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And as usual we all have a good chuckle as nothing concrete happens and some of us sneak off to celebrate Pascha twice because just once a year is really not enough and in the end it would be sad to just condemn us to one date.

byzanTN #416861 04/10/17 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by byzanTN
I thought it about the time of year for the annual "battle of the calendars" to occur. If not a battle, at least the annual upsurge in interest in the two dating systems. I have decided to take the easy way out - are you listening Alice? I will have two chocolate bunnies this year to celebrate the two calendars.

Which two? Four calendars were mentioned and five relevant dates. Yes relevant dates for those who care. Simply reporting accurate, disinterested information should be appreciated by anyone who desires to be properly informed.

The internet is a medium with incredible potential -- and actuality -- for the irrelevant and the trivial, so it's refreshing to get some data of substance. For those interested in a serious discussion, a very relevant question is, what do the numbers, the dates imply?

jova #416862 04/10/17 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jova
And as usual we all have a good chuckle as nothing concrete happens and some of us sneak off to celebrate Pascha twice because just once a year is really not enough and in the end it would be sad to just condemn us to one date.

I have a sense of humor but I'm not laughing about this calendar issue. Though Christianity has survived without a common date for Pascha, it is generally agreed by all that the Fathers of Nicaea I desired such a common celebration of the "feast of feasts," even against occasions of being able to eat two "chocolate bunnies."

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Originally Posted by Economos Roman V. Russo
Whenever I read the broadsides on the dating of Pascha, I think of Isaiah's opening salvo: "Your new moons and sabbaths and great day I cannot endure. Fasting and holidays as well as your new moons and your feasts my soul hates! For who asked these things from your hands?

This off-the-cuff-quoting-of-scripture methodology was regrettable the first time around but very disappointing to find it just repeated here again. The prior exchange is in a few posts around this time last year: post by Economos Roman V. Russo and reply by ajk.

So last year I found it regrettable, this year reprehensible. Consider taking a course in scriptural exegesis.

ajk #416864 04/10/17 10:12 PM
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Let those with ears hear, those with tongues proclaim, and those with tight underwear, loosen up! ;-) Unfortunately, I am restricted to the calorie count in one chocolate bunny although secretly lusting after two. All the contention about calendars which has, btw, become ludicrous in the extreme, could be exactly what some make fun of. East and West have dug themselves into trenches and would rather die than make any changes. Nicea certainly meant well, but could not predict future happenings. Quite a bit has happened since that would throw the good council into conniptions. Were the good fathers transported into this time, calendars would be the least of their worries. Perhaps chocolate bunnies for all would help.

byzanTN #416866 04/11/17 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by byzanTN
All the contention about calendars which has, btw, become ludicrous in the extreme, could be exactly what some make fun of.... Nicea certainly meant well,... Quite a bit has happened since that would throw the good council into conniptions. Were the good fathers transported into this time, calendars would be the least of their worries. Perhaps chocolate bunnies for all would help.
Yes indeed, a continued discussion of "chocolate bunnies" is the serious consideration advanced by those who consider themselves in the know or, don't want to care or don't know enough about the issue to care. I do not think the calendar issue is ludicrous at all nor do I think the present wisdom is the equal to the ancient understanding of nature's witness to the rhythm of our faith that the Fathers appreciated. Anyone who does think so would be considered foolish if the issue were commerce or travel or timetables or banking or farming etc. The secular world is wise or maybe just practical enough to realize the worth of a properly functioning calendar, the irony here being that it was provided them by the Catholic Church.

So, those who don't know or don't care then, be so, but also be considerate enough to refrain from trivializing a discussion held to be serious and worthwhile by others.

ajk #416867 04/11/17 04:01 AM
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I find all the calendar angst interesting, when not peculiar. The argument usually goes, "I want to celebrate Easter with the other Christians at the same time." This assumes, of course, that the other Christians have any interest or desire to celebrate Easter with you. As for any precision in those calendars, no one knows when Easter actually occurred and never will. Those dates are all made up. It could be celebrated in October just as easily and it wouldn't make much difference. Commerce, banking, and travel timetables reflect far more precision than Easter dating.

byzanTN #416869 04/11/17 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by byzanTN
I find all the calendar angst interesting, when not peculiar. The argument usually goes, "I want to celebrate Easter with the other Christians at the same time." This assumes, of course, that the other Christians have any interest or desire to celebrate Easter with you. As for any precision in those calendars, no one knows when Easter actually occurred and never will. Those dates are all made up. It could be celebrated in October just as easily and it wouldn't make much difference. Commerce, banking, and travel timetables reflect far more precision than Easter dating.


I can see how someone could feel this way. Consider in an analogous sense, however, liturgical vestments, texts and appointments. Why not either duplicate the conditions of ca. AD 33 or use contemporary clothing, electric lights rather than candles etc.. It is also missing the thrust of what I hold is the Church's sense of history. For instance, there is a movement seeking the "historical Jesus" but from what I'd say is the Church's view, that movement has coopted the term historical -- what the movement seeks is not the historical Jesus but the chronological Jesus -- a newspaper-account or history-book Jesus, not the Gospel Jesus.. It is archeology not the Church's history which is paradosis (παράδοσις; 1Cor 11:2,11:23,15:3; and the Divine Liturgy's τῇ νυκτὶ ᾗ παρεδίδοτο, μᾶλλον δὲ ἑαυτὸν παρεδίδου ὑπὲρ τῆς τοῦ κόσμου ζωῆς, on the night He was handed over or rather when He handed Himself over for the life of the world), tradition, the handing on of what has been received. It is through paradosis that the ancient events are made present for each generation of Christians. It is the liturgical today (Gk:σήμερον; L: hodie) that we often sing that says this so directly.

The chronology of most events of history or personal recurring events are merely a convenient repetition linked to a calendar date. But there is nothing exact about it as referenced to the actual event. Over the course of an exact calendar year the earth does not return to the same place in its orbit plus the exact moment or day of one's birth is adjusted, given interposed leap years and leap centuries, to the specified calendar date.

While scripture and especially the Gospels -- Jesus was a person in history -- are concerned with dates, the purpose is not to achieve a chronologically exact birthday-like yearly observation. So for the Church's purpose not knowing the actual date is not that important since it can still achieve the handing-on and making present for today by the (most likely somewhat arbitrary) chosen date. The important factor is that it is presented as the liturgical today.

If there is any event in the life of Jesus that could be determined and fixed to a a birthday-like calendar date it is probably the Resurrection. But that's not likely to work if it has to be a Sunday; the sequence of days is unbroken for all practical, and theological purposes back to Genesis and "In the beginning...the first day." It also has to align with the prescription of the celebration of Passover given in scripture (Exo 12:18, Lev 23:5, Num 9:3, Num 28:16f). But achieving this date, while interesting, is not to the Church's purpose.

After all, as accepted by (as far as I know) all Christians today, it must be a Sunday. This was what was foremost in the determination made at the time of Nicaea I and as against the Quortodecimians. So right there a birthday-like same calendar date reckoning is out. So what about a fixed Sunday close to the time. Popes and even the present Pope have considered this with some inclination: practical and pragmatic but woefully uninspired, pedestrian and diminishing the cosmic -- astronomically literal and mystical -- relevance, the relevance of the created universe, to the Resurrection. This is not said here as hyperbole or rhetoric.

I have come to appreciate that the prescription that has come down to us from the time of Nicaea I is brilliant, and is the best way of achieving the true remembrance, the re-presentation, the sense of the liturgical today for our -- Christians -- yearly observance of Pascha. Since no fixed dating could achieve the customary purpose, Nicaea's prescription keeps the desired, and deemed essential, Sunday observance and, showing great insight, fixes it in proper sequence with the earth's cosmic rhythm AS HAPPENED AT THE TIME OF THE PASSION AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS. It is not the repetition of a fixed calendar dating but of our, Mankind's, inherent submission under the two great lights that God created to rule the day and night (Gen 1:15-19). And so, even in the proleptic sense, everyone -- from the beginning and to the end of the ages -- that passes through the sun achieving the equinox (spring) and the moon achieving its fullness and the weekly sequence of Sunday -- the first day of the old and new creation -- passes into and through the Resurrection.

That's why I consider the calendar issue so important. We give up so much to the ignorance and shallowness of the age -- not this too.



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So, according to Nicea I, when is Pascha? Do the Orthodox Old Calendarists have it right?

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I would be happy if you established an AJK Easter date. If you could get enough groups to agree, we could all celebrate that day happily and sincerely.

The issue with Nicea is that they were trying to establish events and chronology for a figure not even well known in his own time, Christ was a very minor historical figure in a small and not prominent region of the empire. And they did all this several centuries after the fact. They had few if any records, their science was primitive and often incorrect, and their conclusions were no better than any other group making a guess based on similarly limited knowledge.. More recent saints are documented and recorded so that we know factual information on their lives and activities. Not so with Jesus. I think we all believe Christ died and rose from the dead. It is nearly impossible to determine date and time. We also really have no idea when he was actually born. All this is why I don't take calendars too seriously.

byzanTN #416872 04/11/17 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by byzanTN
I would be happy if you established an AJK Easter date.


That is disingenuous since everything you have written indicates you wouldn't. I don't have to do so, it's already been done. That should be obvious to anyone following this and prior threads on the topic, even if disagreeing. Those disagreeing are the ones needing to come up with a calendar since it is they who are at odds with the established one. It's known as the Gregorian calendar, aka the civil calendar as in

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The most widespread civil calendar and de facto international standard is the Gregorian calendar.
link

Originally Posted by byzanTN
The issue with Nicea is that they were trying to establish events and chronology for a figure not even well known in his own time, Christ was a very minor historical figure ...
I'm not sure where such pronouncements come from. You have either failed to read or comprehend what I've written. That's your choice or limitation but it renders any further fruitful dialog on this topic ineffectual.

jova #416873 04/12/17 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jova
So, according to Nicea I, when is Pascha?
The Council of Nicaea I did did not give a full prescription; there is no such extant document. From letters and other documents, however, the prescription agreed upon by most if not all is that, foremost, Pascha is to be celebrated on a Sunday and not the 14th of Nisan. Christians should not base their determination on any Jewish method. In today's terminology Pascha is the Sunday following the 14th day of the Paschal (northern hemisphere spring) moon. The Paschal moon is that which occurs on or immediately after the vernal equinox which at the time of Nicaea I was March 21. The Gregorian reform adjusted the calendar so that the equinox would again fall on March 21 -- the Julian calendar was off 10-11 days in 1582; it's now off 13 days -- and leap centuries were implemented to keep the equinox stabilized around that date.

While doing this with scientific precision is possible today, the intent of the prescription does not demand that. A model that gets the basic sequence right does the job. This was needed in times past so that tables, a general method, could be fashioned and distributed so that the determinations could be done locally.

The method that used a model is called a Paschalion of which two are in use: Julian and Gregorian, each implying a calendar. The calendar is required for aligning its March 21 with the equinox. Except for that, just knowing the day of the week, however, is sufficient, and in fact the scientific method does not require a calendar but it does require that the place of observation of equinox and moon be specified. It is interesting that it and the primitive method's approach are basically the same, differing only in the degree of precision. The idea is that one just observes nature. So pick a place on earth. When spring is approaching, start looking for a new moon. The new moon is an off/on event that is easier to determine than whether the moon is full or not, and to know if the moon is full requires that its waning is observed and then it's too late. So, observe the new moon as day one, count to the 14th day of the moon -- presumed to be the full moon; if not so scientifically that's ok, it's close enough. Has spring occurred or is this the first day of spring? If no, wait for the next moon. If yes, the NEXT Sunday is Pascha.

The basic sense is that at Pascha spring has just occurred and a fairly full moon is in the sky and it's Sunday. Past posts have shown pictures indicating how miserably off the Julian Paschalion is some years in matching those conditions, whereas the Gregorian is right on.

Originally Posted by jova
Do the Orthodox Old Calendarists have it right?
Most often no. For now and the future, Old Calendar dates are in accord with Nicaea only when they agree with the Gregorian. See the Aleppo conferences calculations showing the comparison for one particular set of conditions, the meridian passing throught the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. An occasional miss by a Paschalion does not mean it's "wrong" since in another place of observation it may be right. Many or most misses, however, indicates a defect as demonstrated by the Julian predictions.

Those who observe according to the Julian Paschalion celebrate Pascha piously, devoutly and well, but most often do not do so on a Sunday that adheres to the prescription deriving for Nicaea I.

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For what it is worth, I fully support and accept the Gregorian calendar and its date for Easter. However, I maintain the men of Nicea were churchmen and politicians, not men of science. Their system works as well as any determination could when made 300 years after the fact, and isn't worth haggling over. I will be celebrating Easter next Sunday with no concerns for calendar disputes. No disrespect to the Julian celebrants, since their Easter will be just as blessed as my Gregorian Easter.

byzanTN #416877 04/13/17 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by byzanTN
For what it is worth, I fully support and accept the Gregorian calendar and its date for Easter... I will be celebrating Easter next Sunday with no concerns for calendar disputes. No disrespect to the Julian celebrants, since their Easter will be just as blessed as my Gregorian Easter.
I agree and even so when the Julian and Gregorian Easter do not coincide.

Originally Posted by byzanTN
However, I maintain the men of Nicea were churchmen and politicians, not men of science.
Churchmen for sure and polticians hopefully in the ideal sense of serving and having concern for the polis, the city, and that both of God and Man. Some most likely were men of the science of their day as we are of ours. That science in many respects, mathematics and astronomy for instance, was not benighted. The problem with the calendar and choosing a way for dating Pascha was appreciated long before it was fixed by the Gregorian reform. When science had caught up to the task, that is in the 16th century, it was not the case of having to correct what Nicaea proposed but of properly applying it.

Originally Posted by byzanTN
Their system works as well as any determination could when made 300 years after the fact, and isn't worth haggling over.
I really want to understand your point here. The haggle at the time of Nicaea was with the Quartodecimians. Was that a necessary haggle, that is, was it only proper and correct that we observe the yearly commemoration of Pascha on a Sunday given a theology that holds that every Sunday in particular is a commemoration of the Resurrection? Or is it equally valid that Easter should be observed on any day of the week, for instance, the 14th of Nisan.

What other "system" do you have in mind? Given all that's been discussed, I don't see how "300 years after the fact" is in any way relevant. In your eyes, what was the deficiency caused by the 300 year lapse? What did the Council Fathers not know that they needed to know to make the best pronouncement?

To summarize then, 2 questions to help me understand your position:

1. Should Easter be only on a Sunday?

2a. if yes, what information, historical or otherwise, is needed to best determine what Sunday that is?
2b. If no, what best determines the day of the year to observe Easter?

ajk #416889 04/16/17 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ajk
The haggle at the time of Nicaea was with the Quartodecimians.

As I read the sources, this is not the case. The controversy at Nicea was not between Sunday-observers and weekday-observers, but between two schools of Sunday observance: "Jewish calendarists", or traditionalists, located in Syria, who wanted to locate Easter on the Sunday in the week of Unleavened Bread as calculated by their Jewish neighbors; and "Independent calendarists" or innovators, located everywhere else, who wanted to locate Easter on the Sunday in the week of Unleavened Bread as calculated independently by Christians.

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