Why is Easter so Early?


#1

I was asked why Easter is so early? In searching this topic I found out that both the Passover and the Orthodox Easter happen a month later. Does anyone have the answer or where I could find the information on this subject?

Thanks

Buzz


#2

Buzz - They use the Julian Calendar; we use the Gregorian.

March 21, the assumed equinox is slowly slipping later than the astronomical equinox on the Julian Calendar. It is currently about two weeks later. The Gregorian corrected this by omitting leap year three times every four centuries. It also skipped several days to bring march 21 back to the astronomical equinox.

Because the Gregorian calendar was instituted by the pope we use it liturgically but the Orthodox and Jews don’t.

A search on Gregorian Calendar and/or Julian Calendar should give you more than any reasonable person would want to know. :wink:


#3

IIRC Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox and not fixed to the dates of those other holidays.
Equinox was Monday; full moon is tonight (?); so Easter is Sunday

Of course there is the possibility that the candy makers were trying to get it as close to St. Valentine’s day as possible to really rack up those 1st quarter numbers…but I’ve said too much already :wink:


#4

[quote=Joe Kelley]Buzz - They use the Julian Calendar; we use the Gregorian.

March 21, the assumed equinox is slowly slipping later than the astronomical equinox on the Julian Calendar. It is currently about two weeks later. The Gregorian corrected this by omitting leap year three times every four centuries. It also skipped several days to bring march 21 back to the astronomical equinox.

Because the Gregorian calendar was instituted by the pope we use it liturgically but the Orthodox and Jews don’t.

A search on Gregorian Calendar and/or Julian Calendar should give you more than any reasonable person would want to know. :wink:
[/quote]

I would like to make just some comment.

There are Catholic Churches that follow the Julian Calendar but celebrate Pascha on the same date as most of the Catholic Church does.

Also there are Catholic Churches that follow the Gregorian Calendar but celebrate Pascha on the same date as the Orthodox Churches.

Here in Rochester, NY, we have two Ukrianian Greek Catholic parishes. I would say that they are not even 2 miles apart from each other. There was just one in the past but there was a split, one of the parishes uses the Julian Calendar, the other uses the Gregorian Calendar but both will celebrate Pascha this comming Sunday.

After the Bridegroom service on Tuesday night we got into a discussion with our pastor and a bi-ritual priest who helps out at times. It turns out that the Roman Catholics in Egypt celebrate Pascha on the Orthodox date.


#5

Thanks everyone for your reply. Makes a lot of sense.
I passed on the info to the person who asked me, but
this information was good for me also.

Interesting point is this: Non-Catholics except for the
Orthodox keep the same Easter as Catholics and yet
have such different theology.

Many blessings

Buzz


#6

[quote=Joe Kelley]March 21, the assumed equinox
[/quote]

That’s the one thing that bugs me about the calculation–using an assumed equinox rather than the actual. It probably doesn’t change anything, but I don’t like it! :slight_smile:


#7

[quote=ajcatholic]Thanks everyone for your reply. Makes a lot of sense.
I passed on the info to the person who asked me, but
this information was good for me also.

Interesting point is this: Non-Catholics except for the
Orthodox keep the same Easter as Catholics and yet
have such different theology.

Many blessings

Buzz
[/quote]

I know I am picking at nits here but there is no universal date for Easter even among Catholics as I stated in my reply above.

I think it is more of a Western world thing as to why the protestants keep the same date. That as well as the fact that all protestants can trace back their beginnings to the Latin Catholic Church.

The Orthodox never had a protestant reformation.


closed #8

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.