Why do Easter Orthodox celebrate Eastertide on a different date to the Roman Catholics and which calendar do they use?
I have a basic idea of the answer to this question, but I couldn’t give enough info to adequately answer this. Try this thread: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=652065&highlight=why+do+orthodox+celebrate+easter+on+a+different+date. If you don’t find what you’re looking for there, do a search on these forums and I’m sure you’ll find more. Good luck!
I think the main reason is that a large part of Orthodoxy still follows the Old (Julian) Calendar on which the first Sunday following the Jewish Passover falls on a different date, and all Orthodox churches, even those that follow the “new” calendar celebrate it on the Old Calendar date to accomodate those churches. There may be more to it.
There is. Because the Julian calendar is the one which was used to calculate the date of Easter according to the Council of Nicaea, the Orthodox feel that an ecumenical council would be needed to reform this. The dates of fixed feasts, however have no such restriction, so some Churches have moved their fixed feasts to the Gregorian calendar, while others kept their feasts on the Old Calendar. Personally, I think the revised Julian calendar was not very well thought out because it changes the fasting life of the Church (in some years nearly obliterating the apostle’s fast), but the liturgical calendar is to a certain extent manmade, so I see don’t particularly mind that my jurisdiction uses the revised Julian, even thought I think the Julian is better.
This is where, respectfully, I get a little lost. If the criterion for the date of Pascha remains the same (the first Sunday following the first fullmoon in or after Passover, or whatever it is, I can never keep it straight) what does it matter which calendar is used? Obviously, I’m missing something here.
You are right Schism hater, It doesn’t matter which calendar is used!
What matters is that Christ goes through the agony and resurrection every year and we took the liberty to duplicate those events, now having two Easters! Neither is wrong or right - well the date calculations may be so but not Easter itself, which means that every year, with few exceptions, the Divided body of Christ, the Church, has to suffer twice.
There is anpetition to change this, since we, as Christians, should be revolted that we inflict these wounds on our Saviour. You will find it here: onedate.org
Please sign it, send it to your friends, your parishes, prayer groups etc. We need to put an end to this division which wounds our Lord in so many ways and which discredits us all completely in front of other religions and atheists.
There was controversy in the early Church over the calculation. Eventually the Alexandrian computus was accepted, later there was divergence.
Council of Nicea approved the Alexandrian method of computus for Easter or Pascha attributed by the Coptic Church to Pope Demetrius of Alexandria. It uses the 19 year Metonic cycle of the Jewish Calendar, which is luni-solar, which has a table of golden numbers with epacts (excess days in the solar year over the lunar year). For golden numbers 1-19 these are the epacts:
3, 14, 25, 6, 17, 28, 9, 20, 1, 12, 23, 4, 15, 26, 7, 18, 0, 11, 22.
See page 215:
In the early Church, there were many dates used. St. Polycarp of Smyrna didn’t even celebrate it on Sunday most years, which might shock people today. A common method was decided upon at Nicaea for the unity of the Church, but unless we are willing to concede that the Apostolic fathers did it wrong (in which case, we should all be Mormons), I think we have to say that celebrating multiple Easters doesn’t imply disunity, so long as we don’t make it into an issue.
At the link, the item to read is “THE LETTER OF THE SYNOD IN NICAEA TO THE EGYPTIANS”
The page reference does not apply: