Author Topic: Formula for Easter Date  (Read 2109 times)

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Offline Athanasios

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Formula for Easter Date
« on: June 08, 2010, 12:29:25 PM »
I'm looking for the official formula for the calculation of the date of Easter currently in use with the Orthodox.

Also, does the formula differ based on whether the Julian vs Gregorian calendar is used (obviously the date could be different even using the same formula)?
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Re: Formula for Easter Date
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2010, 12:35:47 PM »
The Julian Calendar is ALWAYS used for the calculation of our Lord's Pascha.  Thus, Pascha always falls on the Sunday, after the Jew's Passover, following the full moon after March 21 (Julian Calendar).  Look up the canons from the first ecumenical council at Nicaea which explain this more. We have not deviated from those prescriptions unlike the Latin church.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Formula for Easter Date
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 12:37:29 PM »
I'm looking for the official formula for the calculation of the date of Easter currently in use with the Orthodox.

Also, does the formula differ based on whether the Julian vs Gregorian calendar is used (obviously the date could be different even using the same formula)?

1st Sunday after the 1st Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox, as long as the Passover has already fallen.  However, one must remember that:

- The Vernal Equinox is calculated according to the Julian Calendar, and
- Like the RC Church, these dates were calculated well in advance (hundreds of years ago) and are now implemented according to a Paschal cycle, rather than being calculated on a year-by-year basis.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Formula for Easter Date
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 12:38:57 PM »
The Julian Calendar is ALWAYS used for the calculation of our Lord's Pascha.  Thus, Pascha always falls on the Sunday, after the Jew's Passover, following the full moon after March 21 (Julian Calendar).

Technically, there is no date in the equation, just the Equinox.  While we are following the letter of the canon by using the fixed date for the Equinox that was in use at the time of original calculation, we certainly violate the spirit, since we do not calculate according to the actual equinox.  But that's a debate for later (and countless other threads on this site).
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Re: Formula for Easter Date
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 01:02:21 PM »
Thanks.
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Re: Formula for Easter Date
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 03:14:29 PM »
The Julian Calendar is ALWAYS used for the calculation of our Lord's Pascha.  Thus, Pascha always falls on the Sunday, after the Jew's Passover, following the full moon after March 21 (Julian Calendar).  Look up the canons from the first ecumenical council at Nicaea which explain this more. We have not deviated from those prescriptions unlike the Latin church.
How has the Latin Church deviated from those prescriptions?
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Formula for Easter Date
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 03:41:48 PM »
^

Exactly. I remember reading a few decades ago that an Orthodox study of the issue had shown that the RCC were truer to the way the canons had described the setting of the date than the Orthodox. As I used to say: you cannot be perfect...all of the time!

PS: Sometimes, I am shocked at the pride by which we say things like "We have not deviated from those prescriptions unlike the Latin church."
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 03:43:00 PM by Second Chance »

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Formula for Easter Date
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2010, 06:39:39 PM »
The Julian Calendar is ALWAYS used for the calculation of our Lord's Pascha.  Thus, Pascha always falls on the Sunday, after the Jew's Passover, following the full moon after March 21 (Julian Calendar).  Look up the canons from the first ecumenical council at Nicaea which explain this more. We have not deviated from those prescriptions unlike the Latin church.
How has the Latin Church deviated from those prescriptions?

He refers to the fact that the Gregorian Paschalion takes no note of when the Jewish Passover falls so Gregorian Pascha may come at the same time as Jewish Passover.  However, I noted that this year we both celebrated Pascha on the same Sunday, April 4, and Passover was March 30 to April 5 so we both violated Nicea and will do so again next year and in 2014 and 2017.  Of course the violation depends on how one interprets "not with the Jews".  Scholars contest whether this meant simply ignore the Jewish calculation or delay Pascha until Passover is over.  Archbishop Peter of blessed memomry presents this arguement in favor of the "ignore" side.

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Re: Formula for Easter Date
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2010, 07:11:22 PM »
How has the Latin Church deviated from those prescriptions?

He refers to the fact that the Gregorian Paschalion takes no note of when the Jewish Passover falls so Gregorian Pascha may come at the same time as Jewish Passover.  However, I noted that this year we both celebrated Pascha on the same Sunday, April 4, and Passover was March 30 to April 5 so we both violated Nicea and will do so again next year and in 2014 and 2017.  Of course the violation depends on how one interprets "not with the Jews".  Scholars contest whether this meant simply ignore the Jewish calculation or delay Pascha until Passover is over.  Archbishop Peter of blessed memomry presents this arguement in favor of the "ignore" side. 

My thought is that it is intended to align Pascha with the celebration in Christ's time: that Pascha should not fall before the time of the sacrifice.  In that way, and using the other writings, it seems to me to be a mix of the two positions - ignore the Jewish calculations, because at the time they would vary from province to province, and sometimes would fall before the Equinox, and at the same time not have Pascha come before the 1st day of the Passover (by our calculations, not theirs) so that we wouldn't make a mockery of the biblical timeline.
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Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.