How does the Eastern Church calendar differ from the Western one?


I would be pleased if you would highlight some of the most prominant differences for me. Or please refer me to the respective sources where I can do my own digging. Thanks


Well, if you’re meaning the Liturgical Calendar then some differences include the start and conclusion as well as different feast days. We start the Church year on Sept 1st not on the first Sunday of Advent. All Saints’ Day isn’t November first but rather the 1st Sunday following Pentecost.

If you’re meaning the differences between the Julian and Gregorian, well currently they are 13 days apart. The set feasts all take place on the same date on both calendars however. Christmas is always Dec. 25th however when using the Julian Calendar to celebrate it , it results in the date being 13 days later than the main Gregorian calendar…thus you end up with Jan 7th.


The Julian calendar has two many leap years. The Gregorian skips the leap day for years ending in 00, unless divisible by 400 (like 2000. There may have been more bugs from incorrectly skipping the leap year than from using a two digit year . . .)



I’ve still never understood why there are Churches who insist on using this inaccurate calendar…I know the Gregorian isn’t perfect but it is more accurate than the Julian.


In all seriousness, it’s long baffled me as to the position that the RCC and Orthodox take.

Generally, it’s the EO taking the hard line on the decrees of ecumenical councils.

Here, though, it’s Rome that is following the canon and the EO opposing it.

Nice didn’t say anything about the calendar, but rather set the universal observance of Pascha as the Sunday following the first full moon after the equinox.

At the time, this was a major calculation, so the astronomers at Alexandria (one of the five Holy Sees) were tasked to put tables together so that it could easily be calculated. If memory serves, it’s a 14 year cycle.

The problem is that the Julian/pagan calendar has room many leap years, as explained above, and drifts slowly–about 3/4 a day per century) out of alignment with reality. The days of equinox and solstice are the same nominal day each year; the day just, well, lands on the wrong day.

I think the solution is to dump the tables and use the actual equinox in Jerusalem; it’s trivial to calculate.


agreed :slight_smile:


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