When to observe the holidays


Why do Catholics and Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter on different days?

By Kathleen Manning |


Do both religions (Orthodox and Catholics) observe the phrases of the moon only during Easter and not other holy day? Also, I Thought this next article was good to read:

Catholic-Orthodox urged toward reunion

Oct 12, 2010

Also released Oct. 7 was a second, related statement from the consultation titled, Celebrating Easter/Pascha Together." It urges Orthodox and Western Christians to agree on a common method of calculating the feast of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, based on the ecumenical agreement of the 1997 Aleppo (Syria) Consultation that has been endorsed by many Christian bodies.

"The consequences of our division on this issue are significant. … “More than ever, there is a need for a unified Christian proclamation and a witness of the core of our common faith: the Resurrection of Our Lord,” that statement said. (See Catholic-Orthodox seek common Easter date .)

**But Passover and Easter don’t always coincide. Last year Passover was inApril, and Easter was in March.**https://globalnews-ca.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/globalnews.ca/news/2598031/confused-about-the-date-of-easter-heres-how-it-works/amp/?amp_js_v=a2&amp_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQCCAE%3D#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%1%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fglobalnews.ca%2Fnews%2F2598031%2Fconfused-about-the-date-of-easter-heres-how-it-works%2F


The Church switches to a lunar calendar for three and a half months every year, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Corpus Christi. Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, and Trinity Sunday are all “movable feasts” within that period.

There have been changes over the years, however. I think the first Sunday in Lent is still named Quadragesima, but the three Sundays before that seem to have dropped their old names of (in reverse order) Quinquagesima, Sexagesima, and Septuagesima.


Correct, and for those that correctly know their ordinal numbers in Latin, you’ll see it’s a countdown… To what? Laetere Sunday. While we still mark this particular Sunday (but almost exclusively by the passing note of rose vestments), we no longer really have Lent divided into the almost “sub seasons” it once was. Used to be that Laetere Sunday signaled a week of transition from Lent proper into Passiontide the following Sunday.


There are conflicting explanations for the numbering. What I’ve read is this (simplifying a bit). First, when Lent was first introduced a few years after the Council of Nicea, it was calculated to last exactly forty days, beginning on Quadragesima Sunday and ending on Holy Thursday. At a later stage, four more days were added at the beginning of Lent, moving the first day of Lent forward to Ash Wednesday. Then Shrovetide came into being as a four-day festival before Lent, and finally the three pre-Lenten Sundays were given their Latin names, but based on the misunderstanding that “Quadragesima” meant “fourth” rather than “fortieth.” Consequently, the fifth, sixth, and seventh Sundays (in reverse order) became known as Quinquagesima, Sexagesima, and Septuagesima.

Please note, I’m not saying that this is the correct explanation and that all other explanations are wrong. What we’re up against, I suspect, as so often in the history of the early Church, is the lack of any surviving written records that would enable historians to find out exactly what happened, beyond all reasonable doubt.


I read up on Laetere Sunday and enjoyed the reading! Beautiful, "“Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. Psalm: I rejoiced when they said to me: ‘we shall go into God’s House!’”

It will be good that we can start focusing on the Holy days. Interesting information. I have some other questions regarding then the questions on the board from others that wanted to know the answer to the day from last supper to then crucifixion to determine"three days and three nights" (Thursday or Friday - according to Jonah 17:1 and Matthew 12:40) will there ever be a determination? and figuring on discrepancy between calendar time and calculated astronomical time?

Laetare Sunday is exactly 21 days before Easter Sunday, a moveable feast based on the cycles of the moon . The date can be any between 1 March and 4 April inclusive; occurrence in April is considered to be uncommon; the last occurrence was on 3 April 2011 and the next will be on 4 April 2038, after which it will not occur again until 1 April 2057 – occurrences in April are printed in the below list in bold type. The earliest occurrence of Laetare Sunday in the twenty-first century was on 2 March 2008[6], and the latest will be on 4 April 2038.”


There is another thought from an article that I read:

True or not true??? Is the calendar for the Holy Date (Day) of Easter being coincided with Passover - wouldn’t this throw off figuring a date? Or that scriptural passage -

“Passover is itself a lunar festival marking the beginning of the new year and is to occur annually on the vernal full moon—a date that came to be designated in the Jewish Calendar as the 14th of Nisan (Exod 12:1-6). Ancient Jewish communities faced many challenges in regulating their year by a lunar calendar. Because the Jewish lunar calendar frequently fell out of step with the seasons of a solar year, Jews added an additional month to their calendar every two or three years to correct Passover from occurring out of season. A late decision to add a month to the Jewish calendar and/or difficulties communicating meant that not all Jewish communities were always aware of the extra month. This resulted in some Jewish communities celebrating Passover in different months, while other Jewish communities ended up mistakenly celebrating Passover twice in the same year.”

Some Common Misperceptions about the Date of Pascha/Easter: https://publicorthodoxy.org/2018/03/15/easter-date-2018/


One more interesting find:

"Mel Gibson’s stunning motion picture, “The Passion of The Christ,” opens with a dramatic closeup view of the Full Moon. From there, we see Jesus and His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the subsequent events from the Gospels are shown set against the pale brightness of the Moon’s light.

The Moon is shown several times in that opening scene, as if to impress upon the viewer that these events did indeed take place on the night of the Full Moon. In this astronomical way, as in so many other ways, the maker of this remarkable film accurately depicted Biblical truth.

After all, Jesus was indeed crucified on the day following the Passover. And we do know from Scripture that the Passover is to be celebrated during the Full Moon of the current season. This particular Full Moon is commonly called “The Easter Moon,” or more properly, “The Paschal Moon.” "

[https://www.crosswalk.com/family/homeschool/the-astronomy-of-passover-1257009.html](http://The Astronomy of Passover)


An important spiritual truth we can learn from the full moon is that, as bright and beautiful as a full moon appears, it has no brilliance of its own. It relies entirely upon the sun for its light. Without the sun, the moon is merely a hunk of dark rock. Likewise, we human beings have no light of our own. We were created in the image of God to reflect His brilliance and glory (Genesis 1:27). When we are turned to face the majesty of Almighty God, when we surrender to Him and seek Him with all our hearts, we reflect His glory (Matthew 5:14). We were created to be reflectors of His light in this world (John 1:4–5). When we shine in the glory of God, we are not to be worshiped, as the moon is not to be worshiped. We are to point people to Jesus by committing ourselves to reflect His light (John 8:12).
Is there any significance to a full moon in the Bible?


It is very unusual for Passover and Easter to coincide exactly, for the simple reason that the Jewish and Christian calendar rules are different. Passover is celebrated on the day of the full moon, but Easter on the Sunday after the full moon.


Thank you for responding back to my post. Understood - I’ve been reading up on the subject on the side and found so much good information, as well. Yes, what I understand the process for calculating the dates is somewhat complicated. The month-moon cycles are out of synch -


As a final order of business, the bishops decided upon a date for the holiest of Christian celebrations, Easter, which was being observed at different times around the empire. Previously linked with the timing of Passover, the council settled on a moveable day that would never coincide again with the Jewish holiday — the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. see Wikipedia: First Council of Nicaea
“Another result of the council was an agreement on when to celebrate Easter, the most important feast of the ecclesiastical calendar, decreed in an epistle to the Church of Alexandria in which is simply stated”


The Christian Churches have their own calculus for Passover, which is different from the methods used in Judaism. Note that Judaism’s current method was itself revised after Christianity and Judaism parted ways.

Part of the explanation for the differences between western and eastern Christianity is that the calculus is based on the vernal equinox: March 25th. It is March 25th for both, but for western Christians it’s March 25th of the Gregorian calendar and for eastern Christians it’s March 25th of the Julian calendar. The Julian calendar is what was used when the calculus was agreed to. That said, the Julian calendar is less accurate than the Gregorian calendar and the dates will continue to drift further out-of-synch due to that (unless adjusted, Julian calendar users might be celebrating Easter in December some day). When the Gregorian calendar was adopted, it was actually intended that March 25th under the Gregorian calendar synch up to when March 25th in the Julian was in the solar year when the calculus method was first adopted.

These are broad generalizations.


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.


Earliest EasterEdit

In 1818, as a paschal full moon fell on Saturday March 21 (the ecclesiastical fixed date for the Equinox), Easter was the following day—Sunday March 22—the earliest date possible. It will not fall on this date again until 2285, a span of 467 years.

Latest EasterEdit

In 1943 a full moon fell on Saturday March 20. As this was before March 21, the next full moon, which fell on Sunday April 18, determined the date of Easter—the following Sunday, April 25. It will not fall on this date again until 2038, a span of 95 years.

For a detailed discussion read: Ecclesiastical full moon


I thought I would follow up on the subject. Thank you for your reply


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