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A very Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates Orthodox Easter.

Christos Anesti and Happy Easter to all the Orthodox Christians. Have a wonderful day today and a great Easter week.

Originally posted to AmericasReporter on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 07:58 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Alithos Anesti n/t (6+ / 0-)

    (He is risen indeed.)

  •  ek nekron (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jane Lew

    But no one has ever giving me an intelligible explanation for how Orthodox Easter is determined. The rule in Roman/post-Roman Christianity is a little intricate, but easy enough once you understand it, a combination of lunar (full moon) and solar (equinox) cycles.

    Can you help?

    •  Date of Easter (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, Demi Moaned, allep10

      from Wikipedia:

      The rule has since the Middle Ages been phrased as Easter is observed on the Sunday after the first full moon on or after the day of the vernal equinox. However, this does not reflect the actual ecclesiastical rules precisely. One reason for this is that the full moon involved (called the Paschal full moon) is not an astronomical full moon, but the 14th day of a calendar lunar month. Another difference is that the astronomical vernal equinox is a natural astronomical phenomenon, which can fall on March 19, 20, or 21, while the ecclesiastical date is fixed by convention on March 21.[38]

      In applying the ecclesiastical rules, Christian Churches use March 21 as the starting point in determining the date of Easter, from which they find the next full moon, etc. The Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches continue to use the Julian calendar. Their starting point in determining the date of Orthodox Easter is also March 21, but according to the Julian reckoning, which corresponds to April 4 on the Gregorian calendar. In addition, the lunar tables of the Julian calendar are 4 days (sometimes 5 days) behind those of the Gregorian calendar. The 14th day of the lunar month according to the Gregorian system is only the 9th or 10th day according to the Julian. The result of this combination of solar and lunar discrepancies is divergence in the date of Easter in most years. (see table)

      The actual calculations for the date of Easter are somewhat complicated, but can be described briefly as follows:

      Easter is determined on the basis of lunisolar cycles. The lunar year consists of 30-day and 29-day lunar months, generally alternating, with an embolismic month added periodically to bring the lunar cycle into line with the solar cycle. In each solar year (January 1 to December 31), the lunar month beginning with an ecclesiastical new moon falling in the 29-day period from March 8 to April 5 inclusive is designated as the Paschal lunar month for that year. Easter is the 3rd Sunday in the Paschal lunar month, or, in other words, the Sunday after the Paschal lunar month's 14th day. The 14th of the Paschal lunar month is designated by convention as the Paschal full moon, although the 14th of the lunar month may differ from the date of the astronomical full moon by up to two days.[39] Since the ecclesiastical new moon falls on a date from March 8 to April 5 inclusive, the Paschal full moon (the 14th of that lunar month) must fall on a date from March 21 to April 18 inclusive.

      Accordingly, Gregorian Easter can fall on 35 possible dates - between March 22 and April 25 inclusive.[40] It last fell on March 22 in 1818, and will not do so again until 2285. It fell on March 23 in 2008, but will not do so again until 2160. Easter last fell on the latest possible date, April 25, in 1943 and will next fall on that date in 2038. However, it will fall on April 24, just one day before this latest possible date, in 2011. The cycle of Easter dates repeats after exactly 5,700,000 years, with April 19 being the most common date, happening 220,400 times or 3.9%, compared to the median for all dates of 189,525 times or 3.3%.

      •  As often happens (0+ / 0-)

        Wikipedia is wrong on this.

        The above link is correct.

        The Greek church actually uses the Gregorian calendar in all cases, though it sticks with the Julian for Easter not for the reasons mentioned above, but because the Julian does not fall afoul of Passover (i.e. the Julian works better for Easter because it allows the church to hold Easter after Passover).

        Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

        by upstate NY on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:20:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Some details on Orthodox Easter (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, Jane Lew

      From this site (not Wikipedia, which didn't even come up in my search):

      Between AD326 and AD1582, Christianity determined Easter using an algorithm approved by a Church Council in AD325, with the equinox defined as March 21. From AD1054 (when the Orthodox and Catholic Churches split) through AD1582 both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches celebrated Easter on the same date, still using the algorithm from AD325.
      The Orthodox Easter is determined in the Julian Calendar.

      In other words they never did the Gregorian realignment with modified leap-year rules developed in the 16th century.

      While there are obviously different algorithms used, it is also the case the Julian, Gregorian, and Jewish calendars are slipping relative to each other. The Julian Calendar (and the feasts tied to it) are occuring later in the year (compared to the Gregorian calendar). The Jewish calendar is also moving to later dates in the Gregorian calendar, but at a significantly slower rate than the Julian calendar.

    •  I think They Use The Same Rule But Different (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Demi Moaned

      calendars.  See the following web site:

      Happy Easter!

      •  Not quite. (0+ / 0-)

        The Orthodox Easter has to be a week after Passover for obvious reasons.

        Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

        by upstate NY on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:14:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  One thing that always can be used as a rule (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of thumb.

      Why did Jesus come into Jerusalem on a donkey?

      He was there for Passover.

      If that's so, and Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus' coming into Jerusalem, then how can Easter be the day after Passover?

      Greek orthodox hold Easter a week after Passover as long as the rest of criteria fit (i.e. the full moon after the Spring equinox, etc.). Generally, in April, that will have already happened, so when Easter falls in April, Greek orthodox Easter is one week after Passover.

      Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

      by upstate NY on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:13:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I used to live in Kodiak, AK... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, PhillyGal, marina, allep10

    where there is an Russian Orthodox seminary (for a while only one of three in the world.)

    So we always had two Christmases and two Easters in town.

    A wonderful experience.

  •  What type of Orthodox are you? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned

    I have thought many times of converting to Orthodox from Catholicism.  I just love all the ritual involved with Orthodox masses.  It is reminiscent of the Byzantine rite.  Happy Easter!

    •  But they're so conservative (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      El barragas

      High-church Anglican (Episcopal in the US) really has the best of both worlds, IMO.

      •  What do you mean conservative? (0+ / 0-)

        Where are you getting that from?

        Conservative in what sense?

        Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

        by upstate NY on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 09:21:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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