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Justin Kissel
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« on: April 30, 2011, 06:26:43 PM »

I had asked something on another thread, but figured I'd start this thread to ask the same thing... what calendar(s) do the various Orthodox Churches that don't fall under the Eastern Orthodox umbrella use?
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Salpy
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2011, 08:10:06 PM »

Do you mean Julian vs. Gregorian, or do you mean the more obscure ancient calendars, like the fact that the Coptic Church has entirely different months than everyone else?

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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2011, 08:17:32 PM »

Well, the question sprang from the debate over the old vs. new EO calendar. Some Eastern Orthodox obviously make a big issue out of the calendar change, so I got to wondering, do other Orthodox (non EO) use different calendars? Was there a diversity of calendars all along? Leaving aside other potential theological/practical issues, is it really something that would stand in the way of coming back together if, say, the Indians or Ethiopians used a different calendar than the EO? I'm not trying to make light of the calendar change, which I think has needlessly divided Orthodoxy (in more than one way), but part of me doesn't wonder if the fuss over the calendar isn't a bit.... (what's the word?)... byzantine-centric? roman-empire-centric? We allow for diversity of Biblical canons, it seems, do we really need to split over something like a calendar?   Er... I feel like I'm on a soapbox now, lol. That was sort of my line of thinking/inquiry though...
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2011, 08:33:25 PM »

do other Orthodox (non EO) use different calendars?

Yes.

Quote
Was there a diversity of calendars all along?

Yes.  In the ancient Christian world there was a diversity in a lot of things, not only calendars.  There was also a diversity in liturgy, canon of scripture, and other practices.  You still see that among the Oriental Orthodox.  It's the EO's who have become uniform over time.

Quote
Leaving aside other potential theological/practical issues, is it really something that would stand in the way of coming back together if, say, the Indians or Ethiopians used a different calendar than the EO?

The issue of diversity would be more of a stumbling block for the EO, rather than the OO.
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2011, 08:39:09 PM »

Regarding the Armenians, before the fourth century, there was a calendar that not only had names for the days of the week, but also names for the days of the month:

http://www.tacentral.com/astronomy.asp?story_no=3

http://www.haytomar.com/calendar.php

It fell out of use sometime after the Armenians adopted Christianity.  The Armenians then adopted the Julian Calendar.  In the 1920's, most Armenians adopted the New Gregorian Calendar, but in some places they still kept the Old Julian Calendar.  The fact that Armenians in some places still have the Old Calendar is not in any way a cause of division.  Like I said, we don't get excited over that.  Here is an overview of the Armenia Calendar history from Etchmiadzin's website:


In 301 AD, when Christianity was adopted in Armenia as the state religion, the old fixed calendar was replaced by the Julian calendar.
 
Julius Caesar reformed the Roman calendar in 45 AD using the solar year as its basis, consisting of 365 days and 6 hours. These 6 hours formed a day every 4 years, which was then added to February. This is referred to as a leap year, which contains 366 days.
 
At the time Caesar’s reform was indisputable, but because the solar year did not consist of not 365 days and 6 hours, but of 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds, the difference of 11 minutes and 14 seconds a year brought about about a shortage of one day every 128 years.
 
During the Pontificate of Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585) the difference caused by the imperfection of the Julian calendar, had amounted to 10 days. The day of the spring equinox, which was considered to be the 21st of March by the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea (325), was occurring that year on the 11th of March. Pope Gregory XIII convened a Council, which decided to accept the proposed solution of Perugi Luigi (Aloisia) and Lilio (1520-1576). The solution was to delete the 10 days which had accumulated since 325, on the following Thursday, October 4, 1582, which was the historical day of the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea.  The next day would be considered as Friday, October 15. Thus, beginning in 1583, March 21 again became the day of the spring equinox.
 
In 1582 the Julian calendar was considered old, thus it was called the old calendar, and the Gregorian the new calendar.
 
The Armenian Church used the old calendar until 1924.
 
The transition to the new calendar was realized by the order of Catholicos Kevork V (1911-1930), in his encyclical number 349 on October 6, 1923. Accordingly starting from January 1, 1924, calculations of the calendar in the Armenian Church are made on the basis of the new calendar.  In the encyclical the Catholicos stated “We, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians and the Head of the Holy Armenian Church, with this encyclical decree to use the new calendar beginning with the year 1924 and to celebrate all the Divine and national Church feasts according to the new calendar”.
 
However, the Dioceses of Georgia, New Nakhichevan, the Northern Caucasus and Astrakhan, Southern Russia and Greece, as well as the Patriarchate of Jerusalem continue using the old calendar in order to accommodate local needs and customs.
 
The anniversaries of significant events and dates related to important individuals are commemorated in secular life.  Likewise the Church commemorates events and individuals significant in our spiritual lives.
 
The purpose of ecclesiastical feast is not an excuse for celebration but rather, celebrations are a means by which we may awaken our own spirituality.  In this way the individual may be more receptive to the spiritual strengthening of grace, divine order, and to the intercession of the saints, thus serving as a means, through prayer, to invoke reflection and rededication.
 
The Armenian Church celebrates three types of feasts and ecclesiastical celebrations:  Feast Days (Dominical Feasts) Saint’s Days, and Fast Days (Days of Abstinence).
 
All the days of the calendar of the Armenian Church are divided into three groups:
 
Feast Days – 136 days
Saints’ Days – 112 days
Fast Days – 117 days


http://www.armenianchurch.org/index.jsp?sid=1&id=33&pid=5




« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 08:42:53 PM by Salpy » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2011, 08:50:35 PM »

As you probably know, one thing that is unique about the Armenians is that we still celebrate Christmas on the original date of January 6 (January 13 on the Old Calendar.)  Again, this does not create a problem between us and the other OO's who celebrate Christmas on December 25 (January 7 on the Old Calendar.)

There are other calendaring differences too, like differences in how our liturgical calendars work, feast days and saints days, etc.

I think the other OO Churches are on the Old Calendar, but I think I heard somewhere that the Indians may be on the New.  I hope one of our Indian brothers can let us know for sure about this.  I think the British Orthodox may also be on the New Calendar. 

Also, I think the Copts and Ethiopians have entirely different calendars in addition to their use of the Julian.  I'm always hearing the Copts use names of months like Kiahk, but I don't understand that at all and I have no idea how that coordinates with the Julian calendar.  It would be nice if one of our Coptic brothers can explain.   Smiley
« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 08:51:31 PM by Salpy » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2011, 08:59:41 PM »

I'll quote the post from the other thread for the sake of seeking clarity:

Would it be wrong to assume that the Ethiopians, Indians, etc. don't use the Gregorian, Julian, or revised Julian calendars, and have always used different calendars?

But I am still confused as to what exactly about the calendar do you have in mind. Do you mean the overall system of where particular feast days are placed, which is fairly uniform in the Byzantine tradition, or do you have in mind what is generally debated, that being when a given date should be reckoned?
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I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
Justin Kissel
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2011, 09:07:58 PM »

Salpy, thanks for the info! Smiley


deusveritasest, I was curious about whether there were entirely different calendars used I suppose, though any differences I'd also be curious about, of whatever type. I'm still not sure I'm being clear though...  Undecided
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