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Author Topic: article to explain placement of pascha versus western easter  (Read 3765 times) Average Rating: 0
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calligraphqueen
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« on: March 21, 2008, 02:24:33 PM »

I need a simply explanation of why our Holy Week is placed differently than Western Easter. I know it has to be after passover. I am just in need of an explanation to a baptist group that we are part of-conflict of schedule.  The group is supposed to be inclusive, sometimes a little explanation goes a long way.

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Elisha
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2008, 02:34:44 PM »

I have not reviewed for accuracy (not that I'm the most qualified), but this should cover it:

http://christianity.about.com/od/faqhelpdesk/qt/whyeasterchange.htm
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tuesdayschild
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2008, 02:52:01 PM »

This question comes up a lot for us, too.  Here's how I understand it.

Nicea: Christ's Resurrection is to be celebrated on the Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox, where the equinox is fixed as March 21 according to the Julian calendar of 4th Century usage.

Problem 1: Early medieval Paschal cycles were developed independently.  The West developed an 84-year cycle; the East, a 19-year cycle.

Problem 2: Julian calendar miscalculations of leap-year led to a (now) 13-day drift that was "corrected" by the Gregorian calendar. 

Result: The West uses an 84-year cycle to determine Easter according to the Gregorian calendar; the East uses a 19-year cycle to determine Pascha according to the Julian calendar.  But both follow Nicea.

Consequence:  My kids get a four-day weekend this month instead of next month when they could really use it.
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Fr. George
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2008, 04:13:06 PM »

Consequence:  My kids get a four-day weekend this month instead of next month when they could really use it.

I always took full advantage for Western Easter, and then took off for Our Holy Friday and (if Pascha was on or after April 23) for St. George as well (Bright Monday).
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Nyssa The Hobbit
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2008, 06:14:45 PM »

My priest told us that if anybody asks why we're celebrating Easter so late, we should ask them why they're celebrating so early, while it's still cold.  Wink
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2008, 08:56:15 PM »

I always took full advantage for Western Easter, and then took off for Our Holy Friday and (if Pascha was on or after April 23) for St. George as well (Bright Monday).
I did so as well. This was our Spring Break week (although ice storms shortened it to only today), but I'm taking off Holy Thursday and Friday as personal days.
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2008, 09:29:59 PM »

My priest told us that if anybody asks why we're celebrating Easter so late, we should ask them why they're celebrating so early, while it's still cold.  Wink 

Except we've had 2 straight snowy Palm Sundays, and last year's snowy Pascha (at least in Cleveland it was).
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2008, 11:26:05 PM »

I would just like to add what already has been said. The Orthodox calculate Pascha based upon the Alexandrian tradition approved at the Council of Nicea.  We use a 19 year cycle which is commonly known as the Metonic cycle, also refered to as the Callipic Cycle (you can google this to find out what its all about). The Jews use the same 19 year cycle and a similar calendar as we do, when calculating their Passover approved in 363 a.d.

Thus Pascha always falls on the first Sunday AFTER the first full moon following the vernal equinox. Jewish Passover of course begins on the firstfull moon, thus if the full moon falls on the weekend, Orthodox Pascha is moved up one week, since the Nicene stipulation is that its the first Sunday AFTER the full moon.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2008, 11:27:26 PM by buzuxi » Logged
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