The Date of Pascha

Computus Latin for “computation” is a calculation that determines the calendar date of Easter. Because the date is based on a calendar -dependent equinox rather than the astronomical one , there are differences between calculations done according to the Julian calendar and the modern Gregorian calendar. The name has been used for this procedure since the early Middle Ages , as it was considered the most important computation of the age. For most of their history Christians have calculated Easter independently of the Jewish calendar. In principle, Easter falls on the Sunday following the full moon that follows the northern spring equinox the paschal full moon. However, the vernal equinox and the full moon are not determined by astronomical observation. The vernal equinox is fixed to fall on 21 March previously it varied in different areas and in some areas Easter was allowed to fall before the equinox. The full moon is an ecclesiastical full moon determined by reference to a lunar calendar, which again varied in different areas. While Easter now falls at the earliest on the 15th of the lunar month and at the latest on the 21st, in some areas it used to fall at the earliest on the 14th the day of the paschal full moon and at the latest on the 20th, or between the sixteenth and the 22nd. The last limit arises from the fact that the crucifixion was considered to have happened on the 14th the eve of the Passover and the resurrection therefore on the sixteenth.

Common Response to the Aleppo Statement on the Date of Easter/Pascha

Easter is here! Or is it? While most Christian countries celebrate Easter this weekend April , Christian Orthodox countries such as Greece celebrate it later in the month. So when is Greek Easter, why is it on a different date and how do people celebrate it?

In Eastern Orthodox branches of Christianity, Easter Sunday serves as the start of the season of Pascha (Greek for “Easter”), which ends 40 days.

Unlike most European nations, which will celebrate on April 21, Greece will adhere to the date for Orthodox Easter, which falls very late this year — on April Orthodox Churches still use the Julian calendar for Easter, meaning at some times that there can be a day lag behind the Gregorian. So, for example, on Mount Athos — an autonomous religious state in northern Greece under the protection of Athens — the residents there are always 13 days behind the rest of Europe. In fact, the last time the two great Christian denominations shared a date for Easter was in Another complicating factor historically was finding a date and sticking to it.

In the early days of their faith, Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ at different times. They decreed that Easter was to be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox, but always after Passover. In order to ensure there was no confusion as to when the vernal equinox occurred, the date of the vernal equinox was set to be March 21 April 3 on the Julian Calendar.

To this day, the Orthodox have stuck with this method of calculating the date of Easter, leading to it usually falling later than in the Western world.

Towards a Common Date for Easter

Let us therefore celebrate the festival. Click to table for reckoning dates of Easter according to the proposals below. In the 20th century the churches have rediscovered a deep concern for Christian unity. They have expressed this in their efforts to find common ground on theological issues that have long divided them.

In our Gregorian calendar, there are 35 dates on which Easter can Easter Sunday for Eastern or Orthodox Christendom will fall on April

Written by GreekBoston. The Orthodox Christian Church calculates a bit differently than other Christian denominations. There are a few really good reasons why it may fall on a different date. The two Easters are calculated differently. Every now and them, both Easters do fall on the same date. Sometimes, the two methods of calculating Easter lead to the same date.

The Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar, not the Gregorian calendar, to calculate when Easter is. This is the calendar that was officially implemented by Julius Caesar and was in use primarily between 45 BC and AD. This means that it was the calendar that was used when the Orthodox Church was initially set up. Though much of the world now uses the Gregorian calendar, which replaced the Julian calendar, the custom has remained to use it to calculate the date of Easter.

This is one reason why Easter may fall on a different date. When Jesus first arrived in Jerusalem, he was hailed as a king. This moment is honored during Palm Sunday.

How Greek Easter Is Different From American Easter

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Unlike most most Christians around the world, who will celebrate on April 1, Greece will adhere to the Orthodox Easter, which falls early this.

Between red eggs, fireworks and different dates Greek Easter or ‘Pascha’ is a distinctly different affair than the Easter many Australians are accustomed to. In , Orthodox Easter Sunday falls on April 19, one week after Western churches celebrate the holiday. The date on which Easter falls depends entirely on the calendar followed by each variety of Christianity.

Western Churches, typically Protestant or Catholic, use the Gregorian calendar, which is the standard calendar for much of the world. However, the Orthodox Church follows the older Julian calendar, which often sets Orthodox Easter later than when Western Churches celebrate it. Holy Week is something more than significant for Orthodox Christians. According to tradition, people try to abstain from meat and its byproducts at that time. Easter or “Pascha” is the greatest celebration of the Orthodox Church Supplied.

However, some of them try to keep this tradition of fasting alive. Unlike Easter eggs in other countries, Greek Easter eggs are only found in red, symbolising the blood of Christ, and they are never made of chocolate. You will hear Orthodox Church bells ringing from the early morning lamenting Christ’s death. There are no parties or happy music playing on Greek radio or TV. The use of hammers, nails or needles is also avoided, due to potential references to crucifixion.


The different date for Orthodox Easter comes from following the Julian calendar that differs from the Gregorian calendar which is used by most western countries and Christian denominations. Consequently, the Orthodox Easter often occurs at a later date, near the time of the March equinox. This year, Orthodox Easter will fall on Sunday, April 19, , one week after Easter according to the Gregorian calendar which will be on April In AD, the Council of Nicaea decided that Easter would be observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the March equinox.

While the Council of Nicaea set the Easter date for most churches around the world, not all Christian churches observe Easter according to the Gregorian calendar. Many Orthodox churches still witness Easter in congruence with the Julian calendar.

Since the early Middle Ages, all Christians have used the same method for determining the date of Easter, though they arrive at a different.

Why Different Dates of Easter. Since the days of early church history, determining the precise date of Easter has been a matter for continued argument. Why does the date for Easter change every year? Have you ever wondered why Easter Sunday can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25? And why do Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter on a different day than Western churches?

These are all good questions with answers that require a bit of explanation. In fact, there are as many misunderstandings about the calculation of Easter dates, as there are reasons for the confusion. What follows is an attempt to clear up at least some of the confusion. If you like this article, click here and refer it to your friends. Home Home. Resources History. Easter Trivia Personalized Gifts. Easter Scoop Around The World.

When is Greek Easter and why is it different for the Orthodox church?

Jump to navigation. See Catholic-Orthodox urged toward reunion. The consultation, the official dialogue sponsored by the Orthodox and Catholic bishops of the United States and Canada, met Sept.

Orthodox Easter falls on Sunday, April 19, Orthodox Easter Calendar. – Sunday, April 19

Since the early Middle Ages, all Christians have used the same method for determining the date of Easter, though they arrive at a different result. This straightforward method based upon an easily observable natural phenomenon survived the Schism of , when the Catholic and Orthodox Churches split from each other.

Still, if you have Orthodox Christian friends or visit a predominantly Orthodox country, such as Russia or Greece, in the late spring you may find yourself celebrating a second Easter. In , the pope instituted a new calendar for all Catholic countries, and it would eventually be adopted as the civil calendar by countries throughout the world. The old Julian calendar year, created during the reign of Julius Caesar, was 11 minutes too long. That may not seem like much, but compounded over centuries, it was causing calendar days to shift in relation to natural phenomena like the change in seasons.

The new Gregorian calendar brought March 21 back into alignment with the equinox by axing 13 days from the calendar for one year. To keep things in alignment going forward, the Gregorian calendar allows a centurial year, like or , to be a leap year only if it is divisible by


A reform of the date of Easter has been proposed several times because the current system for determining the date of Easter is seen as presenting two significant problems:. There have been controversies about the “correct” date of Easter since antiquity, leading to schisms and excommunications or even executions due to heresy , but most Christian churches today agree on certain points.

Easter should therefore be celebrated:. The disagreements have been particularly about the determination of moon phases and the equinox, some still preferring astronomical observation from a certain location usually Jerusalem, Alexandria, Rome or local , most others following nominal approximations of these in either the Hebrew , Julian or Gregorian calendar using different lookup tables and cycles in their algorithms.

Deviations may also result from different definitions of the start of the day , i. It has been proposed that the first problem could be resolved by making Easter occur on a date fixed relative to the western Gregorian calendar every year, or alternatively on a Sunday within a fixed range of seven or eight dates.

A. Windows program is provided, together with a table listing the Easter date between the years. calculated using the Orthodox, Catholic and the.

Link to – “Towards a Common Date for Easter. Our Consultation strongly endorses the Aleppo Statement. The Aleppo Statement rightly calls attention to the centrality of Christ’s resurrection as the basis of our common faith. As “the ultimate expression of the Father’s gift of reconciliation and unity in Christ through the Spirit,” the resurrection “is a sign of the unity and reconciliation which God wills for the entire creation” paragraph 5.

Yet by celebrating the feast of Christ’s resurrection, the Holy Pascha, or Easter, on different Sundays in the same year, “the churches give a divided witness” to this mystery, “compromising their credibility and effectiveness in bringing the Gospel to the world” paragraph 1. It is a matter of concern in our own North American context. It has become an even more urgent issue in some parts of the world such as the Middle East, where Christians constitute a divided minority in a larger non-Christian society.

Noting that in the year the Paschal calculations now in use in our churches will coincide, the Aleppo Statement also recommends that, in the interval between now and then, the churches study and consider means to implement these recommendations. We believe that this principle still holds valid today. Scientific observations about the cosmos reveal the goodness and wonder of God’s creation, which he embraced in the incarnation of his Son.

Moreover, to deny an observable truth about the world is to reject God’s gift to us. As they witness to God’s love for the world, our churches need to use the findings of contemporary science as did the Fathers of Nicaea.

Why Orthodox and Western Easter Are on Different Dates

The Orthodox call this day Pascha. It is the most joyous celebration of the entire year, as the community gathers together to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It decreed that Pascha would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox. March 21 is used as an approximation of the vernal equinox.

In Western Christianity, the date of Easter is based on the Gregorian calendar and can fall between March 22 and April The Eastern Christian tradition bases its.

The date is approximately mid-November, At a meeting Oct. Paul’s College in Washington, the consultation continued its study of baptism and mutual recognition of sacraments. Participants also exchanged information on various events in the lives of both churches and discussed the relationship of their consultation with the international Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, which next June will meet in Emmitsburg, Md.

In a two-page statement issued at the end of their meeting, consultation members said the Aleppo Statement provides a sound theological, scientific, historical and practical basis to end centuries of division over the date of Easter, letting all the Christian churches give common witness once again to one of the central mysteries of the faith, the Resurrection. Easter is called Pascha throughout the Orthodox world. In the s, some churches proposed setting Easter on a fixed Sunday in April every year, but most authorities believe this would only create another schism and would lose the theological linkage of the first Easter with the Jewish Passover observance.

We believe that this principle still holds valid today. The Council of Nicaea in the fourth century decreed that Easter should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.

Why Is Orthodox Easter Usually a Different Date Than the Catholic One?

Jews observe it by hosting a ritual dinner, called a seder, and then by abstaining from eating all leavened bread for about a week. Some of us abstain from some other stuff , too. Instead, we eat matzo , a thin, unleavened cracker. Easter is a springtime Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and freedom from sin and death. One of these holidays is Maundy Thursday, which, aside from being a great name for a holiday, is a remembrance of the Last Supper, which was a seder.

My Eastern Orthodox friend is claiming that the “Catholic Easter” date is false because it sometimes happens before the Jewish Passover. How do I defend my​.

It should be noted that the article objectively examines the origin, history and methods for dating Pascha. In fact, the author closes his article with a reaffirmation of the current Orthodox Unity in celebrating our most important Holy Day. The last paragraph clearly echoes the sentiment of the First Ecumenical Council that the dating of Pashca should be done, “With one accord and in the same manner”. This year the Jews observed Passover on March The reason why Orthodox and Western Christians celebrate at different times is because we still go by the old Julian calendar in calculating the date of Pascha, even though we go by the new calendar for all the fixed feasts like Christmas and so on.

Protestants and Roman Catholics use the Gregorian Calendar for everything. Being a fixed day on the old Hebrew calendar, it could fall on any day of the week.

Learn About Greek Orthodox Easter

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