside.
Sometimes it’s the same as one of the Christian calendars, but I don’t know which one.
In Catholic thinking, both the Incarnation and the Resurrection are not simply historical events shaping the human race (like revolutions and scientific discoveries are), they are also cosmic events on par with the movement of the planets and the moon, since they are actions of the Creator Himself. It is one thing to have doubts about the date, while taking one’s best judgement as to when it is, another to pick an arbitrary date because it seems convenient.
These are things bigger than ourselves.
Well, OK. But that’s canon is ceremonial law, not moral law. It could be changed.
BTW, I apologize for all my typos, past, present, and future. These fingers!!!
By another ecumenical council, and since it is a matter decided by the unified Church, it better be a hyper-ecumenical supercouncil with East Orthodox and Catholics together.
Yes, but the topic is by itself fascinating.
Amen! Here’s one vote for a hyper-ecumenical super-council!
I usually have a strong personal bias in favor of “hyper.” :o)
Cool. I love stuff that corresponds to solar/lunar events. Howcome 7 days in Israel, and 8 outside? (Jus’ curious...)
I vote no. Neither Church is ready, and unity from top down will not last. That already was tried, at Florence, and did not work.
Conditions favorable to reunification now exist, but the maturity necessary for reunion is not there. What best can be done now is to study each other and, Catholics in particular, to study the patristic Church. The two Churches need to fall in love with each other once again. By and large, it is not happening.
Well, that's a big if. The Evangelicals are welcome to study Catholicism and convert, and of course we are happy to cooperate on some social issues with the Evangelicals (or anyone else), but the doctrinal differences are not reconcileable at all. A reconciliation with the Orthodox is, on the other hand, the logic of history and undoubtedly will happen perhaps even in our lifetimes, but more likely in a couple of generations. Yet it is the calendar issue that visibly separates us from the Orthodox (and the Orthodox within themselves). We do not have calendar issues with the Protestants that I am aware of, except certain judaizing factions of them.
The WCC is a bastion of false ecumenism: the notion that all differences between Christians are reconcileable. As a whole, that is a silly and profoundly heretical idea. However, if they sponsor a technical study on an issue such as this and help the Orthodox and the Catholics find common ground, that is quite salutary.
The correct seven days will be covered by making
I believe it is Rabbinical, putting a hedge around the law. shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
it eight days for different time zones.
The correct seven days will be covered by making
Let’s say I’m for the hyer-super with the necessary preconditions.
Correct; there are 8 days really because of historical differences in calendars and just plain error — until the advent of “Greenich Mean Time” (and train timetables) — even “unified” calendars weren’t unified.
So they made it longer in case the local-current date was “off.”
IMHO, it’s unnecessary in this day and time of atomic clocks, and I actually agree with the Reform folks that it should be just 7 days.
There is no division on the issue of Easter. All Orthodox Churches celebrate Easter on the same day, according to the Old Calendar.
I didn’t mean to slight you; I pinged Kolokotronis because he has a ping list, as well as the others to whom I addressed that initial post.
I do not maintain my own ping list any more and instead piggiback on others.
Correct; the divisions of calendar exist among the Orthodox but not on the paschalia.
Kolo gave me the list. It’s on my profile and I ping all of them.
Yes it is. The solemnities of the Christian pasch are fulfillment of the Jewish Passover, whose full moon enabled the Israelites' travel out of Egypt by both night and day. Conforming to this, Christians are reminded of the urgency with which we are called to escape death and cross over into life.
Good point. The whole Paschal Liturgy is jam-packed with Judaism.
I really think getting more into having a more unified date for Easter is a way of honoring the prayer Jesus said that all the belivers be one.
I’m going to second you concerning the WCC. I personally hope the RCC and the Orthodox Church remove themselves from these people. Being a part of the WCC is like asking the Arians, or Montanists their opinion, and then pretending to take them seriously. Nothing good can come of it.
Yep! Me! :)
I never understood how Pascha could be celebrated before Passover since the Last Supper was a Passover seder? Think about it!
I am Russian Orthodox (ROCOR, which has been in Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate sine 17 May, 2007) and don't mind having a different date for Easter though, as it makes getting the days off easier! Selfish, yes...but convenient as I refuse to EVER miss going to church from Holy Thursday through Bright Monday.
IMO, if there were to be a common date, it ought to be calculated the way we do it....after the Passover...
I am Old Calendar....
Yes, you are, borther! I believe Alex had a question for you.
that should be brother, brother! :)
Wat difference does it make if ROCOR is in communion with Moscow? The Paschal Sunday falls on the same day for ALL Orthodox Churches (except Finnish, by EP's special dispensation!).
The Catholics do not celebrate Easter before Passove either, that is not an issue.
No, not really a question, since on the Easter there is no division between you, and that is what the thread is about. I was simply wondering how important it is for the fixed celebrations such as Christmas.
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