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Author Topic: Old vs. New Calendar?  (Read 209930 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« Reply #2205 on: August 31, 2013, 11:00:41 AM »

It is sad that AB Meletios forced this New Calendar on the peoples.

Why did he have to use the FORCE OF LAW?
What do you think Julius used? (although I'm against how the New Calendar was implemented in many-but not all-places).

Btw, Meletios didn't have the force of law, or Church for that matter, when the New Calendar was adopted.



I suppose that when Caesar's governors ran into provincials who wanted to keep the old Egyptian Calendar, they simply dispatched a few surly legionnaires to set the dissidents on the right path!  Wink
No, just the tax collectors (as in any agrarian state, nature had a nice way of forcing the need of a correct calendar on the state).  Although Egypt stands out in that it had less to do with what the sun was doing (it's always around) than what the Nile was doing-until the 1960's.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2013, 11:03:42 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #2206 on: August 31, 2013, 11:25:55 AM »

It is sad that AB Meletios forced this New Calendar on the peoples.

Why did he have to use the FORCE OF LAW?
What do you think Julius used? (although I'm against how the New Calendar was implemented in many-but not all-places).

Btw, Meletios didn't have the force of law, or Church for that matter, when the New Calendar was adopted.



I suppose that when Caesar's governors ran into provincials who wanted to keep the old Egyptian Calendar, they simply dispatched a few surly legionnaires to set the dissidents on the right path!  Wink
No, just the tax collectors (as in any agrarian state, nature had a nice way of forcing the need of a correct calendar on the state).  Although Egypt stands out in that it had less to do with what the sun was doing (it's always around) than what the Nile was doing-until the 1960's.

Another point against the use of the erroneous Julian for planting cycles. I know we are not agrarian societies for the most part, but at the time of the Fathers, the faithful mostly were living in agrarian cultures - continuing as such through the Industrial Revolution and the mid-19th century for goodness sake.

To me, the only solid argument against the new calendar is the manner in which it came to be used..although I submit, but for the Revolution in Russia, we would not be having much of this discussion today...there would surely have been schisms over the calendar, but for the most part the Orthodox world would be following the Revised Julian Calendar.

Again, it should not divide us on matters of faith! I will follow where my parish and where my bishops tell me to go over this issue and not use it as a source of further division on the Body of Christ. My ancestors saw enough of schism and division and blood feuds to last in the collective memory of their descendants for many generations.
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« Reply #2207 on: August 31, 2013, 12:50:29 PM »

I suppose that when Caesar's governors ran into provincials who wanted to keep the old Egyptian Calendar, they simply dispatched a few surly legionnaires to set the dissidents on the right path!  Wink
No, just the tax collectors (as in any agrarian state, nature had a nice way of forcing the need of a correct calendar on the state).  Although Egypt stands out in that it had less to do with what the sun was doing (it's always around) than what the Nile was doing-until the 1960's.

Many folk in antiquity held the ideal that the calendar should track the tropical year.  The Egyptians were not among them.  The Egyptians had used their 365-day calendar, without intercalations, for centuries without inconvenience.  The priests were aware of the difference between their calendar year and the tropical year, and incorporated it into their predictions of when the Nile would flood.

In the time of the Ptolemies a proposal was put forth (the Canopus Decree) to intercalate a day every four years and so stabilize the calendar's relationship to the seasons, but this proposal was not adopted at the time.  Only after Julius's reform did the Egyptian calendar adopt this approach.  But the old-Egyptian calendar continued to be used for some purposes.  Claudius Ptolemy used it in his computations, for example. 

We hold to the idea that the calendar should align with the tropical year because the Romans and the Jews did.  When Julius reformed the calendar, he set it up so that the Spring equinox would come near its traditional Roman date of March 25.   Whatever may have been the case before the exile, in postexilic Judea the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were expected to come at the time of the winter-barley harvest, and sufficiently before the winter-wheat harvest that the wheat would not be ruined by a hailstorm (Exodus 9.31).  Josephus wrote that these festivals occured when the sun is "in Aries"--in modern terms, this is when the sun has an ecliptic longitude between zero and thirty degrees.  This association of Passover/Matzoth with the Spring season was carried over into Christianity, and is a working presupposition for all the 3rd-4th century writers on the Paschalion.  Those old-calendar boosters who hold to the view that astronomical and meterological accuracy were never intended by those who set up the Easter cycles are wrong.   
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« Reply #2208 on: August 31, 2013, 01:44:31 PM »

I suppose that when Caesar's governors ran into provincials who wanted to keep the old Egyptian Calendar, they simply dispatched a few surly legionnaires to set the dissidents on the right path!  Wink
No, just the tax collectors (as in any agrarian state, nature had a nice way of forcing the need of a correct calendar on the state).  Although Egypt stands out in that it had less to do with what the sun was doing (it's always around) than what the Nile was doing-until the 1960's.

Many folk in antiquity held the ideal that the calendar should track the tropical year.  The Egyptians were not among them.  The Egyptians had used their 365-day calendar, without intercalations, for centuries without inconvenience.  The priests were aware of the difference between their calendar year and the tropical year, and incorporated it into their predictions of when the Nile would flood.
Actually no: they would date things to both the calendar year and tropical year, which is why we can have the exact date on events from the Middle Kingdom (the discrepancy was dealt with) on.

Most Egyptians went by the lunar calendar, leaving it to the hierarchy/monarchy to correct the dates as they went along.

In the time of the Ptolemies a proposal was put forth (the Canopus Decree) to intercalate a day every four years and so stabilize the calendar's relationship to the seasons, but this proposal was not adopted at the time.  Only after Julius's reform did the Egyptian calendar adopt this approach.  But the old-Egyptian calendar continued to be used for some purposes.  Claudius Ptolemy used it in his computations, for example.
 
Yes, Old Calendarism isn't new under the sun.

We hold to the idea that the calendar should align with the tropical year because the Romans and the Jews did.  When Julius reformed the calendar, he set it up so that the Spring equinox would come near its traditional Roman date of March 25.   Whatever may have been the case before the exile, in postexilic Judea the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were expected to come at the time of the winter-barley harvest, and sufficiently before the winter-wheat harvest that the wheat would not be ruined by a hailstorm (Exodus 9.31).  Josephus wrote that these festivals occured when the sun is "in Aries"--in modern terms, this is when the sun has an ecliptic longitude between zero and thirty degrees.  This association of Passover/Matzoth with the Spring season was carried over into Christianity, and is a working presupposition for all the 3rd-4th century writers on the Paschalion.  Those old-calendar boosters who hold to the view that astronomical and meterological accuracy were never intended by those who set up the Easter cycles are wrong.   
Indeed.  In Constantine's letter from Nicea (or his speech, I don't recall which) he talks about "the season," and its accuracy.
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« Reply #2209 on: August 31, 2013, 05:26:49 PM »

I imagine you'll probably come back with the canard that the "revised Julian" is not the Gregorian.
Well, if one doesn't want to deal with the facts, we can't do much for you.

I already explained the facts earlier, but you are too obtuse to recognize them.
BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!!! Do you really expect that people are going to change their minds in response to opinions masqueraded as facts by an anonymous yahoo on an Internet discussion forum?

PeterTheAleut is not your real name, PtA. This is pot calling the kettle black!
Dr. Jonathan Gress is a real person, not an anonymous yahoo.
And yet he's still masquerading his opinions as facts. I don't expect to change peoples' minds when I do that. What makes Jonathan think he can expect to change peoples' minds when he does that?

It is a fact that the "revised Julian" is more similar to the Gregorian than to the Julian. No one has offered any evidence to the contrary.
The Gregorian begins on January 1, both the Revised Julian and Old Calendar start on their own September 1 (the Old Calendar, of course, being off 13 days now).

Happy now?
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« Reply #2210 on: September 01, 2013, 05:56:08 PM »

Many folk in antiquity held the ideal that the calendar should track the tropical year.  The Egyptians were not among them.  The Egyptians had used their 365-day calendar, without intercalations, for centuries without inconvenience.  The priests were aware of the difference between their calendar year and the tropical year, and incorporated it into their predictions of when the Nile would flood.
Actually no: they would date things to both the calendar year and tropical year, which is why we can have the exact date on events from the Middle Kingdom (the discrepancy was dealt with) on.

Most Egyptians went by the lunar calendar, leaving it to the hierarchy/monarchy to correct the dates as they went along.
Actually, no.  The theory of a 365 1/4-day Egyptian "Sothic" calendar is based on a highly speculative interpretation of a single document from the time of Amenhotep I, the so-called Ebers calendar.  Current scholarly fashion, I think, favors an alternative highly speculative interpretation of this document.   

Individual temples may have had lunar calendars, and individual villages and individual peasants may have scheduled some of their activities by the phases of the moon.  But to state that "most Egyptians went by the lunar calendar" goes beyond the written evidence, which suggests that the only common calendar throughout the Two Lands, through most of the Pharaonic period, was the 365-day solar calendar.   In the Persian period, indeed, the Babylonian lunar calendar was used alongside the 365-day calendar:  Documents surviving from the Jewish colony at Elephantine in Upper Egypt give evidence of this.  In the Ptolemaic period the Macedonian calendar was used alongside the 365-day calendar.  This calendar was lunar at first, but was later modified in Egypt (though not elsewhere) to track the 365-day calendar.  In the Roman period the Roman calendar was used alongside the 365-day calendar.
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Forþon we sealon efestan þas Easterlican þing to asmeagenne and to gehealdanne, þaet we magon cuman to þam Easterlican daege, þe aa byð, mid fullum glaedscipe and wynsumnysse and ecere blisse.--Byrhtferth of Ramsey
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« Reply #2211 on: October 18, 2013, 01:50:25 AM »

Just my two sense  Cool on the calendar issue:

1. Both the Orthodox and the Latins used the same Julian calendar before pope Gregory changed it.
2. After the Pope changed it and the paschalion for the Latins, the Orthodox continued using the Julian calendar.
3. The Julian Calendar was revised in the early 20th century for various reasons, but the Paschalion was untouched.

Now, was it a hinderance to the Orthodox living in say, the 13th century when they and Rome celebrated not only the same calendar, but the same Paschalion?  Were they hyper-ecumenists? Roll Eyes

And what about now? The Orthodox and the Latins don't have identical Calendars, we have some saints and some feasts overlap, but completely different methods for calculating pascha.

So, if our holy fathers were unperturbed by sharing a common calendar with Rome after the schism, why are we perturbed about not even sharing the same calendar centuries later? This is simply a confusion of priorities. Plani anyone?
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« Reply #2212 on: October 18, 2013, 02:04:53 AM »

Just my two sense  Cool on the calendar issue:

1. Both the Orthodox and the Latins used the same Julian calendar before pope Gregory changed it.
2. After the Pope changed it and the paschalion for the Latins, the Orthodox continued using the Julian calendar.
3. The Julian Calendar was revised in the early 20th century for various reasons, but the Paschalion was untouched.

Now, was it a hinderance to the Orthodox living in say, the 13th century when they and Rome celebrated not only the same calendar, but the same Paschalion?  Were they hyper-ecumenists? Roll Eyes

And what about now? The Orthodox and the Latins don't have identical Calendars, we have some saints and some feasts overlap, but completely different methods for calculating pascha.

So, if our holy fathers were unperturbed by sharing a common calendar with Rome after the schism, why are we perturbed about not even sharing the same calendar centuries later? This is simply a confusion of priorities. Plani anyone?

Not that I agree with the premise, but it seems to me that the problem is less the sharing of a calendar and more the submission of the Orthodox Church to the (calendrical) whims of schismatics and heretics.

I myself feel that the Orthodox Church (to which I admittedly do not yet belong) should resolve this issue by simply switching to a new, updated calendar (perhaps the Revised Julian or perhaps another) with a corresponding Paschalion to boot. It might cause more problems than its worth but I don't see how sticking to the present situation or reverting to the increasingly incorrect and irrelevant Julian Calendar is any solution at all. This is coming from a person who has lived his entire ecclesiastical life according to the Old Calendar and who isn't going to wean himself off of it until the whole Church does (unless, as is my present situation, the local parish only functions on the New).
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« Reply #2213 on: November 24, 2013, 09:55:58 PM »

It is an often-repeated cliché that Western Christianity is "legalistic" while Eastern Christianity is not.

My experience is that both are legalistic in different ways.  The calendar controversy is one illustration of this.  Only among the (mostly slipshod) legal arguments for the Julian calendar are one or two that might be deemed self-consistent.  At least in my hearing, no one has convincingly justified the Julian solar or lunar calendars on mathematical, astronomical, or theological grounds.
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« Reply #2214 on: November 24, 2013, 10:26:24 PM »

Many folk in antiquity held the ideal that the calendar should track the tropical year.  The Egyptians were not among them.  The Egyptians had used their 365-day calendar, without intercalations, for centuries without inconvenience.  The priests were aware of the difference between their calendar year and the tropical year, and incorporated it into their predictions of when the Nile would flood.
Actually no: they would date things to both the calendar year and tropical year, which is why we can have the exact date on events from the Middle Kingdom (the discrepancy was dealt with) on.

Most Egyptians went by the lunar calendar, leaving it to the hierarchy/monarchy to correct the dates as they went along.
Actually, no.  The theory of a 365 1/4-day Egyptian "Sothic" calendar is based on a highly speculative interpretation of a single document from the time of Amenhotep I, the so-called Ebers calendar.  Current scholarly fashion, I think, favors an alternative highly speculative interpretation of this document.
 
Actually no.  The civil calendar based on the rising of the star Sirius around the time the Nile flooded is well established. Since it took only about a century to fall behind a month, and planting on the Nile couldn't be that loose, the difference was noticed and noted. The observation in the reign of Amenhotep I is only one of a half dozen.  References to the lunar month are also attested, although the moon played no role in the civil calendar (other than given the hieroglyph for "month").

Individual temples may have had lunar calendars, and individual villages and individual peasants may have scheduled some of their activities by the phases of the moon.  But to state that "most Egyptians went by the lunar calendar" goes beyond the written evidence,
most Egyptians couldn't read or write.
which suggests that the only common calendar throughout the Two Lands, through most of the Pharaonic period, was the 365-day solar calendar.   In the Persian period, indeed, the Babylonian lunar calendar was used alongside the 365-day calendar:  Documents surviving from the Jewish colony at Elephantine in Upper Egypt give evidence of this.  In the Ptolemaic period the Macedonian calendar was used alongside the 365-day calendar.  This calendar was lunar at first, but was later modified in Egypt (though not elsewhere) to track the 365-day calendar.  In the Roman period the Roman calendar was used alongside the 365-day calendar.
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« Reply #2215 on: November 24, 2013, 11:42:07 PM »

Many folk in antiquity held the ideal that the calendar should track the tropical year.  The Egyptians were not among them.  The Egyptians had used their 365-day calendar, without intercalations, for centuries without inconvenience.  The priests were aware of the difference between their calendar year and the tropical year, and incorporated it into their predictions of when the Nile would flood.
Actually no: they would date things to both the calendar year and tropical year, which is why we can have the exact date on events from the Middle Kingdom (the discrepancy was dealt with) on.

Most Egyptians went by the lunar calendar, leaving it to the hierarchy/monarchy to correct the dates as they went along.
Actually, no.  The theory of a 365 1/4-day Egyptian "Sothic" calendar is based on a highly speculative interpretation of a single document from the time of Amenhotep I, the so-called Ebers calendar.  Current scholarly fashion, I think, favors an alternative highly speculative interpretation of this document.
 
Actually no.  The civil calendar based on the rising of the star Sirius around the time the Nile flooded is well established.
On the basis of what documents?  I will consider the so-called "Sothic Calendar" to be "well established" when we have unambiguously double-dated documents from the Pharonic period stating that the X day of Pharmuthi in the Civil calendar is, say, the Y day of Thoth in the "Sothic" calendar, or when we have unambiguous references from the Pharonic period to a 6th epagomenal day.

Since it took only about a century to fall behind a month, and planting on the Nile couldn't be that loose, the difference was noticed and noted. The observation in the reign of Amenhotep I is only one of a half dozen. 
Knowing that the calendar drifts relative to the seasons, and estimating the amount, is not the same as maintaining a separate "calendar".  If I know that a certain event moves back by 1 day a year, then if it falls on July 1 this year, I can predict that it will occur on July 2 next year.  I don't need a separate calendar for this.  Neither did the Egyptian priests.

References to the lunar month are also attested, although the moon played no role in the civil calendar (other than given the hieroglyph for "month").
In the Persian period there are indeed double-dated papyri, from the Jewish colony of Elephantine in Upper Egypt, with dates in both the Egyptian and Babylonian calendars.  This was because the lunar calendar was the official calendar of the ruling power.  Maybe there are double-dated documents from the time of Assyrian domination too.  Maybe some of the Amarna letters, written in Akkadian and Canaanite, are dated according to lunar calendars used in Canaan.  Neither these cases, nor the mere existence of "references to the lunar month" can demonstrate that "most Egyptians" in the Pharonic period "went by" (whatever that means) "the" (as if there were only one) lunar calendar.
Individual temples may have had lunar calendars, and individual villages and individual peasants may have scheduled some of their activities by the phases of the moon.  But to state that "most Egyptians went by the lunar calendar" goes beyond the written evidence.
[M]ost Egyptians couldn't read or write.
If you want to claim what "most Egyptians" did, you need to back up your claim with evidence. 

Now, in the Ptolemaic and later periods, many Egyptians wrote in Greek.  Did they routinely double-date documents in both solar and lunar calendars?  If "most Egyptians" are using only the solar calendar in this later period, you need not only evidence that things were different earlier, you also need to account for the change.
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« Reply #2216 on: December 25, 2013, 02:35:47 PM »

Simple eplanation why Serbians did not adopted RJC despite Serbians being the only one Church but Constantinople represented and it being a Serbian invention?
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« Reply #2217 on: December 26, 2013, 12:25:32 AM »

Good question.
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« Reply #2218 on: December 27, 2013, 10:38:21 AM »

Simple eplanation why Serbians did not adopted RJC despite Serbians being the only one Church but Constantinople represented and it being a Serbian invention?

We're probably too much traditionalists. I know, it's me saying this - one of very few Serbs following the New Calendar. But that's very interesting for me - I don't know any single Serbian parish, even in diaspora, that uses the New Calendar.

Don't know how did it work among Greeks or Romanian in cultural aspect, but such things as Serbian New Year or Vidovdan give a clue. Immovable feasts and their dates are too much rooted in the culture and history, I suppose.
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« Reply #2219 on: December 27, 2013, 02:25:04 PM »

I do not think Serbians are more traditional than Romanians to be honest.

"Immovable". Let's wait 87 years. We'll see how immovable they are Smiley That will be fun.
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« Reply #2220 on: December 27, 2013, 02:41:08 PM »

I do not think Serbians are more traditional than Romanians to be honest.

"Immovable". Let's wait 87 years. We'll see how immovable they are Smiley That will be fun.
The Serbians, however, had a king who was subject to their patriarch, while the Romanians had one in submission to the Vatican.

The Serbians had that Serbian-Croatian thing going on as well, while Romania made its schismatic body in submission to the Vatican a second state church, in many ways more privileged (due to an Ultramontanist as King) that the Orthodox Church.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 02:44:50 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #2221 on: December 29, 2013, 02:52:08 AM »

Many folk in antiquity held the ideal that the calendar should track the tropical year.  The Egyptians were not among them.  The Egyptians had used their 365-day calendar, without intercalations, for centuries without inconvenience.  The priests were aware of the difference between their calendar year and the tropical year, and incorporated it into their predictions of when the Nile would flood.
Actually no: they would date things to both the calendar year and tropical year, which is why we can have the exact date on events from the Middle Kingdom (the discrepancy was dealt with) on.

Most Egyptians went by the lunar calendar, leaving it to the hierarchy/monarchy to correct the dates as they went along.
Actually, no.  The theory of a 365 1/4-day Egyptian "Sothic" calendar is based on a highly speculative interpretation of a single document from the time of Amenhotep I, the so-called Ebers calendar.  Current scholarly fashion, I think, favors an alternative highly speculative interpretation of this document.

Actually no.  The civil calendar based on the rising of the star Sirius around the time the Nile flooded is well established.
On the basis of what documents?  I will consider the so-called "Sothic Calendar" to be "well established" when we have unambiguously double-dated documents from the Pharonic period stating that the X day of Pharmuthi in the Civil calendar is, say, the Y day of Thoth in the "Sothic" calendar, or when we have unambiguous references from the Pharonic period to a 6th epagomenal day.

Since it took only about a century to fall behind a month, and planting on the Nile couldn't be that loose, the difference was noticed and noted. The observation in the reign of Amenhotep I is only one of a half dozen.  
Knowing that the calendar drifts relative to the seasons, and estimating the amount, is not the same as maintaining a separate "calendar".  If I know that a certain event moves back by 1 day a year, then if it falls on July 1 this year, I can predict that it will occur on July 2 next year.  I don't need a separate calendar for this.  Neither did the Egyptian priests.

References to the lunar month are also attested, although the moon played no role in the civil calendar (other than given the hieroglyph for "month").
In the Persian period there are indeed double-dated papyri, from the Jewish colony of Elephantine in Upper Egypt, with dates in both the Egyptian and Babylonian calendars.  This was because the lunar calendar was the official calendar of the ruling power.  Maybe there are double-dated documents from the time of Assyrian domination too.  Maybe some of the Amarna letters, written in Akkadian and Canaanite, are dated according to lunar calendars used in Canaan.  Neither these cases, nor the mere existence of "references to the lunar month" can demonstrate that "most Egyptians" in the Pharonic period "went by" (whatever that means) "the" (as if there were only one) lunar calendar.
Individual temples may have had lunar calendars, and individual villages and individual peasants may have scheduled some of their activities by the phases of the moon.  But to state that "most Egyptians went by the lunar calendar" goes beyond the written evidence.
[M]ost Egyptians couldn't read or write.
If you want to claim what "most Egyptians" did, you need to back up your claim with evidence.  

Now, in the Ptolemaic and later periods, many Egyptians wrote in Greek.  Did they routinely double-date documents in both solar and lunar calendars?  If "most Egyptians" are using only the solar calendar in this later period, you need not only evidence that things were different earlier, you also need to account for the change.
The Canopus Decree (dated 238 BC)
http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/texts/canopus_decree.htm
makes reference to the festivities being made for the rising of the Nile and the New Year with the rising of Sirius on the first of Paoni (which in that year was July 19, presently June Cool.  378 years later  Censorinus records the rising of the Nile and Sirius and the New Year on the first of Touth, then again July 20, but now September 11.  Which all accords with the Sothic cycle, and the priests keeping the Egyptian Calendar but celebrating its feasts according to the Stars and neither according to the Ptolemies Alexandrian calendar set up in the Canopus Decree (hence the advancing of the New Year star through four months over that time period).
And yes, if you look at the Canopus Decree it is dated in the solar Egyptian calendar but the Macedonian lunar calendar-which would be the same the Egyptian farmers used-the moon's phases are too obvious.  Numerous other examples can be provided.
As for most Egyptians, all of them looked up in the moon, and could see the phases for themselves.  Keeping track of the stars, not so much.
Civil Calendar and Lunar Calendar in Ancient Egypt
 By Leo Depuyd
http://books.google.com/books?id=2LBjMEmWYSoC&dq=Egyptian+lunar+month&source=gbs_navlinks_s
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« Reply #2222 on: January 11, 2014, 11:49:57 AM »

The Canopus Decree (dated 238 BC)
http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/texts/canopus_decree.htm
makes reference to the festivities being made for the rising of the Nile and the New Year with the rising of Sirius on the first of Paoni (which in that year was July 19, presently June .  378 years later  Censorinus records the rising of the Nile and Sirius and the New Year on the first of Touth, then again July 20, but now September 11.  Which all accords with the Sothic cycle, and the priests keeping the Egyptian Calendar but celebrating its feasts according to the Stars and neither according to the Ptolemies Alexandrian calendar set up in the Canopus Decree (hence the advancing of the New Year star through four months over that time period).
Have we been talking past each other?  Nothing in this statement contradicts anything I have written above. 

That the documents you cite contain dates that "accord with the sothic cycle" merely means that Egyptians used the 365-day calendar.

That the day of the heliacal rising of Sirius was called "the opening of the year" for some purposes does not prove the existence of a separate, 365 1/4-day "sothic" calendar, maintained by the priests in parallel to the 365-day calendar, in which the heliacal rising of Sirius, whatever its date in the 365-day calendar, was always on or near 1 Akhet 1 in this hypothetical, separately maintained "sothic" calendar.  Your own words, "according to the stars," show how a society can conduct seasonal activities without having to maintain the formal institution of a seasonally-synchronized calendar.

Similarly on the lunar "calendar"  A farmer who plants corn in the waxing moon and potatoes in the waning moon is regulating his activities by the moon without using a lunar "calendar."  The written documentation for lunar reckoning (the existence of formal lunar "calendars" is not necessarily supported by all the documents) in pre-Persian Egypt is, so far as I know, all connected with temples, priests, and festivals.  I am not aware of any document from outside this context that would support the existence in any farming village of a formal lunar calendar, agreed to by (or imposed upon) all the villagers without exception and having legal or cultural force in their dealings.
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« Reply #2223 on: January 18, 2014, 03:00:57 AM »

It is an often-repeated cliché that Western Christianity is "legalistic" while Eastern Christianity is not.

My experience is that both are legalistic in different ways.  The calendar controversy is one illustration of this.  Only among the (mostly slipshod) legal arguments for the Julian calendar are one or two that might be deemed self-consistent.  At least in my hearing, no one has convincingly justified the Julian solar or lunar calendars on mathematical, astronomical, or theological grounds.


It is simply a matter of following the teachings of Christ, Matthew 22:21, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
One of the universally acknowledged powers of the state is to regulate measurements, including the measurement of time. In the United States, our government has declared that we use the Gregorian Calendar. Therefore, we should accept the authority of our government to tell us what day it is. Then we look at the Menaion and determine which services are appropriate for that particular date. For example, the Menaion mandates that we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of Christ on December 25. The government tells us when December 25 is.

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« Reply #2224 on: January 18, 2014, 03:10:33 AM »

Ok Fr Morris I guess that means a Gregorian easter too. Preposterous I say, nay, I declare that balderdash.
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« Reply #2225 on: January 18, 2014, 03:17:13 AM »

Ok Fr Morris I guess that means a Gregorian easter too. Preposterous I say, nay, I declare that balderdash.

Yes, Fr. John ignors the significant importance of those 13 days that are so material to our salvation.
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« Reply #2226 on: January 18, 2014, 03:22:02 AM »

Ok Fr Morris I guess that means a Gregorian easter too. Preposterous I say, nay, I declare that balderdash.

Yes, Fr. John ignors the significant importance of those 13 days that are so material to our salvation.

Um i was speaking of Easter calculations. If.you want.to.follow.a.Gregorian easter and remain pretty much orthodox like in the way of services might I suggest joining.a.greek.catholic.parish?
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« Reply #2227 on: January 18, 2014, 03:31:39 AM »

Ok Fr Morris I guess that means a Gregorian easter too. Preposterous I say, nay, I declare that balderdash.

Yes, Fr. John ignors the significant importance of those 13 days that are so material to our salvation.

Um i was speaking of Easter calculations. If.you want.to.follow.a.Gregorian easter and remain pretty much orthodox like in the way of services might I suggest joining.a.greek.catholic.parish?

Or move to Finland.
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« Reply #2228 on: January 18, 2014, 10:25:33 AM »

Ok Fr Morris I guess that means a Gregorian easter too. Preposterous I say, nay, I declare that balderdash.

What's wrong with Gregorian Pascha?  You are in communion with a Church (Finland) which observes it, there are at least two OO Churches which observe it as well, and so far no one has died from it.  Actually, "old calendar and old paschalion" or "new calendar and new paschalion" make more sense liturgically than "new calendar and old paschalion".   
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« Reply #2229 on: January 18, 2014, 11:33:25 AM »

Simple eplanation why Serbians did not adopted RJC despite Serbians being the only one Church but Constantinople represented and it being a Serbian invention?

We're probably too much traditionalists. I know, it's me saying this - one of very few Serbs following the New Calendar. But that's very interesting for me - I don't know any single Serbian parish, even in diaspora, that uses the New Calendar.

Don't know how did it work among Greeks or Romanian in cultural aspect, but such things as Serbian New Year or Vidovdan give a clue. Immovable feasts and their dates are too much rooted in the culture and history, I suppose.
Could it be because the Croats use the Gregorian?
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« Reply #2230 on: January 18, 2014, 11:34:48 AM »

It is an often-repeated cliché that Western Christianity is "legalistic" while Eastern Christianity is not.

My experience is that both are legalistic in different ways.  The calendar controversy is one illustration of this.  Only among the (mostly slipshod) legal arguments for the Julian calendar are one or two that might be deemed self-consistent.  At least in my hearing, no one has convincingly justified the Julian solar or lunar calendars on mathematical, astronomical, or theological grounds.


It is simply a matter of following the teachings of Christ, Matthew 22:21, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
One of the universally acknowledged powers of the state is to regulate measurements, including the measurement of time. In the United States, our government has declared that we use the Gregorian Calendar. Therefore, we should accept the authority of our government to tell us what day it is. Then we look at the Menaion and determine which services are appropriate for that particular date. For example, the Menaion mandates that we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of Christ on December 25. The government tells us when December 25 is.

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I like this reasoning. Thank you.
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« Reply #2231 on: January 18, 2014, 11:37:32 AM »

Ok Fr Morris I guess that means a Gregorian easter too. Preposterous I say, nay, I declare that balderdash.

Yes, Fr. John ignors the significant importance of those 13 days that are so material to our salvation.

Um i was speaking of Easter calculations. If.you want.to.follow.a.Gregorian easter and remain pretty much orthodox like in the way of services might I suggest joining.a.greek.catholic.parish?

Or, one can attend services in any Greek, Antiochian, Bulgarian or OCA parish. At first, I thought that you were making a joke; I now see that you may be serious. Am I wrong to assume that you may not listen to rational arguments?
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« Reply #2232 on: January 18, 2014, 12:13:38 PM »

Ok Fr Morris I guess that means a Gregorian easter too. Preposterous I say, nay, I declare that balderdash.

Yes, Fr. John ignors the significant importance of those 13 days that are so material to our salvation.

Um i was speaking of Easter calculations. If.you want.to.follow.a.Gregorian easter and remain pretty much orthodox like in the way of services might I suggest joining.a.greek.catholic.parish?
Or just wait for the real sun and the real earth really wobbling and rotating on its real axis to create the real equinox, and then wait for the real moon to be full and then wait for the real next Sunday.
Gen. 1:14-5.
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« Reply #2233 on: January 18, 2014, 12:19:14 PM »

I do not think Serbians are more traditional than Romanians to be honest.

"Immovable". Let's wait 87 years. We'll see how immovable they are Smiley That will be fun.
The Serbians, however, had a king who was subject to their patriarch, while the Romanians had one in submission to the Vatican.

The Serbians had that Serbian-Croatian thing going on as well, while Romania made its schismatic body in submission to the Vatican a second state church, in many ways more privileged (due to an Ultramontanist as King) that the Orthodox Church.
Just to add: yes, I'm wondering what will be said when Christmas will be on January 8 (my birthday, if I live to see it).  I wonder, was there much commotion when it went from January 6 to 7 in 1901?
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« Reply #2234 on: January 18, 2014, 12:31:04 PM »

I do not think Serbians are more traditional than Romanians to be honest.

"Immovable". Let's wait 87 years. We'll see how immovable they are Smiley That will be fun.
The Serbians, however, had a king who was subject to their patriarch, while the Romanians had one in submission to the Vatican.

The Serbians had that Serbian-Croatian thing going on as well, while Romania made its schismatic body in submission to the Vatican a second state church, in many ways more privileged (due to an Ultramontanist as King) that the Orthodox Church.
Just to add: yes, I'm wondering what will be said when Christmas will be on January 8 (my birthday, if I live to see it).  I wonder, was there much commotion when it went from January 6 to 7 in 1901?

My grandfather, born January 6, 1884 in what is now Slovakia used to gripe (really tease) about having to fast instead of feast on his birthday after the date shift in 1901, especially since I was born on September 27th and would complain about that when I was a kid.

I've heard folks argue foolishly that they didn't care because they KNOW Jesus was born on January 7th and that would never, ever change - even if you showed them a Typicon or calendar which clearly places the Nativity on the 25th(OS).  Go figure.
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« Reply #2235 on: January 18, 2014, 02:14:50 PM »

It is simply a matter of following the teachings of Christ, Matthew 22:21, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

One of the universally acknowledged powers of the state is to regulate measurements, including the measurement of time. In the United States, our government has declared that we use the Gregorian Calendar. Therefore, we should accept the authority of our government to tell us what day it is. Then we look at the Menaion and determine which services are appropriate for that particular date. For example, the Menaion mandates that we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of Christ on December 25. The government tells us when December 25 is.
Nice to see legalism being employed on behalf of the Gregorian calendar, not just on the other side.  Not a bad argument, either.  

I'm not sure this supports the adoption of revised lunar tables as well as it supports the adoption of the Gregorian solar calendar.  The best argument for updating the lunar part of the Easter computation is still that a full moon does not look like this:
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« Reply #2236 on: January 18, 2014, 02:52:18 PM »

Ok Fr Morris I guess that means a Gregorian easter too. Preposterous I say, nay, I declare that balderdash.

No it does not, because the date of Pascha is not dependent on the calendar, but on the spring equinox and the full moon. According to the 1st Ecumenical Council Pascha must fall on the first Sunday following the first full moon following the Spring Equinox. It is also general opinion that Orthodox Pascha must also follow the Jewish Passover. However, it is legitimate to ask if we are really following the decree of the 1st Council of Nicea if we are not using the real spring equinox to calculate the date of Pascha, but an inaccurate calculation of the spring equinox made over 2,000 years ago. To be faithful to the intentions of the Holy Fathers of the 1st Council should not the Church use the actual spring equinox, and the actual full moon which are observable astronomical events?   

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« Reply #2237 on: January 18, 2014, 04:14:02 PM »

Ok Fr Morris I guess that means a Gregorian easter too. Preposterous I say, nay, I declare that balderdash.

No it does not, because the date of Pascha is not dependent on the calendar, but on the spring equinox and the full moon. According to the 1st Ecumenical Council Pascha must fall on the first Sunday following the first full moon following the Spring Equinox. It is also general opinion that Orthodox Pascha must also follow the Jewish Passover. However, it is legitimate to ask if we are really following the decree of the 1st Council of Nicea if we are not using the real spring equinox to calculate the date of Pascha, but an inaccurate calculation of the spring equinox made over 2,000 years ago. To be faithful to the intentions of the Holy Fathers of the 1st Council should not the Church use the actual spring equinox, and the actual full moon which are observable astronomical events?   

Fr. John W. Morris
Btw, if we follow the rule of first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, that takes care of following the Jewish Passover.
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« Reply #2238 on: January 18, 2014, 04:26:44 PM »

It is also general opinion that Orthodox Pascha must also follow the Jewish Passover.
"General" it may be, but it is certainly false, if by "Jewish Passover" is meant the Feast of Unleavened Bread according to the modern-day Rabbinic calendar.  For in approximately 3 years out of every 19 Rabbinic matzoth is at the second full moon after the astronomical equinox.  This is due to a slight solar drift in the Rabbinic calendar:  its implicit Spring equinox is now around March 24th-26th.

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« Reply #2239 on: January 18, 2014, 05:28:32 PM »

Ok Fr Morris I guess that means a Gregorian easter too. Preposterous I say, nay, I declare that balderdash.

No it does not, because the date of Pascha is not dependent on the calendar, but on the spring equinox and the full moon. According to the 1st Ecumenical Council Pascha must fall on the first Sunday following the first full moon following the Spring Equinox. It is also general opinion that Orthodox Pascha must also follow the Jewish Passover. However, it is legitimate to ask if we are really following the decree of the 1st Council of Nicea if we are not using the real spring equinox to calculate the date of Pascha, but an inaccurate calculation of the spring equinox made over 2,000 years ago. To be faithful to the intentions of the Holy Fathers of the 1st Council should not the Church use the actual spring equinox, and the actual full moon which are observable astronomical events?   

Fr. John W. Morris
Btw, if we follow the rule of first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, that takes care of following the Jewish Passover.

I should have mentioned that the Gregorian Calendar does not follow the decisions of the 1st Ecumenical Council, because it sets the date of the Spring Equinox on the basis of tables established in 1582, not the actual astronomical Sprint Equinox. The Gregorian calculations make it possible for the West to celebrate Pascha before the Jewish Passover, violating the spirit of the decrees of the 1st Council of Nicea.


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« Reply #2240 on: January 18, 2014, 05:36:05 PM »

It is also general opinion that Orthodox Pascha must also follow the Jewish Passover.
"General" it may be, but it is certainly false, if by "Jewish Passover" is meant the Feast of Unleavened Bread according to the modern-day Rabbinic calendar.  For in approximately 3 years out of every 19 Rabbinic matzoth is at the second full moon after the astronomical equinox.  This is due to a slight solar drift in the Rabbinic calendar:  its implicit Spring equinox is now around March 24th-26th.
Hit "post" a little too soon, before I had made myself clear.  What I mean is this: 

(1) When the early writers on computus spoke of "Passover" in this context, they meant the 1st full moon after the vernal equinox, which is when they supposed, on the evidence of Josephus and Philo, that the Passover was set by the Jerusalem priests in the days when the Temple stood.

(2) When the Rabbinic calendar was worked out in the 4th-9th centuries A.D., it was intended to set the Feast of Unleavened Bread to fall at the time of the first full moon after the equinox.

(3) The Rabbinic calendar has since then drifted with respect to the equinox by about 4 days, so that now, in about 3 years out of every 19, Rabbinic Matzoth is at the time of the second full moon after the equinox.

(4) However, the fact that the Julian Easter, in about 5 years out of every 19 (the 3 of the Rabbinic calendar mentioned above and 2 others), places Easter after the second full moon after the equinox, has nothing to do with the Rabbinic calendar, and is due entirely to solar and lunar drift in the Julian computus.  The Julian computus still puts Easter on the Sunday following the 1st ecclesiastical full moon that falls on or after the ecclesiastical Spring equinox, without reference to the Rabbinic or any other external calendar.  Simply, the Julian ecclesiastical equinox and ecclesiastical full moon have noticeably drifted from the astronomical phenomena they were intended to approximate.  The Zonaras proviso is spurious.
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« Reply #2241 on: January 18, 2014, 05:51:14 PM »

I should have mentioned that the Gregorian Calendar does not follow the decisions of the 1st Ecumenical Council, because it sets the date of the Spring Equinox on the basis of tables established in 1582, not the actual astronomical Spring Equinox. The Gregorian calculations make it possible for the West to celebrate Pascha before the Jewish Passover, violating the spirit of the decrees of the 1st Council of Nicea.
The only thing the council explicitly "decreed" was that (a) all the churches should agree on the date; (b) the date should be computed independently of Jewish computations.  Implicitly, the Council can also be said to have held that the festival should always follow the equinox, since the equinox was the reason some of the churches has stopped relying on their Jewish neighbors for the date and had begun experimenting with independent computations. 

But Christian computations cannot be independent of Jewish computations and at the same time dependent on the Rabbinic calendar.   If our Jewish neighbors compute the wrong full moon, we are not required to accept their computation.  If our Jewish neighbors compute the right date, we are not required spitefully to celebrate on the wrong date.  (Though, as it happens, Rabbinic 14 Nisan, "Passover" strictly so-called, can never fall on Sunday anyhow.)

The Gregorian Easter is fully consistent with early 4th-century theory and practice, which is to compute, independently, a Christian "month of new [grain]", with a Christian "Passover" on its 14th day, and to set Easter to the following Sunday.  It is this 14th day of the independently-computed "Christian Nisan" that is the only "Passover" that Easter is required to fall "after".
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Forþon we sealon efestan þas Easterlican þing to asmeagenne and to gehealdanne, þaet we magon cuman to þam Easterlican daege, þe aa byð, mid fullum glaedscipe and wynsumnysse and ecere blisse.--Byrhtferth of Ramsey
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« Reply #2242 on: January 18, 2014, 06:59:21 PM »

I should have mentioned that the Gregorian Calendar does not follow the decisions of the 1st Ecumenical Council, because it sets the date of the Spring Equinox on the basis of tables established in 1582, not the actual astronomical Spring Equinox. The Gregorian calculations make it possible for the West to celebrate Pascha before the Jewish Passover, violating the spirit of the decrees of the 1st Council of Nicea.
The only thing the council explicitly "decreed" was that (a) all the churches should agree on the date; (b) the date should be computed independently of Jewish computations.  Implicitly, the Council can also be said to have held that the festival should always follow the equinox, since the equinox was the reason some of the churches has stopped relying on their Jewish neighbors for the date and had begun experimenting with independent computations. 

But Christian computations cannot be independent of Jewish computations and at the same time dependent on the Rabbinic calendar.   If our Jewish neighbors compute the wrong full moon, we are not required to accept their computation.  If our Jewish neighbors compute the right date, we are not required spitefully to celebrate on the wrong date.  (Though, as it happens, Rabbinic 14 Nisan, "Passover" strictly so-called, can never fall on Sunday anyhow.)

The Gregorian Easter is fully consistent with early 4th-century theory and practice, which is to compute, independently, a Christian "month of new [grain]", with a Christian "Passover" on its 14th day, and to set Easter to the following Sunday.  It is this 14th day of the independently-computed "Christian Nisan" that is the only "Passover" that Easter is required to fall "after".

The 14 day of Nisan is the day of full moon following the Spring Equinox. The Council decreed that all should follow the Roman custom of celebrating Pascha on the following Sunday. The 14 day of Nisan is also the historic day of the Jewish Passover, so it was understood that Pascha must follow the Jewish Passover, which it always does in the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, the calculations of the Gregorian Calendar make it possible for the West to celebrate Pascha before the Jewish Passover which violates the spirit of the decrees of the 1st Ecumenical Council.   Besides the Gregorian Calendar does not use the actual Spring Equinox, but follows tables written in the 16the century. that at that time were the best scientific guesses on when the Spring Equinox  would take place, but  now, the date of the Spring Equinox set by the Gregorian Calendar is incorrect. My point is that if we Orthodox are going to make a change on our calculation of the date of Pascha, we should make it according to scientific standards, not just to celebrate Pascha with the West. 

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« Reply #2243 on: January 18, 2014, 10:21:16 PM »

Ok Fr Morris I guess that means a Gregorian easter too. Preposterous I say, nay, I declare that balderdash.

No it does not, because the date of Pascha is not dependent on the calendar, but on the spring equinox and the full moon. According to the 1st Ecumenical Council Pascha must fall on the first Sunday following the first full moon following the Spring Equinox. It is also general opinion that Orthodox Pascha must also follow the Jewish Passover. However, it is legitimate to ask if we are really following the decree of the 1st Council of Nicea if we are not using the real spring equinox to calculate the date of Pascha, but an inaccurate calculation of the spring equinox made over 2,000 years ago. To be faithful to the intentions of the Holy Fathers of the 1st Council should not the Church use the actual spring equinox, and the actual full moon which are observable astronomical events?   

Fr. John W. Morris

I am familiar with Father's  argument. It has troubled me since I first became familiar with the matter.  How does the Church justify using a fictional equinox for the Paschal calculation for the calculation of the great Feast?  Why would such an important calculation be predicated on an objectively false observation. If it is to simply distinguish our Pascha from that of the west, it is tough to reconcile.

Does anyone know if the Western Paschalion diverged from that of eastern churches PRIOR to the development of the Gregorian calendar? Before the 1054?  Before or after Florence?  After the fall of Constantinople?
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« Reply #2244 on: January 18, 2014, 10:29:27 PM »

Ok Fr Morris I guess that means a Gregorian easter too. Preposterous I say, nay, I declare that balderdash.

No it does not, because the date of Pascha is not dependent on the calendar, but on the spring equinox and the full moon. According to the 1st Ecumenical Council Pascha must fall on the first Sunday following the first full moon following the Spring Equinox. It is also general opinion that Orthodox Pascha must also follow the Jewish Passover. However, it is legitimate to ask if we are really following the decree of the 1st Council of Nicea if we are not using the real spring equinox to calculate the date of Pascha, but an inaccurate calculation of the spring equinox made over 2,000 years ago. To be faithful to the intentions of the Holy Fathers of the 1st Council should not the Church use the actual spring equinox, and the actual full moon which are observable astronomical events?   

Fr. John W. Morris

I am familiar with Father's  argument. It has troubled me since I first became familiar with the matter.  How does the Church justify using a fictional equinox for the Paschal calculation for the calculation of the great Feast?  Why would such an important calculation be predicated on an objectively false observation. If it is to simply distinguish our Pascha from that of the west, it is tough to reconcile.

Does anyone know if the Western Paschalion diverged from that of eastern churches PRIOR to the development of the Gregorian calendar? Before the 1054?  Before or after Florence?  After the fall of Constantinople?

Jumping in blindly:

I heard that the Jews recently (after the death of Christ) changed their calculations for the Passover.
And this is why there is a huge discrepancy in the Western Paschalion, so that Catholics will celebrate Easter before the Passover.
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« Reply #2245 on: January 18, 2014, 11:39:35 PM »

Ok Fr Morris I guess that means a Gregorian easter too. Preposterous I say, nay, I declare that balderdash.

No it does not, because the date of Pascha is not dependent on the calendar, but on the spring equinox and the full moon. According to the 1st Ecumenical Council Pascha must fall on the first Sunday following the first full moon following the Spring Equinox. It is also general opinion that Orthodox Pascha must also follow the Jewish Passover. However, it is legitimate to ask if we are really following the decree of the 1st Council of Nicea if we are not using the real spring equinox to calculate the date of Pascha, but an inaccurate calculation of the spring equinox made over 2,000 years ago. To be faithful to the intentions of the Holy Fathers of the 1st Council should not the Church use the actual spring equinox, and the actual full moon which are observable astronomical events?   

Fr. John W. Morris

I am familiar with Father's  argument. It has troubled me since I first became familiar with the matter.  How does the Church justify using a fictional equinox for the Paschal calculation for the calculation of the great Feast?  Why would such an important calculation be predicated on an objectively false observation. If it is to simply distinguish our Pascha from that of the west, it is tough to reconcile.

Does anyone know if the Western Paschalion diverged from that of eastern churches PRIOR to the development of the Gregorian calendar? Before the 1054?  Before or after Florence?  After the fall of Constantinople?

At first the East followed the Alexandrian calculations which dated the Spring Equinox as March 21, while Rome followed its own calculations which dated the Spring Equinox as March 18. However, in 457, Rome adopted the Alexandrian tables. Thus from 547 until the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 East and West celebrated Pascha on the same day. Since 1582, the Eastern Orthodox and the Catholic Churches have celebrated Pascha on different dates, although there are times such as this year when both East and West celebrate Pascha at the same time. . Both Churches use tables drawn up centuries ago by scholars who did not have the technology that we have today. Thus both calendars are wrong. The actual Spring Equinox in 2014 will be on March 20.
This year, 2014, both East and West will celebrate Pascha on April 20. The Orthodox Pascha always comes after the Jewish Passover in accordance with the spirit of the decree of the 1st Ecumenical Council. However, in 2005 the West celebrated Pascha on March 27, but the Jews did not celebrate Passover until April 24. In 2015, the West will celebrate Pascha on April 5, the same date that the Jews will celebrate Passover, something that is strictly forbidden by the Canon 1 of the Council of Antioch in 431. 

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« Reply #2246 on: January 19, 2014, 05:29:23 PM »

I heard that the Jews recently (after the death of Christ) changed their calculations for the Passover.
And this is why there is a huge discrepancy in the Western Paschalion, so that Catholics will celebrate Easter before the Passover.
Much of this history has been covered up-thread, but here is a summary:

1)  In the time of the Temple the priests maintained the calendar by some means that cannot be reconstructed with certainty.  We know certainly that the feast of Unleavened Bread was around the time of the Spring equinox, and almost certainly that it was after the equinox.  One possibility is that the priests set Jewish 'Abib (Nisan) to coincide exactly with Babylonian Nisanu, which lunar month in the last few centuries of the Temple fell entirely after the Spring equinox.

2)  After the fall of the temple individual Jewish communities in the Roman and Parthian empires no longer could rely on the Jerusalem priests (if they ever had) and had to work out the calendar for themselves.  Different Jewish communities seem to have devised different systems.  Gentile Christians, whenever they began celebrating an annual Easter, seem to have relied on their Jewish neighbors to tell them when the scriptural "month of 'Abib", with its Week of Unleavened Bread, would fall.  They then set the Easter festival to begin on the Sunday (i.e. on Saturday night) that fell within this Week of Unleavened Bread.  This seems to have been the majority practice, though in a few places Christians seem to have set the beginning of the festival to the 14th of the instant lunar month, the day on which their Jewish neighbors would be clearing their homes of all sourdough starter and leavened bread.  This practice seems to have been confined to Asia Minor.

3)  By sometime after A.D. 200, if not before, some Jewish communities, some of the time, were setting the month of 'Abib (Nisan) to the lunar month whose full moon was the last one before the Spring equinox.  Some Christians objected to this and began attempting independently to determine which lunar month should be considered the scriptural 'Abib or Nisan, the "month of new [grain]" in such a way that their festival would always fall after the equinox.

4)  But the earlier custom of relying on Jewish neighbors was old and traditional by this time, so some Christians, apparently concentrated in Syria, preferred to maintain the old tradition of setting Easter to the Sunday of Unleavened Bread as defined by their Jewish neighbors, even if this meant holding festival a month earlier than those who used independent calculations.  

5)  The Council of Nicea endorsed the new tradition of the "independent calendarists" and deprecated the older tradition of the "Jewish calendarists".  The churches of Syria were exhorted to fall in line with those dioceses that were using the newer, independent method, so that the festival would be on one and the same day worldwide, and always after the Spring equinox.

6) But this Nicene-era dispute between "Jewish calendarists" and "independent calendarists" is not the origin of the difference between the Eastern and Western Easter computations of the present day.  The present-day difference arises from different implementations of the Alexandrian 19-year cycle.  The Eastern churches use a solar year of 365.25 days and a synodic lunar month of 29.530851 days.  The Western churches use a solar year of 365.2425 days and a synodic lunar month of 29.530587 days.  The present-day astronomical values are 29.530589 days for the synodic lunar month and 365.2424 days for the average solar year from one Spring equinox to the next.  (The overall average solar year, that is, averaged over the entire ecliptic, is around 365.2422 days).  Also, in the 16th century the solar calendar was adjusted to re-align the Spring equinox close to March 21, and the lunar calendar was adjusted to bring it back into agreement with what one can actually see in the sky.  So a Western full moon looks like a full moon, while an Eastern "full moon" looks like a waning gibbous moon.

7) Our Jewish neighbors, meanwhile, devised a computed calendar of their own in the course of the 4th through 9th centuries A.D.  This computed Rabbinic calendar, which always puts the Feast of Unleavened Bread after the equinox, is used by Rabbinic Jews, though not by Karaites or Samaritans.  So the historical conditions that gave rise to the 3rd-4th century move by Christians to an independent calendar no longer exist.   If "first full moon after the equinox" is taken as the correct rule for setting the Passover full moon, then the modern Rabbinic calendar sometimes sets Passover too late, but never too early.
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« Reply #2247 on: January 19, 2014, 07:27:32 PM »

The 14 day of Nisan is also the historic day of the Jewish Passover, so it was understood that Pascha must follow the Jewish Passover, which it always does in the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, the calculations of the Gregorian Calendar make it possible for the West to celebrate Pascha before the Jewish Passover which violates the spirit of the decrees of the 1st Ecumenical Council.
For purposes of computing Easter, the 14th of the Christian Nisan is the "Jewish Passover".  Whatever our Jewish neighbors do is of no mathematical significance.  The computation has only one Passover, that computed by Christians, not two, one computed by Christians and the other by the Rabbinic calendar.

This year, 2014, both East and West will celebrate Pascha on April 20. The Orthodox Pascha always comes after the Jewish Passover in accordance with the spirit of the decree of the 1st Ecumenical Council. However, in 2005 the West celebrated Pascha on March 27, but the Jews did not celebrate Passover until April 24.
April 24 was Rabbinic 15 Nisan 5765, the first Day of Unleavened Bread.  Our pocket calendars call 15 Nisan "Passover", but in the Easter computation "Passover" means 14 Nisan, not 15 Nisan.  Rabbinic 14 Nisan 5765 was April 23, 2005. But as already stated, the only 14 Nisan that enters into the Easter computation is the Christian one, not the one from the Rabbinic calendar.  In 2005, Gregorian 14 Nisan was March 25th. Since this was after the equinox, it complied with the implicit (though not explicit) Nicene rule of the equinox.  Since it was computed independently of any Jewish calendars, it complied with the explicit Nicene rule of independence.

Quote from: frjohnmorris
In 2015, the West will celebrate Pascha on April 5, the same date that the Jews will celebrate Passover, something that is strictly forbidden by the Canon 1 of the Council of Antioch in 431.
Again you seem to be using "Passover" in its modern sense of 15 Nisan.  In the context of the Easter computation, this is anachronistic.  Also, Rabbinic 15 Nisan 5775 will be Saturday, April 4th, not Sunday, April 5th. April 5th will be within the days of Unleavened Bread, of course.  If you mean to say that Easter must always fall after the Rabbinic days of Unleavened Bread are over, then you are mistaken.  Even your computation puts Easter sometimes within the Rabbinic calendar's days of Unleavened Bread, as it will this year, 2014, when the scriptural seven days of Unleavened Bread in the Rabbinic calendar will fall on 15-21 April in the civil calendar.

Canon 1 of Antioch is obsolete:  It refers to a situation that no longer exists, unless there are Karaite groups that sometimes define their Nisan in a way that allows their Passover to fall before the equinox.  That is, the canon forbids setting Easter to the 3rd Sunday in Jewish Nisan when Jewish Nisan falls too early.  (Apostolic Canon 7 covers the same ground, more explicitly.)  Antioch Canon 1 does not forbid Easter fortuitously to coincide with the third Sunday in Jewish Nisan if Jewish Nisan is computed correctly, nor does it require us to celebrate after the Jewish festival if Jewish Nisan is set too late from the Christian point of view, as it sometimes is in our time.  Our calculations are independent of the Jewish ones:  whatever date our Jewish friends calculate for their festival, we are required by the Nicene decision to take no account of it whatsoever in calculating our festival.  Insisting that Easter must fall after Rabbinic 15 Nisan adds a spurious rule to the traditional calculation and is a direct violation of the Nicene decision.

The Gregorian Calendar does not use the actual Spring Equinox, but follows tables written in the 16the century. that at that time were the best scientific guesses on when the Spring Equinox  would take place, but  now, the date of the Spring Equinox set by the Gregorian Calendar is incorrect. My point is that if we Orthodox are going to make a change on our calculation of the date of Pascha, we should make it according to scientific standards, not just to celebrate Pascha with the West.
The secular drift in the Gregorian calendar is very slow.  Overlaid on the secular drift, however, is an oscillation of the mean equinox about its average position in the Gregorian calendar, as well as an oscillation of the true equinox about its mean.  The discrepancy you refer to is mainly a result of these oscillations, not of the much smaller secular drift, as you seem to want to imply.  For the next two thousand years or so the average Spring equinox year of around 365.2424 days will remain close to the Gregorian tropical year of 365.2425 days, and so the mean equinox will remain close to its formal Gregorian date of March 21.  

Put another way, the Gregorian calendar almost always agrees with the astronomical method.  The only year in the next few years in which the astronomical method gives a different date is 2019, when the astronomical method would set Easter to March 24th, while the Gregorian lunar calendar sets it to April 21st.  If your party merely converted to the Gregorian calendar, you would be in far better agreement with the astronomical method than you are now.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 07:40:29 PM by Mockingbird » Logged

Forþon we sealon efestan þas Easterlican þing to asmeagenne and to gehealdanne, þaet we magon cuman to þam Easterlican daege, þe aa byð, mid fullum glaedscipe and wynsumnysse and ecere blisse.--Byrhtferth of Ramsey
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« Reply #2248 on: January 19, 2014, 10:42:49 PM »

The 14 day of Nisan is also the historic day of the Jewish Passover, so it was understood that Pascha must follow the Jewish Passover, which it always does in the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, the calculations of the Gregorian Calendar make it possible for the West to celebrate Pascha before the Jewish Passover which violates the spirit of the decrees of the 1st Ecumenical Council.
For purposes of computing Easter, the 14th of the Christian Nisan is the "Jewish Passover".  Whatever our Jewish neighbors do is of no mathematical significance.  The computation has only one Passover, that computed by Christians, not two, one computed by Christians and the other by the Rabbinic calendar.

This year, 2014, both East and West will celebrate Pascha on April 20. The Orthodox Pascha always comes after the Jewish Passover in accordance with the spirit of the decree of the 1st Ecumenical Council. However, in 2005 the West celebrated Pascha on March 27, but the Jews did not celebrate Passover until April 24.
April 24 was Rabbinic 15 Nisan 5765, the first Day of Unleavened Bread.  Our pocket calendars call 15 Nisan "Passover", but in the Easter computation "Passover" means 14 Nisan, not 15 Nisan.  Rabbinic 14 Nisan 5765 was April 23, 2005. But as already stated, the only 14 Nisan that enters into the Easter computation is the Christian one, not the one from the Rabbinic calendar.  In 2005, Gregorian 14 Nisan was March 25th. Since this was after the equinox, it complied with the implicit (though not explicit) Nicene rule of the equinox.  Since it was computed independently of any Jewish calendars, it complied with the explicit Nicene rule of independence.

Quote from: frjohnmorris
In 2015, the West will celebrate Pascha on April 5, the same date that the Jews will celebrate Passover, something that is strictly forbidden by the Canon 1 of the Council of Antioch in 431.
Again you seem to be using "Passover" in its modern sense of 15 Nisan.  In the context of the Easter computation, this is anachronistic.  Also, Rabbinic 15 Nisan 5775 will be Saturday, April 4th, not Sunday, April 5th. April 5th will be within the days of Unleavened Bread, of course.  If you mean to say that Easter must always fall after the Rabbinic days of Unleavened Bread are over, then you are mistaken.  Even your computation puts Easter sometimes within the Rabbinic calendar's days of Unleavened Bread, as it will this year, 2014, when the scriptural seven days of Unleavened Bread in the Rabbinic calendar will fall on 15-21 April in the civil calendar.

Canon 1 of Antioch is obsolete:  It refers to a situation that no longer exists, unless there are Karaite groups that sometimes define their Nisan in a way that allows their Passover to fall before the equinox.  That is, the canon forbids setting Easter to the 3rd Sunday in Jewish Nisan when Jewish Nisan falls too early.  (Apostolic Canon 7 covers the same ground, more explicitly.)  Antioch Canon 1 does not forbid Easter fortuitously to coincide with the third Sunday in Jewish Nisan if Jewish Nisan is computed correctly, nor does it require us to celebrate after the Jewish festival if Jewish Nisan is set too late from the Christian point of view, as it sometimes is in our time.  Our calculations are independent of the Jewish ones:  whatever date our Jewish friends calculate for their festival, we are required by the Nicene decision to take no account of it whatsoever in calculating our festival.  Insisting that Easter must fall after Rabbinic 15 Nisan adds a spurious rule to the traditional calculation and is a direct violation of the Nicene decision.

The Gregorian Calendar does not use the actual Spring Equinox, but follows tables written in the 16the century. that at that time were the best scientific guesses on when the Spring Equinox  would take place, but  now, the date of the Spring Equinox set by the Gregorian Calendar is incorrect. My point is that if we Orthodox are going to make a change on our calculation of the date of Pascha, we should make it according to scientific standards, not just to celebrate Pascha with the West.
The secular drift in the Gregorian calendar is very slow.  Overlaid on the secular drift, however, is an oscillation of the mean equinox about its average position in the Gregorian calendar, as well as an oscillation of the true equinox about its mean.  The discrepancy you refer to is mainly a result of these oscillations, not of the much smaller secular drift, as you seem to want to imply.  For the next two thousand years or so the average Spring equinox year of around 365.2424 days will remain close to the Gregorian tropical year of 365.2425 days, and so the mean equinox will remain close to its formal Gregorian date of March 21.  

Put another way, the Gregorian calendar almost always agrees with the astronomical method.  The only year in the next few years in which the astronomical method gives a different date is 2019, when the astronomical method would set Easter to March 24th, while the Gregorian lunar calendar sets it to April 21st.  If your party merely converted to the Gregorian calendar, you would be in far better agreement with the astronomical method than you are now.

There is  general agreement among Eastern Orthodox that Pascha must follow the Jewish Passover as calculated according to the method used by the ancient Jews, not the method used by modern Jews. What is important to Eastern Orthodox is fidelity to the decisions of the 1st Ecumenical Council. I do not believe that the so called calendar issue applies to unmovable feasts, because on Ecumenical Council decreed that the Church must follow the Julian Calendar. However the date of Pasha is a completely different matter because we have precise instructions from the 1st Ecumenical Council on the calculation of the date of Pascha. I  believe that the Church is the ultimate authority on the application of the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, not a Roman Pope in schism from the Church like Gregory XIII.

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« Reply #2249 on: January 20, 2014, 01:14:50 AM »

The 14 day of Nisan is also the historic day of the Jewish Passover, so it was understood that Pascha must follow the Jewish Passover, which it always does in the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, the calculations of the Gregorian Calendar make it possible for the West to celebrate Pascha before the Jewish Passover which violates the spirit of the decrees of the 1st Ecumenical Council.
For purposes of computing Easter, the 14th of the Christian Nisan is the "Jewish Passover".  Whatever our Jewish neighbors do is of no mathematical significance.  The computation has only one Passover, that computed by Christians, not two, one computed by Christians and the other by the Rabbinic calendar.

This year, 2014, both East and West will celebrate Pascha on April 20. The Orthodox Pascha always comes after the Jewish Passover in accordance with the spirit of the decree of the 1st Ecumenical Council. However, in 2005 the West celebrated Pascha on March 27, but the Jews did not celebrate Passover until April 24.
April 24 was Rabbinic 15 Nisan 5765, the first Day of Unleavened Bread.  Our pocket calendars call 15 Nisan "Passover", but in the Easter computation "Passover" means 14 Nisan, not 15 Nisan.  Rabbinic 14 Nisan 5765 was April 23, 2005. But as already stated, the only 14 Nisan that enters into the Easter computation is the Christian one, not the one from the Rabbinic calendar.  In 2005, Gregorian 14 Nisan was March 25th. Since this was after the equinox, it complied with the implicit (though not explicit) Nicene rule of the equinox.  Since it was computed independently of any Jewish calendars, it complied with the explicit Nicene rule of independence.

Quote from: frjohnmorris
In 2015, the West will celebrate Pascha on April 5, the same date that the Jews will celebrate Passover, something that is strictly forbidden by the Canon 1 of the Council of Antioch in 431.
Again you seem to be using "Passover" in its modern sense of 15 Nisan.  In the context of the Easter computation, this is anachronistic.  Also, Rabbinic 15 Nisan 5775 will be Saturday, April 4th, not Sunday, April 5th. April 5th will be within the days of Unleavened Bread, of course.  If you mean to say that Easter must always fall after the Rabbinic days of Unleavened Bread are over, then you are mistaken.  Even your computation puts Easter sometimes within the Rabbinic calendar's days of Unleavened Bread, as it will this year, 2014, when the scriptural seven days of Unleavened Bread in the Rabbinic calendar will fall on 15-21 April in the civil calendar.

Canon 1 of Antioch is obsolete:  It refers to a situation that no longer exists, unless there are Karaite groups that sometimes define their Nisan in a way that allows their Passover to fall before the equinox.  That is, the canon forbids setting Easter to the 3rd Sunday in Jewish Nisan when Jewish Nisan falls too early.  (Apostolic Canon 7 covers the same ground, more explicitly.)  Antioch Canon 1 does not forbid Easter fortuitously to coincide with the third Sunday in Jewish Nisan if Jewish Nisan is computed correctly, nor does it require us to celebrate after the Jewish festival if Jewish Nisan is set too late from the Christian point of view, as it sometimes is in our time.  Our calculations are independent of the Jewish ones:  whatever date our Jewish friends calculate for their festival, we are required by the Nicene decision to take no account of it whatsoever in calculating our festival.  Insisting that Easter must fall after Rabbinic 15 Nisan adds a spurious rule to the traditional calculation and is a direct violation of the Nicene decision.

The Gregorian Calendar does not use the actual Spring Equinox, but follows tables written in the 16the century. that at that time were the best scientific guesses on when the Spring Equinox  would take place, but  now, the date of the Spring Equinox set by the Gregorian Calendar is incorrect. My point is that if we Orthodox are going to make a change on our calculation of the date of Pascha, we should make it according to scientific standards, not just to celebrate Pascha with the West.
The secular drift in the Gregorian calendar is very slow.  Overlaid on the secular drift, however, is an oscillation of the mean equinox about its average position in the Gregorian calendar, as well as an oscillation of the true equinox about its mean.  The discrepancy you refer to is mainly a result of these oscillations, not of the much smaller secular drift, as you seem to want to imply.  For the next two thousand years or so the average Spring equinox year of around 365.2424 days will remain close to the Gregorian tropical year of 365.2425 days, and so the mean equinox will remain close to its formal Gregorian date of March 21.  

Put another way, the Gregorian calendar almost always agrees with the astronomical method.  The only year in the next few years in which the astronomical method gives a different date is 2019, when the astronomical method would set Easter to March 24th, while the Gregorian lunar calendar sets it to April 21st.  If your party merely converted to the Gregorian calendar, you would be in far better agreement with the astronomical method than you are now.

There is  general agreement among Eastern Orthodox that Pascha must follow the Jewish Passover as calculated according to the method used by the ancient Jews, not the method used by modern Jews. What is important to Eastern Orthodox is fidelity to the decisions of the 1st Ecumenical Council. I do not believe that the so called calendar issue applies to unmovable feasts, because on Ecumenical Council decreed that the Church must follow the Julian Calendar. However the date of Pasha is a completely different matter because we have precise instructions from the 1st Ecumenical Council on the calculation of the date of Pascha. I  believe that the Church is the ultimate authority on the application of the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, not a Roman Pope in schism from the Church like Gregory XIII.

Fr. John W. Morris
What Ecumenical Council decreed that we are to follow the Julian Calendar?
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