www.byzcath.org
Posted By: Alice Common Easter date? - 02/14/09 03:55 PM
I came across this recently while trying to find out what date Western Easter would be this year (actually today being 'Saturday of the Souls' on the Byzantine forum confused me enough to search!) Does anyone know anything more about this interesting find:
Quote

Reconciling East and West

A meeting organized by the Council of World Churches (in Aleppo, Syria, March 5–10, 1997) proposed a solution thought to be favorable to both East and West: both methods of calculating the equinox and the paschal full moon would be replaced with the most advanced astronomically accurate calculations available, using the meridian of Jerusalem as the point of measure. Since that meeting, however, no further progress has been made and the problem remains.
Posted By: Fr David Straut Re: Common Easter date? - 02/14/09 05:13 PM
All this would mean is that the Orthodox would start observing the Latin date of Easter over 99 times out of 100. They would never again observe the traditional Orthodox date. A non-starter, I'm afraid, from the beginning.

If Catholics want a unity of celebration in the date of Easter, I'm afraid the only solution is to "condescend" to their "weaker" brethren and accept the "scientifically inaccurate" Julian Calendar based Orthodox reckoning. Can they humble themselves? The Orthodox, I believe, will not accept a change themselves.

Fr David Straut



Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Common Easter date? - 02/14/09 05:28 PM
I wish that the Ruthenian Church would adopt the old calendar and celebrate Easter according to the Orthodox reckoning.
Posted By: Kathleen Elsie Re: Common Easter date? - 02/14/09 05:31 PM
Father Bless!

I guess I am just confused. Why would it be imprortant that either change? This IMHO should not be something that divides us. But, then I guess I look at what unifies us more then what divides us.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/14/09 06:46 PM
Originally Posted by Alice
I came across this recently...
Quote

Reconciling East and West

A meeting organized by the Council of World Churches (in Aleppo, Syria, March 5–10, 1997)...


Is this the source for the quote: link ?

The topic has been discussed on the forum, most recently:
Julian Calendar
Any changes in the method of dating Pascha
A common date for Easter when???

Posted By: Fr David Straut Re: Common Easter date? - 02/14/09 06:52 PM
Originally Posted by Kathleen Elsie
Father Bless!

I guess I am just confused. Why would it be imprortant that either change? This IMHO should not be something that divides us. But, then I guess I look at what unifies us more then what divides us.

The blessing of the Lord!

In the early Church, when Christians were divided (though not out of communion) by celebrating Easter on different dates, the Fathers of the Church thought it very desirable to celebrate the Feast of Feasts on a common date. That unity was finally established after centuries of struggle. I, for one, think it was a lamentable thing that that unity was again shattered by the unilateral introduction of the Gregorian Calendar in the Latin Church without consultation with, or the agreement of, the Eastern Church.

Sure, there are certainly greater things that divide the Catholic and Orthodox Churches than the date of Easter. But the overcoming of the great symbolic difference of the date of Easter by the Catholic Church reverting to the original common date of Pascha would go a long way to showing that Rome is serious about unity.

Fr David Straut

Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher Re: Common Easter date? - 02/14/09 06:57 PM
Rome was, in fact, wrong in imposing the Gregorian Calendar, and in departing from the Nicene Canons regarding the date of Pascha. Rome, however, seems incapable of admitting this. One notices that the "common Easter date" promoters are all trying to "Promote" the New Calendar, since those of us who maintain the traditional calendar have never objected to anyone else using the traditional calendar.

Fr. Serge
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/14/09 07:33 PM
Originally Posted by Fr David Straut
All this would mean is that the Orthodox would start observing the Latin date of Easter over 99 times out of 100. They would never again observe the traditional Orthodox date. A non-starter, I'm afraid, from the beginning.


Why a non-starter? Aleppo just crunched the numbers, objectively, in a way that I think or would hope modern science and ancient natural philosophy would be able to agree upon. The ancient Roman and Alexandrian astronomers and mathematicians were trying to do their best at accomplishing the same essential calculation invoked by the Aleppo study; they just didn't have computers, calculus, telescopes and earth satellites.

Originally Posted by Fr David Straut
If Catholics want a unity of celebration in the date of Easter,...


Catholics? Why Catholics? The Aleppo study was under the auspices of the WCC; the Catholic Church is not and never has been a member of the WCC, whereas Orthodox churches were and are.


Originally Posted by Fr David Straut
... I'm afraid the only solution is to "condescend" to their "weaker" brethren and accept the "scientifically inaccurate" Julian Calendar based Orthodox reckoning. Can they humble themselves? The Orthodox, I believe, will not accept a change themselves.


In those words then, perhaps this is the proper opportunity for Orthodox to show the way and "humble themselves." Actually, it is not humility that is required, just an impartial interpretation of the agreed upon historical and astronomical facts.

The only real arbitrary variable in the method, the calculations used in the Aleppo study, is the choice of the meridian, which they fix at Jerusalem. Basically, if the meridian effectively can vary so that a simple method, a table, can then be constructed to make the determination easier and keep the equinox at a fixed date (which is what a calendar is supposed to do), there are a number of possibilities, one of which is the Gregorian Calendar. Another possibility, if one allows the equinox date to accumulate an increasing difference relative to the calendar date, which is what a calendar is not intended to do, then one has the Julian calendar and associated Paschalion.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/14/09 08:11 PM
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
Rome was, in fact, wrong in imposing the Gregorian Calendar, ...
Rome offered the calendar to fix an obvious problem. Most accept, some do not. Upon whom is Rome imposing the Gregorian Calendar?

Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
...Rome was, in fact, wrong in ... departing from the Nicene Canons regarding the date of Pascha.
The core agreed upon facts about the purported "Nicene Canons regarding the date of Pascha" demonstrate that the Gregorian Calendar, Rome, is in intentional and actual conformity, and that the Julian Paschalion is not, and not just simply not, but emphatically not.

Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
... Rome, however, seems incapable of admitting this.
Rome cannot, certainly should not admit to something that is not true.

Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
One notices that the "common Easter date" promoters are all trying to "Promote" the New Calendar, since those of us who maintain the traditional calendar have never objected to anyone else using the traditional calendar.


Disinterested '"common Easter date" promoters' may have no choice in that the facts simply support the legitimacy and accuracy of the Gregorian Calendar if the intent is to keep "Easter" tied to the actual equinox, the beginning of spring. For those who are content with a calendar where the date of the (northern hemisphere) spring equinox -- that is when we actually can feel and sense by temperature and daylight the changing season -- is slowly moving towards the summer months, then the Old Calendar will do the job. It is quite wrong, however, to then insist that somehow the defect is in the Gregorian type approach and to make outlandish claims of accuracy and fidelity for the Old Calendar. It's like insisting that an hour glass (Julian calendar/Paschalion) is in fact more accurate and faithful in keeping time than an atomic clock (the Gregorian calendar).
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/14/09 09:17 PM
Originally Posted by Fr David Straut
I, for one, think it was a lamentable thing that that unity was again shattered by the unilateral introduction of the Gregorian Calendar in the Latin Church without consultation with, or the agreement of, the Eastern Church.
I think this may be perpetuating the myth of the West simply ignoring the East. And who speaks for the East even today? The calendar problem was understood by both East and West early on, but, no problem, no rush, there's always tomorrow. Then schisms, 1453, and by 1582 a 10 day and increasing error. Also, it seems the Syrian Nestorian patriarch Na'amat Allah was a member of the papal commission to reform the calendar; he was apparently well informed about Arabic and Persian astronomy. He even proposed the now well known and much more accurate and stable (than the Gregorian calendar) cycle of 33 years. The pope apparently rejected it in favor of a less dramatic fix, one that did not disrupt the basic 4 year leap year sequence of the Julian calendar. I guess it was a pastoral compromise on the part of the Pope.
Posted By: Michael_Thoma Re: Common Easter date? - 02/14/09 09:25 PM
ajk,

The Patriarch you mention as the astronomer was of the (miaphysite) Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/14/09 09:34 PM
Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
ajk,

The Patriarch you mention as the astronomer was of the (miaphysite) Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.
Thanks very much for this correction. The identification was from a single source of astronomical/astrological rather than religious orientation.
Posted By: chadrook Re: Common Easter date? - 02/14/09 11:09 PM
Pascha should not fall before jewish passover and that is one of the biggest reasons i see for not moving to the gregorian calender. When it comes to the Orthodox it is a shame that there is a division simply for the people to be more comfortable around there neighbors.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Common Easter date? - 02/15/09 01:55 AM
This thread has proved one thing . . . the two sides are unlikely to agree on a common date for celebrating Easter.

Nevertheless, I wish that the Ruthenian Church would adopt the old calendar and celebrate Orthodox Easter.
Posted By: Alice Re: Common Easter date? - 02/15/09 02:12 AM
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
This thread has proved one thing . . . the two sides are unlikely to agree on a common date for celebrating Easter.

Nevertheless, I wish that the Ruthenian Church would adopt the old calendar and celebrate Orthodox Easter.


In Greece, I have heard that the *Roman Catholics* always celebrate Pascha on the same day as the Orthodox. If they can concede for the common good, then why can't all Catholics!! smile

In Christ,
Alice
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/15/09 05:15 AM
Originally Posted by chadrook
Pascha should not fall before jewish passover and that is one of the biggest reasons i see for not moving to the gregorian calender.


Then you should move to the Gregorian calendar. That "Pascha should not fall before jewish passover" is the ancient equivalent of an urban legend. Again, disinterested Orthodox scholars admit that the true reading and intent of Nicaea is to pay no attention to how the Jews determine and when they celebrate Passover. So this alleged proof is really an indictment against those who invoke it and, contrary to Nicaea, reference the Jewish dating of Passover as a factor.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/15/09 05:33 AM
Originally Posted by Alice
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
This thread has proved one thing . . . the two sides are unlikely to agree on a common date for celebrating Easter.

Nevertheless, I wish that the Ruthenian Church would adopt the old calendar and celebrate Orthodox Easter.


In Greece, I have heard that the *Roman Catholics* always celebrate Pascha on the same day as the Orthodox. If they can concede for the common good, then why can't all Catholics!! smile
Conceding for the common good as stated is an option. There is then uniformity in celebrating Pascha more often than not on a date different than specified by Nicaea. Eventually, as the date moves farther away from the norm specified by Nicaea, the statement will be that Pascha is never celebrated on the date mandated by the Council.

Again, the intent is to fix Pascha close to the vernal equinox full moon. If it's ok to have Pascha move away from this specified time, then rejoice in and follow the Julian Calendar / Paschalion. But then drop an claim to being faithful to the dating specified by Nicaea.

Also, my question about the initial quote:


Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Alice
I came across this recently...
Quote

Reconciling East and West

A meeting organized by the Council of World Churches (in Aleppo, Syria, March 5–10, 1997)...


Is this the source for the quote: link ?
Posted By: chadrook Re: Common Easter date? - 02/15/09 05:59 AM
I guess that i should have made my statement clearer. I personally think that Pascha should not fall before Jewish passover because it makes since to me.

When it comes to the calender it is a well known fact that both calenders are incorrect.This is really sad because for what purpose did the Greeks change? With this change did not the Greeks sever liturgical unity with the rest of Orthodoxy? Even on the holy mountain the calender is the traditional.
So what happened to the liturgical harmony that makes the church visibly one? And what is the reason for the Orthodox to change? Because of unity? We do not belive that the church has ever been divided.And we will hold fast to the traditions that have been handed down to us "at least as best we can".And what of the sigillion of 1583 signed by the heads of Constantinople,Alexandria and Jerusalem and the rest of the synod that declares anathema to whosoever who follow the popes calender.
Posted By: harmon3110 Re: Common Easter date? - 02/15/09 09:17 AM
Originally Posted by Alice


In Greece, I have heard that the *Roman Catholics* always celebrate Pascha on the same day as the Orthodox. If they can concede for the common good, then why can't all Catholics!! smile



Alice, I read somewhere that Pope John Paul II when he was in Greece recited the Symbol of Faith without the filioque. If that's true, and not a legend, then your good remark could apply to the Symbol of Faith as well.

-- John
Posted By: Pavel Ivanovich Re: Common Easter date? - 02/15/09 09:29 AM
Pope John Paul did drop the filoque a number of times during his pontificate.

Yes the tiny RC community in Greece keeps Pascha on the same date as the Orthodox. In Finland the Orthodox Church keeps Pasha on the western computation. One thing is for sure the feast is celebrated regardless of the place.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/15/09 03:11 PM
Originally Posted by chadrook
I guess that i should have made my statement clearer. I personally think that Pascha should not fall before Jewish passover because it makes since to me.
You are entitled to think that way and it makes some sense if the desire is to maintain the historical, chronological sequence of events. Of course that sequence is rarely observed since 14 Nisan can be on any day of the week but Pascha must be a Sunday. Also, the desire of Nicaea was that Christians have their own independent method of determining Pascha that should not look to the Jews. As has been pointed out, the Jews themselves had conflicting methods for determining Passover, and why should the Christians be dependent on them. So Nicaea wisely determined that Pascha should not be relative to the year-to-year Jewish Passover but to the sequence of celestial events as they occurred at the time of the crucifixion-resurrection. That sequence is northern vernal equinox, full moon, next Sunday is Pascha. The Gregorian calendar maintains that sequence within the accepted approximations; the Julian calendar now usually does not and its derviation from that norm is increasing.

Originally Posted by chadrook
When it comes to the calender it is a well known fact that both calenders are incorrect.
That is not the point since in a sense, all calendars are incorrect or arbitrary to some extent. A calendar is a method for keeping the seasons fixed to or around fixed calendar dates, e.g. spring, March 21. The Gregorian method does this, but will accumulate a one day error in, if I recall, sometime after the year 5000, and an easy fix is known. The Julian method accumulates a one day error around every 125 years, the present difference being 13 days, and there is no easy fix.

Originally Posted by chadrook
So what happened to the liturgical harmony that makes the church visibly one?
If such a harmony is the issue, one can achieve it by following a calendar that adheres to the prescriptions of Nicaea (Gregorian) or one that does not (Julian), relative to the actual celestial events on which they are supposed to be based. Those are the general choices. Aleppo chose adherence to Nicaea and as a result, and not a biased intent, essentially confirmed the accuracy of the Gregorian calendar.
Posted By: Matta Re: Common Easter date? - 02/15/09 07:09 PM
You may then be pleased to know that in 2010 and 2011 both Easters coincide. The first time for two consecutive occurrences in over thirty years.
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: Common Easter date? - 02/15/09 08:43 PM
Alice,
I think that is true of most Catholics!
We would be ready to celebrate the same computation of Easter as the Orthodox! (Maybe the Pope needs to be asked by the other Patriarchates.)
And as far as the Symbol of Faith, I am sure we would be ready to drop the filioque from the Creed, (As long as this was not an admission to its being heretical.) We would be ready to say that now that the danger of semi arianism is over, we could revert to saying the Creed in its original form.
Stephanos I
It is an option for those Orthodox in Communion with the Apostolic See of Rome, whether they use it or not. I know the majority of eastern churches that I have celbrated in do not use it. (Now if we could convince them to get rid of the kneelers. grin)
Posted By: Kathleen Elsie Re: Common Easter date? - 02/15/09 10:07 PM
I wonder if this will be used as the opportunity to become unified. It seems to be an opening or dialogue.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Common Easter date? - 02/15/09 11:57 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
Conceding for the common good as stated is an option. There is then uniformity in celebrating Pascha more often than not on a date different than specified by Nicaea.

The Council of Nicaea spoke of an agreement that would allow Christians to celebrate the Pascha on a single day, but it left no computational system for establishing the date of the Pascha. The present system (i.e, observing the Pascha on the Sunday following the first full moon that occurs on or after the day of the vernal equinox) developed in Alexandria and spread from there over the course of more than four centuries throughout Europe, and in fact this practice was only adopted at Rome in the mid 5th century, and in England in the late 7th century, and spread to other areas in Western Europe after the time of Charlemagne. Let us not try to make this a "science" project, because it is not one, and no one is necessarily right or wrong in observing the Pascha according to the Julian calendar or the Gregorian calendar. That said, the one thing that the Orthodox have on their side in this debate is that they are trying to maintain their tradition in the face of the constant desire for change and modernization prevalent in the West.
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 03:10 AM
Interesting that Our Lord and Our Lady at Soufineh request unity between Catholics an Orthodox on the Paschal date wihtout specifying a preference for either method.
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 10:38 AM
[quote=Fr. Deacon Lance]Interesting that Our Lord and Our Lady at Soufineh request unity between Catholics an Orthodox on the Paschal date wihtout specifying a preference for either method. [/quote]

-oOo-

The Melkite Patriarch made the decision to have his Church celebrate Pascha in unity with the Orthodox, I think this commenced in 2002. But this observance was restricted (by the Vatican?) to those countries where the Orthodox are in the majority over the Catholics. So in the USA the Melkites must still keep the Latin Paschalion.

If memory serves Pope John Paul suggested that Catholics adopt the Orthodox Paschalion and the Othodox adopt the Gregorian Calendar for the Sanctoral Cycle. This brings everything into synch. The major anxiety about this, from the Orthodox side, would be a fear of a large schism in the Russian, Serb, and Jerusalem Churches, something which has unfortunately already taken place in those Churches which have adopted the Gregorian.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 02:16 PM
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
Conceding for the common good as stated is an option. There is then uniformity in celebrating Pascha more often than not on a date different than specified by Nicaea.

The Council of Nicaea spoke of an agreement that would allow Christians to celebrate the Pascha on a single day, but it left no computational system for establishing the date of the Pascha. The present system (i.e, observing the Pascha on the Sunday following the first full moon that occurs on or after the day of the vernal equinox) developed in Alexandria and spread from there over the course of more than four centuries throughout Europe, and in fact this practice was only adopted at Rome in the mid 5th century, and in England in the late 7th century, and spread to other areas in Western Europe after the time of Charlemagne. Let us not try to make this a "science" project, because it is not one, and no one is necessarily right or wrong in observing the Pascha according to the Julian calendar or the Gregorian calendar. That said, the one thing that the Orthodox have on their side in this debate is that they are trying to maintain their tradition in the face of the constant desire for change and modernization prevalent in the West.


I recommend reading the links I provided on the discussion of this topic in this forum since they already take into consideration the above peripheral issues. I have regarded the "Canons" as a given since they are readily invoked and not disputed by the Julian calendar proponents; e.g. in this thread:
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
...Rome was, in fact, wrong in ... departing from the Nicene Canons regarding the date of Pascha.
The core agreed upon facts about the purported "Nicene Canons regarding the date of Pascha" demonstrate that the Gregorian Calendar, Rome, is in intentional and actual conformity, and that the Julian Paschalion is not, and not just simply not, but emphatically not.
Note that I say "core agreed upon facts" and "purported" canons.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 03:05 PM
The threads that you linked to are quite nice, but they do not change the fact that there are no extant canons or other documents from the Council of Nicaea itself that give a system for determining the date of the Pascha. As I said in an earlier post, the present practice spread throughout Europe over the course of more than four centuries.

That said, there is no reason for the Orthodox to give up their practice in favor of the modern practice of the West.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 04:39 PM
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
The threads that you linked to are quite nice, but they do not change the fact that there are no extant canons or other documents from the Council of Nicaea itself that give a system for determining the date of the Pascha.
I know, and have alluded to this, but acknowledged 4th century etc. documents giving the rule as from Nicaea are accepted, are not disputed, and are advanced by Julian calendar/Paschalion advocates as givens. I started to selectively quote a general explanation but was including so much that the essay should just be read if full. I gave early on quote and a link to this essay. The essay makes the key points and should be considered: The date of Pascha and the reason for the differences between the Western and Eastern Christians Nicholas Ossorguine, Instructor in Liturgics, St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute, Paris, 1979.

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
As I said in an earlier post, the present practice spread throughout Europe over the course of more than four centuries.
The rule, the prescription was established and not disputed as such, but the method for determining the date in conformity with the rule was not. This only confirms that there in fact were variations for quite some time. Only eventually did the Alexandrian method become generally accepted from among those available.

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
That said, there is no reason for the Orthodox to give up their practice in favor of the modern practice of the West.
There is no reason if that is the only consideration. As the essay I referenced and linked indicates, however, there are a number of biblical, mystical, and theological considerations of cosmic proportion that come into consideration -- the “cosmic icon” that Ossorguine mentions. For instance, he notes that "One particular Sunday of the year is dedicated to this feast of Resurrection. And this is the day, when there is a particular alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth." That alignment in our present cosmos is not consistently represented by the Julian calendar/Paschalion, and eventually it will be impossible for it to do so. The Gregorian calendar or the Aleppo proposal correct that inconsistency and properly identify the "One particular Sunday of the year ... dedicated to this feast of Resurrection... when there is a particular alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth."

How important is it , Julian calendar readers and others, to be in general accord with that alignment?

Posted By: Epiphanius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 06:10 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
...Rome was, in fact, wrong in ... departing from the Nicene Canons regarding the date of Pascha.
The core agreed upon facts about the purported "Nicene Canons regarding the date of Pascha" demonstrate that the Gregorian Calendar, Rome, is in intentional and actual conformity, and that the Julian Paschalion is not, and not just simply not, but emphatically not.
Deacon Anthony,

While I certainly find your statements here to be essentially factual, let us not forget that there was another important consideration posited by the Fathers of I Nicaea, namely that all Christians celebrate Pascha on the same day. This is arguably more important in the scheme of things than which date is chosen.

That being the case, and given the fact that most EOs (and a number of ECs) are steadfast in their adherence to the ancient Paschalion, it follows that a compromise is in order here. Unity and fraternity among Christians is a very important thing; astronomical accuracy, while not unimportant, is decidedly less important than the former.

Furthermore, I really think that few RCs would be upset if Pascha never fell in March anymore and sometimes fell in May. (However, this applies only to the Paschalion--having Christmas moved to January 7 every year would be much harder to swallow!)


Peace,
Deacon Richard

Posted By: Kathleen Elsie Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 06:46 PM
You know I actually believe Christmas on January 7th could be a good thing. It would get us out from under the secular shopping marathon.

The only thing is there is a wonderful DVD out that actually can justify the December 25th date. So they might have to re-do the days to the other calendar.
http://thestarofbethlehemmovie.com/
Posted By: Epiphanius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 06:54 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
... "One particular Sunday of the year is dedicated to this feast of Resurrection. And this is the day, when there is a particular alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth." That alignment in our present cosmos is not consistently represented by the Julian calendar/Paschalion, and eventually it will be impossible for it to do so. The Gregorian calendar or the Aleppo proposal correct that inconsistency and properly identify the "One particular Sunday of the year ... dedicated to this feast of Resurrection... when there is a particular alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth."

How important is it , Julian calendar readers and others, to be in general accord with that alignment?

May the EO members of this forum forgive me for jumping in here, but I believe the real answer lies in the fact that the Julian Paschalion represents an unbroken tradition of more than 1000 years' standing, thus a perfect alignment, going backward through time, with past celebrations. This is more meaningful to people than stars and planets.


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 07:11 PM
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
...Rome was, in fact, wrong in ... departing from the Nicene Canons regarding the date of Pascha.
The core agreed upon facts about the purported "Nicene Canons regarding the date of Pascha" demonstrate that the Gregorian Calendar, Rome, is in intentional and actual conformity, and that the Julian Paschalion is not, and not just simply not, but emphatically not.
Deacon Anthony,

While I certainly find your statements here to be essentially factual, let us not forget that there was another important consideration posited by the Fathers of I Nicaea, namely that all Christians celebrate Pascha on the same day. This is arguably more important in the scheme of things than which date is chosen.


Father Deacon Richard,

Read back through the threads. They start with someone advancing the Julian Paschalion with faulty arguments which when turned around on them are then denied as important; in many if not most of those posts, there is then little concern for unity. Aleppo was a disinterested attempt for unity. There is no good reason to require that a stable calendar be abandon for one with an ever-increasing error. Would you trade an accurate watch for one that kept time incorrectly, that had an accumulating error and that could not be reset? Who would recommend for the sake of unity that everyone use the same type of clock that had an ever accumulating error in running too slow and so, eventually, when daylight comes and we are ready for breakfast, the clock reads 2AM, so go back to sleep, ignore the morning sun in the sky, pretend it's really the dark of night.

Originally Posted by Epiphanius
That being the case, and given the fact that most EOs (and a number of ECs) are steadfast in their adherence to the ancient Paschalion, it follows that a compromise is in order here. Unity and fraternity among Christians is a very important thing; astronomical accuracy, while not unimportant, is decidedly less important than the former.
Aleppo was just such a compromise.

Originally Posted by Epiphanius
Furthermore, I really think that few RCs would be upset if Pascha never fell in March anymore and sometimes fell in May. (However, this applies only to the Paschalion--having Christmas moved to January 7 every year would be much harder to swallow!)

As I've said repeatedly, it all depends on what factors are important, what's given up and what it is important to retain. The fact that you mention January 7 Christmas should sound like that faulty clock I mentioned. In that case be content in unity marking the vernal equinox on Julian calendar March 21, and making believe that it is really occurring then, when in reality it happened 13 days (and increasing) before.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 07:34 PM
The sole Russian Orthodox student at the school where I teach celebrated Christmas on January 7th as a religious festival focused solely upon the nativity of Christ, and she was quite happy about not being associated with the neo-pagan revelry and materialistic hedonism that surrounds the secularized festival held on the 25th of December.

Frankly, I found it wonderful to see a young girl so excited about celebrating the birth of Christ, and not worrying about what kinds of gifts she was going to get for Christmas, or about partying with her friends. I think the Orthodox should keep the old calendar in its entirety.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 07:37 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
I know, and have alluded to this, but acknowledged 4th century etc. documents giving the rule as from Nicaea are accepted, are not disputed, and are advanced by Julian calendar/Paschalion advocates as givens.

Well then Rome was in violation of the Nicene decrees (none of which are extant) for more than a century. Goodness, the Roman Church was not very faithful to Nicaea.

Provide the canons of Nicaea that speak on this issue and that will end our debate, but providing documentation that comes a generation or more after the event will not suffice.

Nicaea left no system for calculating the date of the Pascha.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 07:42 PM
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
Originally Posted by ajk
... "One particular Sunday of the year is dedicated to this feast of Resurrection. And this is the day, when there is a particular alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth." That alignment in our present cosmos is not consistently represented by the Julian calendar/Paschalion, and eventually it will be impossible for it to do so. The Gregorian calendar or the Aleppo proposal correct that inconsistency and properly identify the "One particular Sunday of the year ... dedicated to this feast of Resurrection... when there is a particular alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth."

How important is it , Julian calendar readers and others, to be in general accord with that alignment?

May the EO members of this forum forgive me for jumping in here, but I believe the real answer lies in the fact that the Julian Paschalion represents an unbroken tradition of more than 1000 years' standing, thus a perfect alignment, going backward through time, with past celebrations.
"perfect alignment"? The whole issue is that the Julian Paschalion is most often no longer in alignment with the situation, the alignment, at the time on the Council of Nicaea.

Originally Posted by Epiphanius
This is more meaningful to people than stars and planets.
Just to be clear, the quotes in the quote above may be mistaken for my words. They are from the essay at the link I provided, i.e., these are the words of Nicholas Ossorguine, Instructor in Liturgics, St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute, Paris, 1979 as noted before:
Quote
Pascha is the greatest Christian feast. The Orthodox Church, in the words of St John Damascene (VIII c), calls it “the feast of feasts, holy day of holy days” (Paschal Canon, Irmos of the Eighth Ode). This was the first Christian feast that was celebrated in Apostolic times. This feast is of such significance that the day of the week during which the Resurrection of Christ took place is forever identified with it...One particular Sunday of the year is dedicated to this feast of Resurrection. And this is the day, when there is a particular alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth. At this point, the latter enjoys a time of maximum illumination from the light sources that surround it...The Christian Church, apparently from Apostolic times, began to fix the date of Pascha (Sunday) precisely in relation to light. For example, the feast of the Nativity of Christ (IV c.) was fixed as December 25, the day of the Winter solstice when sunlight begins to increase...The Sunday of the year that falls immediately after a full moon when it occurs not earlier than the vernal equinox is set aside as the feast of Pascha.
His words, not mine. So this "stars and planets" stuff, if indeed less "meaningful to people" is a concept advanced by, I presume, an Orthodox teacher.

Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 07:46 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
How important is it , Julian calendar readers and others, to be in general accord with that alignment?

They are not all that important to me, because it is not like the Alexandrian practice for determining the date of the Pascha is divinely revealed. The Church of Rome itself used an 84 year lunar-solar calendar cycle for determining the date of the Pascha until the mid 5th century, more than 100 years after the Council of Nicaea.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 08:23 PM
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
I know, and have alluded to this, but acknowledged 4th century etc. documents giving the rule as from Nicaea are accepted, are not disputed, and are advanced by Julian calendar/Paschalion advocates as givens.

Well then Rome was in violation of the Nicene decrees (none of which are extant) for more than a century. Goodness, the Roman Church was not very faithful to Nicaea.
Clearly the issue of doing the hard work, that awful science stuff, was in development and primitive by our standards (but impressive in what it was able to accomplish with so little). The problem was realized early on, the difficult task of finding a fix was at least in part responsible for the delay. When the method to achieve the correction was accepted, Rome wisely and with deference to Nicaea, took what may be seen as the drastic step of removing the 10 days error and thus accomplishing a re-alignment with the calendar at the time of Nicaea. See Inter Gravissimas #7.

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Provide the canons of Nicaea that speak on this issue and that will end our debate, but providing documentation that comes a generation or more after the event will not suffice.
Since the actual canons are not documented as such, as I said, I have proceeded on the basis of the one thing that is a consensus, what I have called the rule: vernal equinox-full moon- Sunday.

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Nicaea left no system for calculating the date of the Pascha.
I agree and I hope all will understand what this correctly states. "Nicaea left no system" no method and therefore no definitive Paschalion. It also left no record of canons, but we do have a universally agreed upon rule. So let's use a reliable method, not one with known and problematic errors, to achieve compliance with the rule.

Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 08:33 PM
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
How important is it , Julian calendar readers and others, to be in general accord with that alignment?

They are not all that important to me, because it is not like the Alexandrian practice for determining the date of the Pascha is divinely revealed.
Yes, I accept this --"it is not like the Alexandrian practice for determining the date of the Pascha is divinely revealed"-- and I've tried to make that very point. Do Julian calendar/paschalion advocates also accept this?

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
The Church of Rome itself used an 84 year lunar-solar calendar cycle for determining the date of the Pascha until the mid 5th century, more than 100 years after the Council of Nicaea.
Precisely, a different and faulty method to try to adhere to the "rule." It's one thing to know there is a problem, another to know how to fix it. Rome finally found and advanced a fix in 1582, and most of the world uses it.
Posted By: Epiphanius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/16/09 11:06 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
... I believe the real answer lies in the fact that the Julian Paschalion represents an unbroken tradition of more than 1000 years' standing, thus a perfect alignment, going backward through time, with past celebrations.
"perfect alignment"? The whole issue is that the Julian Paschalion is most often no longer in alignment with the situation, the alignment, at the time on the Council of Nicaea.

I am using the term "alignment" here to refer to the consistent use of the Julian Paschalion for all those centuries.

Originally Posted by ajk
Just to be clear, the quotes in the quote above ... are from the essay at the link I provided, i.e., these are the words of Nicholas Ossorguine, Instructor in Liturgics, St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute, Paris, 1979 as noted before ... His words, not mine. So this "stars and planets" stuff, if indeed less "meaningful to people" is a concept advanced by, I presume, an Orthodox teacher.

True, but the opinions of scholars have little impact outside the realm of academia until they are embraced by the people--if, indeed, they are embraced. On the other hand, 1000+ years of unbroken practice is something that even the simple and unlettered can appreciate.

I think that very often the scientific-minded think they are thinking "outside the box," when in fact they are locked in a kind of mathematical way of thinking that leaves out a whole dimension of human existence--one that is only perceived intuitively.

The fact that St. Thomas Aquinas was unable to finish the Summa Theologica after his vision is an example of this.


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/17/09 12:59 AM
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
True, but the opinions of scholars have little impact outside the realm of academia until they are embraced by the people--if, indeed, they are embraced. On the other hand, 1000+ years of unbroken practice is something that even the simple and unlettered can appreciate.

I think that very often the scientific-minded think they are thinking "outside the box," when in fact they are locked in a kind of mathematical way of thinking that leaves out a whole dimension of human existence--one that is only perceived intuitively.
I commented in one of the other threads that the internal consistency of the two calendars is such that the cycle of feasts, the interplay of the temporal and paschal cycles -- the typicon -- is assured. I think sometimes the "people" have been taught that the Gregorian calendar disrupts the harmony of the Typicon. It does not, and there are only minor differences between the two calendars in terms of internal consistency. So I'm skeptical about what the people are devoted to. If they're anything like me, they are just told and accept when Pascha will be observed, and are not doing the determination themselves as a religious exercise.

Also, the science factor is misunderstood. As I have tried to convey, science, mathematics, astronomy, are neutral and are tools to insure one applies the rule correctly. They provide insights for understanding the necessary technical aspects of being able to predict, to tabulate the dates of Pascha. And this is what was done in the past since Nicaea. But one does not need this science to have a feel for the phenomena, and like it or not that involves planets. So people have the sense of a periodic night and day, light and dark, and the changing of seasons -- the sun and earth -- and the monthly shape, the brightness of the moon, etc. And that is what the "rule" addresses.

So I don't believe that the faithful have some inherent resonance with the Julian calendar/Paschalion such that they could perceive just by observing the typicon an obvious difference relative to the Gregorian or Aleppo method or other accurate calendars. (Such a disruption results, for instance, when trying to merge Gregorian fixed and Julian paschal cycles.) So what is the difference or the issue as long as internal consistency is maintained?

Only this, the external consistency: harmony with those natural occurrences that have no religious bias, the seasonal and daily cycles of nature. This is what Ossorguine is expounding, not science or astronomy per se. If the harmony and symbolism that he notes is not warranted then make life easy and choose a convenient Sunday -- the second Sunday of April for example -- as a simple, fixed method of dating. But if it is desired that on the day after the Great and Holy Sabbath, early in the morning before sunrise, the moon in the sky lighting the way is the very Paschal moon associated with the Nicaean directive (i.e. the "rule") than the choice is not the Julian calendar/Paschalion.

Using the Julian calendar, Pascha is moving consistently towards the summer. The intent of Nicaea was for it to stay fixed, close after the beginning of spring, just as at the time of Nicaea, just as at the time of the crucifixion and resurrection. One may chose that alignment -- the Council, the Incarnation -- or align with an ancient Roman calendar and an ancient Alexandrian "scientific" calculation of paschal moons that are moving the feast away from its primitive external (celestial) orientation.



Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Common Easter date? - 02/17/09 05:32 AM
We are in no imminent danger of Orthodox Easter happening in the summer. The date of Easter according to the Julian calendar will remain in either April or May for at least the next 2,000 years.

In the year A.D. 3978 Orthodox Easter will be on May 21st.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/17/09 11:00 AM
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
We are in no imminent danger of Orthodox Easter happening in the summer. The date of Easter according to the Julian calendar will remain in either April or May for at least the next 2,000 years.

In the year A.D. 3978 Orthodox Easter will be on May 21st.
Correct. This illustrates the issue quite well. As I said:
Originally Posted by ajk
Using the Julian calendar, Pascha is moving consistently towards the summer. The intent of Nicaea was for it to stay fixed, close after the beginning of spring,...

It also exemplifies the inertia in facing the "danger", hopefully not aspiring to "Après moi, le déluge".
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Common Easter date? - 02/17/09 11:29 AM
There is no pressing need for change.
Posted By: Dr. Eric Re: Common Easter date? - 02/17/09 02:32 PM
But, if time is allowed to progress for another 10,000 years Pascha will be in the summer time. Isn't it better to fix the problem now before it gets out of hand?
Posted By: Azarius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/17/09 02:34 PM
Re
Quote
The topic has been discussed on the forum, most recently:
Julian Calendar
Any changes in the method of dating Pascha
A common date for Easter when???

The "Julian Calendar" thread has something by Fr Andrew Philips which includes this
Quote
Indeed, as the Orthodox Church in the sixteenth century saw, the new Gregorian calendar and Paschalia are anticanonical. A number of canons (The Apostolic Canons VII and LXX; Laodicea XXXVII and XXXIX; Antioch I) state quite clearly that the Christian Easter must neither coincide with or fall before the Jewish Passover. These ancient canons had been established to preserve the historical and therefore theological order of events of the Passion of Christ. It would be senseless to celebrate Easter before the Jewish Passover, for Christ is precisely 'the New Passover'. The new calendar of Rome was thus condemned and anathematised by the Orthodox Church almost as soon as it was introduced in 1583

The problem here is one of authority rather than astronomy.
What has more authority - a Canon claiming to be by the Apostles (but actualy incorporating 4th century Syrian prejudices) or a Papal decree?

Here is "Apostolic" canon VII. (Masterjohn version of The Rudder/Pedalion):
Quote
If any Bishop, or Priest, or Deacon celebrate the holy day of Pascha before the vernal equinox with the Jews, let him be deposed.

Here is part of the commentary on this canon from the Rudder
Quote
...the present Apostolic Canon ordains that any bishop or priest or deacon that celebrates Holy Pascha before the equinox of spring, with the legal Passover of the Jews is to be deposed. For even the wisest and most learned among the Jews observed the celebration of Passover at the time of the equinox, according to Blastaris, just as Moses had enjoined it, but the less refined ones celebrated it before
the equinox in accordance with the present Canon, and consequently they celebrated Passover twice in the same year.

The commentary has a variety of errors and prejudices. Here are two:

1) It is not true that the Torah requires synchronisation of Passover with the Vernal Equinox. In fact the Torah does not mention equinoxes.
Instead the original Hebrew Calendar realigned its Lunar calendar periodically so that the month of Abib/Aviv (barley) would be at the time of the barley harvest in Judea (Abib was renamed Nisan in Babylonian times). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abib
This means that due to varying agriculture conditions in Judea, the 14 of Nisan could legitimately sometimes be before the Vernal Equinox.

2) This canon could not have been by the Apostles.
As proof look up Quartodeciman (Latin term for someone who celebrated Easter on the Jewish Passover). This was the tradition that Apostle John brought to the area of Ephesus. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartodecimanism
It is not possible that St John the Apostle would have agreed to this "Apostolic" canon VII (since he would have declared himself deposed).
Posted By: Epiphanius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/17/09 03:57 PM
Azarius,

One thing your post helps to clarify is just how deep-seated the EOC's adherence to the Julian Paschalion is.

When the GC was first introduced it was quickly and soundly rejected by the EOC, primarily for the reasons given by Fr. Andrew Philips. Thank you for quoting him.

One point I have been trying to make in this thread is that the EOC is not going to budge on this issue, no matter how effectively we might "prove" their assumptions to be invalid. If we as RCs/ECs are the slightest bit serious about wanting reunion with the EOC, we are going to have to be willing to yield on this point! (And let us not forget that we will be asking the EOC to yield on something even harder--namely to accept the idea that the Filioque is not heretical!)

As Fr. David put it so well earlier in this thread:
Originally Posted by Fr David Straut
If Catholics want a unity of celebration in the date of Easter, I'm afraid the only solution is to "condescend" to their "weaker" brethren and accept the "scientifically inaccurate" Julian Calendar based Orthodox reckoning. Can they humble themselves? The Orthodox, I believe, will not accept a change themselves.


I think this says it all. It is possible to be "right" with regard to external facts and still be wrong with regard to what really matters ...


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Posted By: Epiphanius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/17/09 04:53 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
We are in no imminent danger of Orthodox Easter happening in the summer. The date of Easter according to the Julian calendar will remain in either April or May for at least the next 2,000 years.

In the year A.D. 3978 Orthodox Easter will be on May 21st.

Correct. This illustrates the issue quite well.

Todd's point here is clearly that Pascha is not going to start falling in June until some time after 3978. I fail to perceive why you think this constitutes an emergency. confused


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Posted By: johnzonaras Re: Common Easter date? - 02/17/09 08:08 PM
Originally Posted by Stephanos I

It is an option for those Orthodox in Communion with the Apostolic See of Rome, whether they use it or not. I know the majority of eastern churches that I have celbrated in do not use it. (Now if we could convince them to get rid of the kneelers. grin)


I am a member of the Greek Archdiocese, but have been a member of an OCA parish that had only stone floors! Please let us keep the kneelers. My knees could not then and now handle cold stone floors. Chalk it up to the fact that i was raised in a Latin parish that used padded kneelers as does the Greek parish i have belonged to since 1980!
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/17/09 10:31 PM
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
We are in no imminent danger of Orthodox Easter happening in the summer. The date of Easter according to the Julian calendar will remain in either April or May for at least the next 2,000 years.

In the year A.D. 3978 Orthodox Easter will be on May 21st.

Correct. This illustrates the issue quite well.

Todd's point here is clearly that Pascha is not going to start falling in June until some time after 3978. I fail to perceive why you think this constitutes an emergency. confused


I appreciate that science types are around to crunch the numbers and give predictions for the year 3978, a long way off, but confirming that Pascha is indeed on the move in the Julian calendar. That is the point, and that is not supposed to happen; that is not the way a calendar is supposed to work. Or is that not so?

The failure to perceive and the confusion are explained by the fact that I do not think nor have I said that this is an emergency, as stated.

Posted By: Stephanos I Re: Common Easter date? - 02/17/09 11:12 PM
John
I am a hard rigorists.
I thought the seminary I studied at had gone to "hell in a handbasket" when they padded the kneelers, which had priviously been wood. grin
Caloused knees where good for the soul!
Stephanos I
Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher Re: Common Easter date? - 02/17/09 11:19 PM
It might be more sensible to leave the calendar alone and start preparing for the Parousia.

Fr. Serge
Posted By: Fr David Straut Re: Common Easter date? - 02/18/09 12:36 AM
I agree with Fr Serge!
Posted By: asianpilgrim Re: Common Easter date? - 02/18/09 01:29 AM
One of my dreams (fantasies?) is to attend Holy Week in ALL of the liturgical traditions of the apostolic Churches, whilst regularly attending Holy Week in my parent Latin Rite. I guess I wouldn't be able to accomplish this dream if everyone observed Holy Week at the same time! So, I have one selfish reason for not wanting any calendar changes for at least another generation grin
Posted By: Epiphanius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/18/09 03:46 AM
Originally Posted by ajk
I appreciate that science types are around to crunch the numbers and give predictions for the year 3978, a long way off, but confirming that Pascha is indeed on the move in the Julian calendar. That is the point, and that is not supposed to happen; that is not the way a calendar is supposed to work. Or is that not so?

We did not need to confirm that Pascha is on the move in the Julian calendar--no one is arguing that it is not. However, the same statement serves to confirm that the Julian Paschalion is not going to be slipping out to June in the next 20 years--or the next 200 years. The point is that we can continue to let this calendar issue divide us, or we can concede--the discussions on this forum have led me to conclude that there really is no other choice.

What Our Lord said of the Sabbath--that it was made for man, and not man for it--could easily be applied to the calendar as well. This is why I think the requirement of I Nicaea for following the Alexandrian formula is secondary to the requirement of the same council that all Christians celebrate Pascha on the same day.

Originally Posted by ajk
The failure to perceive and the confusion are explained by the fact that I do not think nor have I said that this is an emergency, as stated.

Well, then I'm puzzled at the meaning of this statement:
Originally Posted by ajk
It also exemplifies the inertia in facing the "danger", hopefully not aspiring to "Après moi, le déluge".
Posted By: JLF Re: Common Easter date? - 02/18/09 06:58 AM
Well, to add confusion, but perhaps an "off the wall" idea might be possible given the stalemate of the two sides in this debate, how about doing both? As with many organizations with two strong sides, they "share" leadership by alternating -- so when the dates don't coincide already, let's all agree to "alternate" the calculation from Julian to Gregorian each year, skipping those years when they are common. The next 15 years might look like this:

Common Pascha Compromise

Year -- Gregorian -- Julian -- Compromise

2010 -- April 4 -- April 4 -- April 4
2011 -- April 24 -- April 24 -- April 24
2012 -- April 8 -- April 15 -- April 15 (J)
2013 -- March 31 -- May 5 -- March 31 (G)
2014 -- April 20 -- April 20 -- April 20
2015 -- April 5 -- April 12 -- April 12 (J)
2016 -- March 27 -- May 1 -- March 27 (G)
2017 -- April 16 -- April 16 -- April 16
2018 -- April 1 -- April 8 -- April 8 (J)
2019 -- April 21 -- April 28 -- April 21 (G)
2020 -- April 12 -- April 19 -- April 19 (J)
2021 -- April 4 -- May 2 -- April 4 (G)
2022 -- April 17 -- April 24 -- April 24 (J)
2023 -- April 9 -- April 16 -- April 9 (G)
2024 -- March 31 -- May 5 -- May 5 (J)
2025 -- April 20 -- April 20 -- April 20

This way we ALL agree unity is paramount, and jointly agree to keep track and alternate from year to year when they are not the same. This may result in bigger swings from late March to early May, but ... if we're all together, maybe the variety would be interesting!

Regarding fixed dates, also keep both as today since the Greeks seem quite happy with Gregorian Christmas but Julian Pascha. At least we would all celebrate Pascha together!

Just thinking outside the box! BTW: Does anyone know if something like this was considered in that Aleppo meeting of the WCC?

Jack Figel
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/18/09 12:52 PM
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
We did not need to confirm that Pascha is on the move in the Julian calendar--no one is arguing that it is not.
I'm glad to hear that, but is it so, that "no one is arguing that it is not" on the move? I honestly have my doubts. I would like to hear confirmation of that from Julian calendar supporters, and anyone who may have the big picture in mind, their gaze fixd on the parousia. Shall we wait to hear from (some of) them as confirmation, before moving on to other points? Perhaps there is a misunderstanding on what is being argued and advance, and we should establish and prioritize essential facts, one-by-one.

Again, I say establish and prioritize essential facts, not conclusions about what anyone or churches should do. Let's just confirm the facts rather than dictating policy.

So I await the answer(s). Do we agree (within the given context) that "Pascha is on the move in the Julian calendar"?
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/18/09 01:05 PM
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
This is why I think the requirement of I Nicaea for following the Alexandrian formula is secondary to the requirement of the same council that all Christians celebrate Pascha on the same day.
Would supporters of the Julian calendar/Paschalion agree - unity before following "I Nicaea"?

Originally Posted by Epiphanius
Originally Posted by ajk
The failure to perceive and the confusion are explained by the fact that I do not think nor have I said that this is an emergency, as stated.

Well, then I'm puzzled at the meaning of this statement:
Originally Posted by ajk
It also exemplifies the inertia in facing the "danger", hopefully not aspiring to "Après moi, le déluge".
To better focus my response, what specific word of phrase is not understood or puzzling?
Posted By: AMM Re: Common Easter date? - 02/18/09 01:43 PM
Quote
I'm glad to hear that, but is it so, that "no one is arguing that it is not" on the move? I honestly have my doubts. I would like to hear confirmation of that from Julian calendar supporters


I've never heard it as a topic of discussion in the off-line world. I consider the Julien calendar normative for the calculation of Pascha, and I would not support any movement to change that.
Posted By: Epiphanius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/18/09 06:21 PM
Originally Posted by AMM
Quote
I'm glad to hear that, but is it so, that "no one is arguing that it is not" on the move? I honestly have my doubts. I would like to hear confirmation of that from Julian calendar supporters

I've never heard it as a topic of discussion in the off-line world. I consider the Julien calendar normative for the calculation of Pascha, and I would not support any movement to change that.
AMM,

Can we infer from your answer that the question of whether or not the Julian Calendar is "on the move" is of no concern whatsoever for most OCs?


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Posted By: AMM Re: Common Easter date? - 02/18/09 06:42 PM
I can honestly say I have never once ever heard it discussed.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/18/09 10:53 PM
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
We did not need to confirm that Pascha is on the move in the Julian calendar--no one is arguing that it is not.

So, no doubt "on the move."
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
Can we infer from your answer that the question of whether or not the Julian Calendar is "on the move" is of no concern whatsoever for most OCs?

Now, however, there is 'the question of whether or not the Julian Calendar is "on the move"'???

That it may be of no concern is a different issue, a different question. My question:

Originally Posted by ajk
Do we agree (within the given context) that "Pascha is on the move in the Julian calendar"?

Originally Posted by AMM
I can honestly say I have never once ever heard it discussed.


Ok, but are you aware (now)? That is, what is your (or anyone who can answer) understanding about 'whether or not the Julian Calendar is "on the move"'? To be -- "on the move" - or not to be -- "on the move" -- that is the question!

Posted By: Azarius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/19/09 03:26 PM
Re [quote]If we as RCs/ECs are the slightest bit serious about wanting reunion with the EOC, we are going to have to be willing to yield on this point! [/quote]
One problem with this is that the EOC members who are most outspoken against the "New Calendar" tend to believe that the [url=http://orthodoxwiki.org/Sigillion_of_1583]Sigilion of 1583[/url] is a valid document of the Church, but that Gregory XIII was outside the Church. An example in England is Vladimir Moss who teaches that most EOC are not in the Church because they have accepted the "New Calendar" etc.
These people also tend to believe the prejudiced commentaries in the Rudder are valid.
If we renounced Gregory XIII's [url=http://www.bluewaterarts.com/calendar/NewInterGravissimas.htm]Inter Gravissimas[/url] would we also have to accept the prejudices and myths of the Rudder?
Here's a nice "proof" for the Old Calendar from the Rudder's footnote to "Apostolic" canon VII:
[quote]But that the the order of the Paschalion is more acceptable to God, and with
our calendar, than the accuracy of the Latin Paschalion and calendar, is evident
from the wonders which He has shown and continues to show concerning this up
to the present time. For in the region of Heliopolis, Egypt, at the location of the
great pyramids, God performs the following strange paradox every year. That is
on the evening of our Holy Thursday (not the Latins’), the earth spews out old
human relics and bones, which cover the ground of an extensive plain and which
remain standing until the following Thursday of the Ascension and then they
become hidden, no longer showing themselves at all, until the return of Holy
Thursday. This is no myth or fable...[/quote]
Anyone going to the pyramids this April, make sure you take a camcorder.

Also from the commentary to the same canon:
[quote]the Apostles themselves, in their Injunctions (Book. V, Chapter 17),
say the following: “Brethren, you must fix the days of Pascha accurately, with all
diligence, after the turn of the equinox, and not commemorate one suffering twice a
year, but once a year Him who died but once.”[/quote]
Does anyone know where this amazing set of books by the Apostles can be found?
Posted By: AMM Re: Common Easter date? - 02/19/09 09:58 PM
I am somewhat confused by the question. I have never heard anyone ever discuss the need to change the method to calculate Easter, nor do I believe it would have much support (and probably a good deal of resistance) if proposed.

I would assume most people are aware of the drift in the calendar, but again I've never heard it discussed.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/19/09 10:52 PM
Originally Posted by AMM
I have never heard anyone ever discuss the need to change the method to calculate Easter,...
I accept that as your valid obsevation. The initial post of this thread does pose such a change.

Originally Posted by AMM
...nor do I believe it would have much support (and probably a good deal of resistance) if proposed.
That may very well be. It is far from my primary concern.

Originally Posted by AMM
I would assume most people are aware of the drift in the calendar...

Ok, there is a drift in the calendar. A drift from what? What is the reference point?
Posted By: Ghosty Re: Common Easter date? - 02/19/09 11:04 PM
Wouldn't it be most prudent for the Catholic Communion to fully switch over to the old calendar for the purposes of celebrating Easter, in the interest of Charity and in pursuit of Reunion? Then we could leave the question of changing the method of calculation for a Reunited Ecumenical Council, so that no one is left out, and everyone has the chance to voice their concerns?

Seems like the most sensible approach to me.

Peace and God bless!
Posted By: Fr David Straut Re: Common Easter date? - 02/19/09 11:38 PM
Originally Posted by Ghosty
Wouldn't it be most prudent for the Catholic Communion to fully switch over to the old calendar for the purposes of celebrating Easter, in the interest of Charity and in pursuit of Reunion? Then we could leave the question of changing the method of calculation for a Reunited Ecumenical Council, so that no one is left out, and everyone has the chance to voice their concerns?

Seems like the most sensible approach to me.

Peace and God bless!

Thanks, Ghosty! Pastoral sensitivity is important when discussing the Calendar and the Orthodox are quite sensitive when it comes to the date of Pascha.

Fr David Straut
Posted By: Dr. Eric Re: Common Easter date? - 02/20/09 12:12 AM
Originally Posted by Ghosty
Wouldn't it be most prudent for the Catholic Communion to fully switch over to the old calendar for the purposes of celebrating Easter, in the interest of Charity and in pursuit of Reunion? Then we could leave the question of changing the method of calculation for a Reunited Ecumenical Council, so that no one is left out, and everyone has the chance to voice their concerns?

Seems like the most sensible approach to me.

Peace and God bless!


Considering that the Catholic Church was the "agency" that revamped the Calendar, this doesn't seem the least bit likely.
Posted By: Epiphanius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/20/09 01:12 AM
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by AMM
I would assume most people are aware of the drift in the calendar...

Ok, there is a drift in the calendar. A drift from what? What is the reference point?

Clearly there is a drift toward later and later dates for Pascha, but in many people's minds, this is of secondary importance to the fact that the determination of Pascha is in perfect alignment with 1000+ years of tradition. This means that by celebrating Pascha according to the ancient Paschalion, they are not only holding fast to everything that is good, noble, holy and ancient, they are also rejecting strenuously the spirit of modern, worldly innovation that produced the Gregorian Calendar in the first place, and has never ceased trying to impose it on everyone since that time.

The point I'm trying to make here is that simply proving the Julian Calendar to be astronomically inaccurate is not, repeat not, going to cause any significant number of EOs to change their minds about it.

That might happen about 100-200 years after reunion, but don't count on it happening sooner.


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/20/09 02:58 AM
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
... simply proving the Julian Calendar to be astronomically inaccurate...
I am convinced it is (drifting away from its astronomical reference) and so is most of the world as best I can tell. Yet I sense that needs to be established in this thread, as in previous threads on this forum on this topic. There are strong indications that this is not understood nor the implications of that inaccuracy.

So, I ask for verification: Is it understood then that the Julian Calendar is astronomically inaccurate as noted?
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/20/09 04:53 AM
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by AMM
I would assume most people are aware of the drift in the calendar...

Ok, there is a drift in the calendar. A drift from what? What is the reference point?

Clearly there is a drift toward later and later dates for Pascha, but in many people's minds, this is of secondary importance to the fact that the determination of Pascha is in perfect alignment with 1000+ years of tradition.
This is a fine example of what "tradition" should not be.

Originally Posted by Epiphanius
This means that by celebrating Pascha according to the ancient Paschalion, they are not only holding fast to everything that is good, noble, holy and ancient, they are also rejecting strenuously the spirit of modern, worldly innovation ...
We're talking about a calendar promulgated by a pagan Roman ruler, coupled with tables constructed by Alexandrian scientists to fix the celebration of Pascha to a sequence of celestial events. It is best not to idolize it more than it already is. The sequence of celestial events, however, is ordained by God.

Originally Posted by Epiphanius
...the spirit of modern, worldly innovation that produced the Gregorian Calendar in the first place, and has never ceased trying to impose it on everyone since that time.
Most of the world has voluntarily embraced the Gregorian calendar to one degree or another for the very practical reason that it works the way a calendar should. That is just a fact.
Posted By: Azarius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/20/09 10:49 PM
Here is Pope St Leo the Great trying to get a common date for Pascha (from Letter 138 - to the bishops of Gaul and Spain - July 28 454):
Quote
On certain lists of the Fathers we find that the day assigned for the coming feast of the Lords Passover is set by some as April 17, by others as the 24th of the same month. Hence, this divergence bothered us so much that I explained my worry over this matter to the most clement Emperor Marcian, that at his order the problem might be carefully discussed in his area by those who are skilled in this sort of reckoning, and an inquiry made as to the day on which the venerable solemnity can be more correctly celebrated. He has replied that the day decided on is April 24. Because, therefore I have preferred, for the cause of unity and peace, to yield to this decision made in the East rather than be at odds in the observing of so great a festival, your Fraternities should know that the Lord's Resurrection is to be celebrated by all on April 24.


So the Pope has in the past deferred on this matter to a Catholic emperor who has better astronomical/calendar experts than himself.
But I doubt that Leo the Great would have accepted a recommendation from a group like the WCC that arose from outside the Church and also has no civil authority.
Since the time of Constantine the dating of Easter has been partly in the civil arena.
Posted By: Epiphanius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/21/09 03:53 AM
Azarius,

Very interesting!

So, St. Leo the Great, 129 years after I Nicaea, seems to be very much aware of--or at least in agreement with--the directive for all Christians to celebrate Pascha on the same day. However, he gives no indication of being aware of any normative status for the Alexandrian method.

What I found particularly interesting, though, was this segment:
Quote
... Because, therefore I have preferred, for the cause of unity and peace, to yield to this decision made in the East rather than be at odds in the observing of so great a festival ...

True, he is referring to a different decision "made in the East," but the principles invoked still apply.

Originally Posted by Azarius
... I doubt that Leo the Great would have accepted a recommendation from a group like the WCC that arose from outside the Church ...

Good observation ... and let us not forget that as far as the EOC was concerned at the time, even the GC was a recommendation that arose from "outside the Church."


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Posted By: Epiphanius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/21/09 04:45 AM
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
Clearly there is a drift toward later and later dates for Pascha, but in many people's minds, this is of secondary importance to the fact that the determination of Pascha is in perfect alignment with 1000+ years of tradition.
This is a fine example of what "tradition" should not be.

Perhaps. But is using this as an excuse to perpetuate our disunity any more reasonable?

Originally Posted by ajk
We're talking about a calendar promulgated by a pagan Roman ruler, coupled with tables constructed by Alexandrian scientists to fix the celebration of Pascha to a sequence of celestial events.

While these statements are undeniably true, the historical fact is that the JC and its associated Paschalion have taken on a meaning that goes beyond the historical facts of their origins. We may not like it this way, but this is the way it is.

Originally Posted by ajk
It is best not to idolize it more than it already is. The sequence of celestial events, however, is ordained by God ...

Following this line of reasoning, then, should we not be pursuing unity with the Protestants and others who accept the GC, and just leave the EOs to their "folly" if they cannot "see the light?"


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Posted By: Azarius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/21/09 07:00 PM
Re "Pascha should not fall before jewish passover".
This seems like a noble intention, but there are several problems.

1) The way most Jews calculate Passover today is based on rules only finalised by Rabbi Maimonides in the 12th century. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_Calendar
The way Passover was determined at the time of Christ was observational. Observation of the ripening of barley, and observation of the new moon was used instead of calculating the vernal equinox and calculating a lunation.
The evolution from observation to algorithm does not seem to have started until about 70 AD.
Between 70 AD and the 12th century there were contentions among Rabbis about the correct method. There will have been years when different dates were used for Passover. Even today the Karaites who reject the rabbinic tradition use the observational method so their Passover is likely to be different to the rabbinic Passover (and could be after the Julian Pascha).
I hope this gives the real reason why Pascha calculation should take no notice of the current Jewish "Passover". Passover today is different to Passover at the time of Nicea (the Passover date rules were not published till later), which was probably different to Passover at the time of Christ.

2) Applying the current rabbinic algorithmic method for Passover to dates before 800 AD shows some odd results. For instance in 475 AD Easter Sunday (according to the Alexandrian method) was on 6 April. But this was two days before Passover (15 Nisan) on 8 April! This is presumably because the "ecclesiastical moon" in the Alexandrian method was earlier than the real astronomical full moon, but the Julian drift from the real Vernal Equinox was not then so great as it is today.
Because the leap year method in the current Hebrew calendar is more accurate than the Julian method, the Julian calendar has since drifted further from the real equinox than the Hebrew calendar. This is the only reason why this "problem" cannot happen in current times (well not until the Julian "March 21" has drifted all the way round the real calendar).

3) Some Old Calendarists pretend that celebrating Pascha before Jewish "Passover" is forbidden by the canons of the Church. These claims are false. An example of such a claim is from Fr Andrew Philips
Quote
...the new Gregorian calendar and Paschalia are anticanonical. A number of canons (The Apostolic Canons VII and LXX; Laodicea XXXVII and XXXIX; Antioch I) state quite clearly that the Christian Easter must neither coincide with or fall before the Jewish Passover.

But if you actually look at these canons you will not find anything forbidding Pascha before Passover. Some of these canons forbid celebrating "together" with Jews. But celebrating Pascha before or at the same time as Passover did occur before 800 AD see here
If there really were canons demanding excommunication for celebrating Pascha before Passover then a Jewish sect could set a late date for Passover and get the whole Church excommunicated! If canons (like "Apostolic" LXX) that forbid celebrating "together" with Jews are talking about dates, then everyone using the Julian calendar would have been excommunicated since 367 AD - the first time the Alexandrian Pascha coincided with Passover! That's just 42 years after the Council that some claim finalised everything about the date for Pascha.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/21/09 08:27 PM
Originally Posted by Azarius
But I doubt that Leo the Great would have accepted a recommendation from a group like the WCC that arose from outside the Church ...
Leo would have needed to understand two things to put WCC-Aleppo into perspective and make an informed decision.

1. From the WCC website, note the affiliations and participants.

Quote
WCC member churches today include nearly all the world’s Orthodox churches, scores of denominations from such historic traditions of the Protestant Reformation as Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed, and a broad representation of united and independent churches.

The world’s largest Christian body, the Roman Catholic Church, is not a member of the WCC, but has worked closely with the Council for more than four decades and sends representatives to all major WCC conferences as well as to its Central Committee meetings and the assemblies.


Also, from AND SO SET UP SIGNS...The World Council of Churches' first 40 Years, WCC Publications, Geneva , pp 4-5

Quote
In a memorandum for a meeting of mission leaders in 1920, J.H. Oldham had written that any organization to coordinate international Christian mission would "probably have to give way to something that may represent the beginning of a world league of churches".
At the time Oldham was unaware of an encyclical letter sent in January 1920 by the synod of the Church of Constantinople (the Ecumenical Patriarchate) "to all the churches of Christ everywhere". Its call for the formation of a "league of churches" was the first official ecclesiastical proposal for an institutional expression of worldwide ecumenical collaboration.
...

A moving force behind the 1920 encyclical of the Ecumenical Patriarchate calling for a "league of churches" was Germanos Strenopoulos, later archbishop of Thyateira. Germanos, who had met Mott, Soderblom and other ecumenical pioneers at the 1911 World Student Christian Federation conference in Constantinople, represented the Ecumenical Patriarchate at every international ecumenical conference between 1920 and 1938.


2. Aleppo gave an unbiased answer to a question about a periodic astronomical event. It took as a given that the Church (at least for the most) claims that identifying that celestial event is necessary to determine the feast of Pascha. Once that given is established it is basically a matter of astronomy and mathematics/physics to get an answer. The Church at the time of Nicaea accepted this.

The required event to be identified is the first full moon after the (northern) vernal/spring equinox. It is not pagan, it is not Christian, it is just an astronomical observable. That is really what Aleppo produced for a particular well define location, since the event timing varies depending on where one is located on the earth; so some place or places must be specified. That is the basic, unbiased, non-denominational, non-dogmatic, non-ecclesial etc. primary, "primitive" neutral determination that must be made. It is not Julian or Gregorian or Cathoic or Orthodox or western or eastern. It has NOTHING intrinsically to do with a calendar.

It is, however, the foundation giving the reference points on which the concept of a calendar is established. A calendar is a proposed grid of days (the natural ca. 24 hour period of the appearance of the sun) laid over the seasonal reference points that repeat every year, the reference points being the winter and summer solstice and the spring and autumn equinox. The calendar then is a grid of days that overlays the celestial reference points. Then if the calendar is a good one, it keeps those reference points fixed at the given dates. The beauty of the calendar is that anyone can time the seasons by looking at the calendar rather than making detailed observations of the heavens. The timing of the phases of the moon are then based on the timing of the calendar, the length of the average year, and are referenced to the date the calendar establishes as, for instance the vernal equinox.

A serious problem occurs, however, when the calendar does not keep the designated calendar date fixed on or around the celestial event. When the calendar date moves, the date it gives for the celestial event is no longer the date on which the event is occurring. The determination of the phase of the moon is fixed to that moving (incorrect) date and the incorrect length of the year on which the moving date is based -- a smaller error adding to the larger error.

Both the Julian and Gregorian Calendars intend and claim that the vernal equinox occurs on that calendar's March 21, the date when it actually did occur at the time of the Council of Nicaea, and thus re-presenting that sequence corresponding to the same sequence as at the time of the crucifixion and resurrection. Both calendars intend and act, function, on this basis. It is saying -- by means of aligning with that sequence -- the liturgical sēmeron, hodie, dnes', TODAY, even though 2000 years after the chronological event.

There is one last element in the prescription for Pascha, that it is the next Sunday after the vernal full moon. Fortunately, all Christians (and Jews) agree on what day of the week it is, so that is never a factor. One can then do a test of the calendars' determinations.

On March 1 (by either calendar) go to a source of the best current astronomical determinations (Aleppo, US Navy, etc.) or to some culture or civilization that is known to have a highly developed accurate calendar (Mayan? Persian?) and ask them (or inquire of their calendar) how many days before the first full moon after the vernal equinox, since that is THE event that was the foundation for the determination. Note that there is nothing doctrinal about this and that the truth is independent of the affiliation of the sources. They should all tell you the same number at least to within a day. Count that number of days using your calendar and then go to the next Sunday. Mark that as Pascha according to the uniform prescription that is agreed upon as adhering to the intent of Nicaea.

One can give that date on any calendar once the 7-day week is properly referenced, even if that calendar is not itself based on a 7-day week. The Aleppo study chose the current widely used civil calendar to report the date of Pascha so determined. Churches with differing calendars can then compare and see for themselves how well their calendar does in adhering to the agreed upon determination.

So one should not be like the student that complains to the teacher, "You gave me a bad grade," because the teacher will respond, "No, you gave yourself the grade on the basis of your performance, I just wrote it down in the book." That is what Aleppo did, like the teacher grading the students fairly on the basis on their answer to the same question based on the same agreed upon facts.

The unbiased result:

Gregorian calendar: A

Julian calendar: D and heading to an F





Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/21/09 11:42 PM
Originally Posted by Azarius
Re "Pascha should not fall before jewish passover".
This seems like a noble intention, but there are several problems....

3) Some Old Calendarists pretend that celebrating Pascha before Jewish "Passover" is forbidden by the canons of the Church. These claims are false. An example of such a claim is from Fr Andrew Philips
Quote
...the new Gregorian calendar and Paschalia are anticanonical. A number of canons (The Apostolic Canons VII and LXX; Laodicea XXXVII and XXXIX; Antioch I) state quite clearly that the Christian Easter must neither coincide with or fall before the Jewish Passover.

But if you actually look at these canons you will not find anything forbidding Pascha before Passover. Some of these canons forbid celebrating "together" with Jews. But celebrating Pascha before or at the same time as Passover did occur before 800 AD see here
If there really were canons demanding excommunication for celebrating Pascha before Passover then a Jewish sect could set a late date for Passover and get the whole Church excommunicated! If canons (like "Apostolic" LXX) that forbid celebrating "together" with Jews are talking about dates, then everyone using the Julian calendar would have been excommunicated since 367 AD - the first time the Alexandrian Pascha coincided with Passover! That's just 42 years after the Council that some claim finalised everything about the date for Pascha.


The entire post and these in particular are all good points. The irony and tragedy is that the actual intent of the canons that 'forbid celebrating "together" with Jews' meant the Church should pay no attention whatsoever to any Jewish method used to determine Passover; the Church was to use its own, independent criterion. Instead, Julian calendar zealots do the exact opposite, violate the norm, falsely accuse others who are in conformity, and convince the average person in the pew that their interpretation makes sense, that our Christian Pascha must fall after the Jewish Passover. Not so. As stated for instance in The "Revised" Julian Calendar, Memorandum of Explanation By THE HOLY SYNOD, link (website of Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral in San Francisco):
Quote
The "OLD STYLE" JULIAN CALENDAR dates from AD. 325. By the fourth century the Spring Equinox was arriving on March 21st on the "Original" Julian Calendar. When the First Ecumenical Council met in Nicea in 325 to settle the date for celebrating Pascha, the Church adopted the "Original" Julian Calendar and ruled that Pascha shall be observed on the first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the Spring Equinox on March 21st, and independent of the Jewish Passover.
[emphasis added]
Posted By: Azarius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/22/09 04:52 PM
Interesting that you mention this
Quote
At the time Oldham was unaware of an encyclical letter sent in January 1920 by the synod of the Church of Constantinople (the Ecumenical Patriarchate) "to all the churches of Christ everywhere". Its call for the formation of a "league of churches" was the first official ecclesiastical proposal for an institutional expression of worldwide ecumenical collaboration

Here is the "Genuine Orthodox Church" (Old Calendarist) take on this:
Quote
In 1920 the Constantinopolitan Church officially cooperated with the Masonically-inspired ecumenical movement by publishing an encyclical by Archbishop Dorotheus of Prusa seeking rapprochement between the various “Christian” Churches and proposing the adoption of a new calendar common to all denominations. In 1923 the Masonic infiltrator “Ecumenical Patriarch” Meletius IV Metaxakis convened a “Pan-Orthodox Congress,” in which he proposed the adoption of the “New Julian” or “Revised Julian” Calendar (Gregorian Calendar thinly disguised, consisting of the incompatible Orthodox Paschalion and the Gregorian Menologion) among other blasphemous innovations.

Posted By: Ghosty Re: Common Easter date? - 02/22/09 06:23 PM
Originally Posted by Dr. Eric
Originally Posted by Ghosty
Wouldn't it be most prudent for the Catholic Communion to fully switch over to the old calendar for the purposes of celebrating Easter, in the interest of Charity and in pursuit of Reunion? Then we could leave the question of changing the method of calculation for a Reunited Ecumenical Council, so that no one is left out, and everyone has the chance to voice their concerns?

Seems like the most sensible approach to me.

Peace and God bless!


Considering that the Catholic Church was the "agency" that revamped the Calendar, this doesn't seem the least bit likely.
The Catholic Church, in general, is also less emotionally attached to the issue, however, and therefore much more likely to be able to safely move the date without greatly upsetting its members.

For what it's worth, I do think the most accurate method for determining the date should be used, which would rule out the Julian Calendar. I also recognize, however, that Church unity and pastoral sensitivity are the most important aspects of this question, and on those grounds I think the Catholic Church should change pending a united Council to address the matter.

Peace and God bless!
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/22/09 07:42 PM
Originally Posted by Ghosty
For what it's worth, I do think the most accurate method for determining the date should be used, which would rule out the Julian Calendar.
Desiring accuracy, "rule out the Julian Calendar," therefore...

Originally Posted by Ghosty
I also recognize, however, that Church unity and pastoral sensitivity are the most important aspects of this question, and on those grounds I think the Catholic Church should change pending a united Council to address the matter.
... "the Catholic Church should change" to what? To the above Julian Calendar, ruled out on the basis of accuracy?

Pastoral sensitivity is not a euphemism for assuring the misinformed that they are indeed correct. I consider this a proper example of pastoral sensitivity, responsibility and leadership:
Quote
At the same time, as the Aleppo Statement notes, in many of the Eastern churches adherence to their present method of calculation often has been a symbol of the Church's integrity and freedom from the hostile forces of this world. Implementation of the Aleppo recommendations in these circumstances must proceed carefully and with great pastoral sensitivity. The material presented in the Aleppo Statement can be of great help to these churches should they attempt to carry out this effort to be faithful to the great tradition of the Church.
7. The Aleppo Statement is faithful to the decisions of the First Ecumenical Council regarding the date of Easter/Pascha. At the same time, it takes into account the contemporary situation, which calls for a common witness to the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the central mystery of the Christian faith. Our consultation therefore urges our churches to give serious consideration to its recommendations.
Common Response to the Aleppo Statement on the Date of Easter/Pascha North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, Washington d.c., October 31, 1998. link

Pastoral sensitivity is not the cure for the pastoral distortions that have been allowed to propagate and fester on this issue, fueled by unchecked misrepresentations, polemics and a zealotry that have made the Julian calendar/Paschalion effectively an idol, and the frenzied adherence to it idolatry. The people don't know the Julian calendar/Paschalion itself, they know instead the prejudice that they have been taught about it, and the evil of all other approaches. If this is what is repeatedly preached to them, what are they going to believe? I don't blame the people as I do their teachers who I think deserve to be denounced in proportion to their irresponsibility as teachers and leaders in failing to recognize truth:

Quote
The sole criterion is TRUTH. Over the centuries man has succeeded in discovering more and more truths about the God-created universe. The calendar is a device invented by man that attempts to correlate his measurement of time with the natural, astronomical phenomena. Should some Orthodox persist in using a calendar based on a 44 B.C. estimate of the length of the orbit of the earth around the sun?
If the Orthodox Church is the Pillar of Truth, it cannot afford to ignore the scientific truths discovered by man. How can we claim 'I believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth..' and refuse to accept the truth of the scientific measurement of the length of the year that He created? In 44 B.C. Julius Caesar's astronomer, Sosigenes, made a fairly close estimate. Man has come a long way in his knowledge of our solar system since then.
The "Revised" Julian Calendar, Memorandum of Explanation By THE HOLY SYNOD:link



Posted By: chadrook Re: Common Easter date? - 02/22/09 09:21 PM
A talk delivered by Fr. Maximus (Marretta) to the Inter-Orthodox Conference "Orthodoxy and Modern Ecumenism," University of Chicago, March 5/18, 2007.

Your Grace, Fathers and Brethren, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to speak to you today about the problem of conservative New Calendarism. By conservative New Calendarists I mean those who consider the institution of the Gregorian calendar and involvement in the ecumenical movement to be misguided, unfortunate, or even to some degree heretical, but nevertheless remain in churches which follow the New Calendar and foster Ecumenism. While conservative New Calendarists rightly consider Orthodoxy to be the one and only true Church of Christ and adhere to Orthodox doctrines and practices with admirable zeal, they find themselves under bishops who deny those doctrines and shun traditional piety. Although this situation is certainly uncomfortable for them, they are obligated to justify it, and to this end employ the following argument: the participation of our bishops in the ecumenical movement is wrong, but it is only an abuse, not a heresy; and if it even descends to the level of heresy, it occurs only on a personal, not an official, level. Thus the church as a whole is not implicated in the heresy, and one may in good conscience continue in communion with the bishops in question. This line of reasoning underlies virtually all serious attempts to justify remaining in the New Calendarist, or Ecumenist church, and not returning to the Old Calendarist, or traditional Orthodox Church.

The argument in itself begs the question of what constitutes an official act; yet actually, the distinction between a heresy official and one unofficial was never made by the Fathers. Church history bears witness that when a bishop proclaimed a heresy while preaching in church, his hearers would immediately break communion with him, while the other bishops of the Church would sever communion as soon as they had ascertained whether he truly did hold such opinions, and had given him an opportunity to recant. This was precisely the case with Nestorius, for example. Nonetheless, I will take up the challenge, and demonstrate that the New Calendar church has unquestionably espoused heretical teachings in the most official capacity possible: that of public proclamation by a Patriarch, and approval of the proclamation by the Synod of the Church.

In 1948 the World Council of Churches was created, a worldwide organization whose sole purpose for existing is to promote Ecumenism and the non-Orthodox ecclesiological principles upon which Ecumenism is based. The Patriarchate of Constantinople and a number of other Orthodox Churches were founding members, and thus showed that they wholeheartedly espouse the Council's goals and beliefs: indeed, they helped formulate those goals and beliefs. The charter of the Council states:

The primary purpose of the fellowship of churches in the World Council of Churches is to call one another to visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship. In seeking koinonia in faith and life, witness and service, the churches through the council will:

Promote the prayerful search for forgiveness and reconciliation in a spirit of mutual accountability, the development of deeper relationships through theological dialogue, and the sharing of human, spiritual, and material resources with one another;
Facilitate common witness in each place and in all places, and support each other in their work for mission and evangelism;
Nurture the growth of an ecumenical consciousness through processes of education and a vision of life in community rooted in each particular cultural context;
Assist one another in their relationships to and with people of other faith communities;
Foster renewal and growth in unity, worship, mission and service.
In order to foster the one ecumenical movement, the Council will:

Nurture relations with and among churches, especially within, but also beyond its membership;
Establish and maintain relations with national councils, regional conferences of churches, organizations of Christian World Communions, and other ecumenical bodies;
Support ecumenical initiatives at regional, national, and local levels;
Facilitate the creation of networks among ecumenical organizations;
Work towards maintaining the coherence of the one ecumenical movement in its diverse manifestations.
These principles are totally unacceptable for a person with an Orthodox understanding of the Church. They illustrate that the heresy the Orthodox are confronting is not simply union with this or that heretical church (which has not yet happened except in the case of the Monophysites). Rather, the heresy is the idea that heretical groups outside the Church are indeed somehow part of the Church, and that the Orthodox Church is part of a larger whole comprised of both the Orthodox and the heterodox. Now, any statement which gives any ecclesial standing whatsoever to a body outside the Church is a heretical statement, because the Orthodox Church is the entirety of the Church. The other so-called churches are not churches at all, but false assemblies set up in opposition to the one, true Church. They are anti-churches. The charter and mission—even the very name—of the World Council of Churches cuts at the root of Orthodox doctrine by placing all "churches" on the same ontological level. Moreover, the World Council of Churches expressly recognizes only one ecumenical movement; that is, its own. It does not leave any room for a valid "Orthodox Ecumenism" which would seek to convert the heterodox. No one can claim that the purpose of Orthodox involvement in Ecumenism is to witness to Orthodoxy, since the only side of "Orthodoxy" being presented is precisely whatever can be brought into seeming conformity with the principles set out in the World Council of Churches' charter, a document which, as we have seen, denies the Orthodox teaching on the Church. Ecumenism is the exact opposite of evangelization.

Any church which joins the World Council of Churches thereby embraces the ecclesiological concepts upon which the Council is founded. These concepts become part of the beliefs of the individual church in question. The Patriarchate of Constantinople and the other New Calendarist Churches not only accepted these principles and helped formulate them, but have proven their continued adherence to them in a variety of ways over the past sixty years. Thus, there can be no doubt that the official doctrine of the New Calendarist churches is one of heretical Ecumenism, regardless of the fact that many of the New Calendarist faithful personally disagree with their Churches' position.

Once the New Calendar churches had espoused the principles of Ecumenism, they were not slow to act upon them in concrete ways. One of the very first major steps which put into practice the ecclesiological teaching of Ecumenism was the lifting of the anathemas of 1054 against the Roman Catholic Church. Patriarch Athenagoras and the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople took this action December, 1965. In a joint statement with Pope Paul VI, they declared that:

They regret the offensive words, the reproaches without foundation, and the reprehensible gestures which on both sides have marked or accompanied the sad events of this period;
They likewise regret and remove both from memory and from the midst of the Church the sentences of excommunication which followed these events, the memory of which has influenced actions up to our day and has hindered closer relations in charity; and they commit these excommunications to oblivion;
Through the action of the Holy Spirit those differences will be overcome through regret for historical wrongs and through an efficacious determination to arrive at a common understanding and expression of the faith of the Apostles and its demands.
The meaning of this official document is clear: the Orthodox condemnation of Latin heresies is "without foundation" and must be obliterated from memory; and we do not yet understand the faith of the Apostles.

In September, 1990, official delegates from all the New Calendarist churches met in Chambesy, Switzerland with official representatives of the Monophysite Churches. They restated those points of Christology on which the Orthodox and Monophysites have always agreed, they ignored or dismissed as semantical misunderstandings those points on which they disagree, and then they declared:

In the light of our agreed statement on Christology as well as of the above common affirmations, we have now clearly understood that both families have always loyally maintained the same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of the apostolic tradition, though they have used Christological terms in different ways. It is this common faith and continuous loyalty to the Apostolic Tradition that should be the basis for our unity and communion.

Both families agree that all the anathemas and condemnations of the past which now divide us should be lifted by the Churches in order that the last obstacle to the full unity and communion of our two families can be removed by the grace and power of God. Both families agree that the lifting of anathemas and condemnations will be consummated on the basis that the Councils and Fathers previously anathematized or condemned are not heretical.

The Chambesy agreement is an open espousal of the ancient heresy of Monophysitism. Its acceptance by the Orthodox has been made possible by the modern heresy of Ecumenism, which allows two mutually exclusive doctrines to co-exist, while pretending that the truth is either the mean between the two, or the lowest common denominator of the two, or something to be discovered in the future, or simply irrelevant if we all profess love for one another.

Some conservative New Calendarists pretend that the Chambesy agreement is not an official declaration of faith, but rather a series of recommendations by individual theologians, which the Churches are free to accept or reject. The superficiality of this notion, however, is contradicted by the so-called "Pastoral Agreement between the Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Alexandria," which was signed in 2001. This document announces:

The Holy Synods of both the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa have already accepted the outcome of the official dialogue on Christology between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, including the two official agreements: the first on Christology signed in June 1989 in Egypt and the second also on Christology and on the lifting of anathemas and restoration of full communion signed in Geneva 1990 [that is, in Chambesy], in which it is stated that "in the light of our agreed statement on Christology, we have now clearly understood that both families have always loyally maintained the same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of Apostolic tradition." It was agreed to have mutual recognition of the sacrament of Baptism, based on what St. Paul wrote, One Lord, one faith, one baptism (Eph. 4:5).

The document further states:

The Holy Synods of both Patriarchates have agreed to accept the sacrament of marriage when it is conducted for two partners not belonging to the same Patriarchate. Each of the two Patriarchates shall also accept to perform all of its other sacraments to that new family of mixed Christian marriage.

This declaration shows clearly that the Patriarchate of Alexandria regards the Chambesy agreement as an official statement of doctrine, and not simply the private judgment of individuals. Moreover, the Patriarchate has officially recognized the Monophysites as constituting a Church as valid and legitimate as the Orthodox Church; indeed, it states that the Orthodox are of "one faith" with the Monophysites.

Even more troubling is the decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch under Patriarch Ignatius IV, which was made in June 1991. With respect to it relations with the Syrian Monophysites, the Antiochian Church announced that the following measures would be observed:

"The complete and mutual respect between the two churches for their rituals, spirituality, heritage and holy fathers.
The incorporation of the fathers of both churches and their heritage in general in the Christian education curriculum and theological teaching.
The refraining of accepting members of one church in the membership of the other whatever the reasons might be.
Organizing meetings of both Synods whenever need and necessity might arise.
If two bishops of the two different churches meet for a spiritual service the one with the majority of people will preside.
If one priest of either church happens to be in a certain area he will serve the divine mysteries for the members of both churches, including the divine liturgy and the sacrament of holy matrimony.
If two priests of both churches happen to be in a certain community they will take turns, and in case they concelebrate, the one with the majority of people will preside.
If a bishop of one church and a priest from the sister church happen to concelebrate presiding naturally belongs to the bishop."
In other words, the Patriarchate of Antioch has entirely abandoned the Orthodox Church and is in full communion with the Monophysites. The Patriarchate has decided that the ecumenical councils—which embody the Church's definitive expressions of belief—are optional, and that it is not necessary to adhere to them to be part of the Orthodox Church.

Thus, we see the heresy of Ecumenism operating on two levels. On the one hand, the New Calendar Churches accept the basic idea that other Christian bodies are part of the Church, and that the Church is not exclusively synonymous with Orthodoxy. This is Ecumenism in theory. On the other hand, they recognize that specific heretical bodies, such as the Roman Catholic Church and the Monophysite Churches, are in fact Orthodox in doctrine; and they have even entered into communion with the Monophysites. This is Ecumenism in practice.

Both of these forms of Ecumenism are operating in the New Calendar Churches on the most official level possible. They have been publicly proclaimed by a Patriarch and ratified by the Holy Synod. It is not possible for them to be any more official then they already are. Moreover, these official actions must not be considered in isolation, but in the context of Ecumenism's overall effect on the Church. Innumerable hierarchs have made blasphemous statements denying virtually every dogma of Orthodoxy, joint prayers are conducted with heretics on a regular basis, communion is freely given to Roman Catholics and other heterodox, and agreements such as the so-called Balamaand union and the recent appalling statement of the 9th Assembly of the World Council of Churches are concluded by official delegates from the New Calendarist Churches. These statements affirm the Branch Theory and a host of other errors.

The heresy of Ecumenism has infected not one of the local Orthodox Churches, but all of them. Each of the Patriarchates has contributed in its own way to perverting the Orthodox faith: Constantinople by lifting the anthemas which the holy Fathers laid on the Roman Catholic Church, Alexandria by accepting the Monophysites as Orthodox, Antioch by partaking of the same chalice as the Monophysites, and all the ecumenist Churches collectively by participating in the World Council of Churches and abolishing the Patristic understanding of the Church. All of the ecumenist Churches are in full communion with one another and share the same ecumenist faith: the beliefs of one are the beliefs of all, and each of the Patriarchates supports and encourages the ecumenical gestures of the others.

Our primary question at this point ought to be, what are the faithful to do when their bishops are in heresy? The patristic answer is clear: break communion immediately, because those bishops no longer represent the Church, but a foreign body. It is impossible for Orthodox Christians to hold communion with heretical bishops, inasmuch as a common Eucharistic cup denotes a common faith. St. Cyril of Alexandria states that "the Body of Christ binds us into unity" and "there is no division of belief among the faithful." And the Apostle Paul asks, "What communion hath light with darkness? Or what concord hath Christ with Belial?"

When the Monothelete bishop Theodosius asked St. Maximus the Confessor why he had cut himself off from communion with see of Constantinople, the saint replied,

In the sixth indiction of the last cycle, Cyrus, Patriarch of Alexendria, published the Nine Chapters [stating that Christ had but a single energy,] which were approved by the see of Constantinople. Soon the novelties proposed in that document were followed by others, overturning the definitions of holy councils. These innovations were devised by primates of the Church of Constantinople: Sergius, Pyrrhus, and Paul, as all the other Churches know very well. This is the reason I, your servant, am not in communion with the throne of Constantinople. Let the offenses introduced by those men be rejected and the abettors deposed; then the way to salvation will be cleared, and you will walk the smooth path of the Gospel unhindered by heresy. When I see the Church of Constantinople walking as she was formerly, I shall enter into communion with her uncompelled, but as long as the scandal of heresy persists in her and her bishops are miscreants, no argument or persecution will win me over to your side.

On another occasion the Eparch of Constantinople asked St. Maximus, "Will you enter into communion with our Church, or not?"

"I will not," said the saint.

"Why?" asked the Eparch.

"Because it has rejected the rulings of Orthodox councils," said Maximus.

The Eparch continued, "If that be so, how is it that the fathers of those councils remain in the diptychs of our Church?"

"How do you profit by commemorating them, when you renounce their doctrines?" countered the saint.

Examples such as these could be multiplied almost indefinitely. Suffice to say that the most basic criterion of Orthodox ecclesiology is to refrain from communion with heretical bishops. This applies even before such bishops are condemned by an ecumenical council, as we see from the case of St. Maximus, who broke communion decades before the condemnation of Monoenergism and Monothelitism by the 6th Ecumenical Council.

The sound application of these principles to the present-day situation should be obvious. Anyone who considers himself to be an Orthodox Christian should sever communion with any bishop who preaches, participates in, or furthers Ecumenism directly or indirectly; and he should join himself to those Orthodox Christians who already have ceased ecclesiastical contact with such bishops. Those Christians are precisely the Old Calendarists, or True Orthodox Christians, who rejected the heresy of Ecumenism the moment it appeared, and in no way allowed themselves to be defiled by communion with bishops who alter the faith of the Apostles. When the conservative New Calendarists take this same step, they will be following the path of the Holy Fathers; they will have separated themselves from the heretics, and joined themselves to the assembly of the Orthodox.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/23/09 01:48 PM
Originally Posted by chadrook
A talk delivered by Fr. Maximus (Marretta) to the Inter-Orthodox Conference "Orthodoxy and Modern Ecumenism," University of Chicago, March 5/18, 2007.

Your Grace, Fathers and Brethren, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to speak to you today about the problem of conservative New Calendarism...


This is a very fine, fairly concise example of the kind of misguided viewpoint I denounced in my previous post. It amounts to deception and, allowed to go unchallenged, poisons the hearts and minds of the faithful by presenting falsehood as the truth. It is thus manipulative, but I don't know if that is out of ignorance or intent. While there are some few points in Fr. Maximus (Marretta)'s talk that are factual and that I would agree with, it is hardly to his credit since he then goes on to distort their meaning. While there may be some correlation between stances on the calendar issue and ecumenical involvement, it is hardly the conspiracy presented by Fr. Maximus.

Here is one of numerous examples that could be considered wherein he reaches a conclusion that demonstrates where fanaticism on the calendar issue can lead :
Quote
...Thus, there can be no doubt that the official doctrine of the New Calendarist churches is one of heretical Ecumenism, ...
...
The heresy of Ecumenism has infected not one of the local Orthodox Churches, but all of them. Each of the Patriarchates has contributed in its own way to perverting the Orthodox faith: Constantinople ... Alexandria ... Antioch ...


And true to the form I noted in my previous post, he concludes by presenting us with the idol he has been constructing throughout his talk, the savior, the Old Calendar:
Quote
Anyone who considers himself to be an Orthodox Christian should sever communion with any bishop who preaches, participates in, or furthers Ecumenism directly or indirectly; and he should join himself to those Orthodox Christians who already have ceased ecclesiastical contact with such bishops. Those Christians are precisely the Old Calendarists, or True Orthodox Christians, who rejected the heresy of Ecumenism the moment it appeared, and in no way allowed themselves to be defiled by communion with bishops who alter the faith of the Apostles.
Posted By: Azarius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/23/09 02:10 PM
Constantine seems to have been the first person outside the Church - he was not yet baptised - to try to impose a common date for Easter, but his priorities were not the same as the Church.

Here is a quote from Constantine the Great and Christianity

Quote
The great Arian controversy seemed to him "intrinsically trifling and of little moment" involving "not any of the leading doctrines or precepts of the Divine law” but concerning "small and very insignificant questions."
Upon the proper day for observing Easter, however, vital issues depended "A discordant judgment in a case of such importance and respecting such a religious festival, is wrong," "discrepancy of opinion on so sacred a question is unbecoming."

I am sure the Pope would have agreed with these statements about Easter, but not about the relative "insignificance" of a heresy such as Arianism.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/23/09 08:43 PM
Originally Posted by Azarius

As an aside, those interested in this reference can download a free facsimile of the 1914 original here.
Posted By: Azarius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/23/09 09:44 PM
From the Roman Martyrology for 23 February:

Quote
At Smyrna, the birthday of St. Polycarp, a disciple of St. John the Apostle

St Polycarp used the Jewish Passover to date the start of his Pascha commemoration (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartodecimanism), but remained in communion with the Pope and obviously got to heaven.
Posted By: AMM Re: Common Easter date? - 02/25/09 12:17 AM
The Julian Calendar is the normative calendar for the church. It's not going to change.
Posted By: Azarius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/25/09 10:10 AM
The Gregorian calendar is normative for the Church since Inter Gravissimas .
Other calendars may be allowed as a concession.
For example Pope St Anicetus allowed St Polycarp to continue using the Hebrew Passover to commemorate the Crucifixion. But that tradition (which placed more emphasis on the lunar cycle than the other cycles) was later suppressed.

The thread started with a WCC proposal for a new method of calculating Easter. This has been seen by some as deriving from suggestions in a 1920 document from the Patriarchate (no Patriarch at the time) of Constantinople.
To the Churches of Christ Everywhere
But I have found there is yet another conflicting proposal for dating Easter which is linked to this 1920 document.
The preamble mentions
Quote
the hopeful establishment of the League of Nations
and Item 1 is
Quote
By the acceptance of a uniform calendar for the celebration of the great Christian feasts at the same time by all the churches.


Well the League of Nations proposed in 1926 to make Easter the Sunday after the 2nd Saturday of April.
There is a UK Act of Parliament to implement this (pending since 1928)
Quote
Provided further that, before making such draft order, regard shall be had to any opinion officially expressed by any Church or other Christian
Easter Act


Posted By: IAlmisry Re: Common Easter date? - 02/26/09 04:00 AM
Originally Posted by Fr David Straut
All this would mean is that the Orthodox would start observing the Latin date of Easter over 99 times out of 100. They would never again observe the traditional Orthodox date. A non-starter, I'm afraid, from the beginning.

If Catholics want a unity of celebration in the date of Easter, I'm afraid the only solution is to "condescend" to their "weaker" brethren and accept the "scientifically inaccurate" Julian Calendar based Orthodox reckoning. Can they humble themselves? The Orthodox, I believe, will not accept a change themselves.


And that is a shame.
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: Common Easter date? - 02/26/09 05:38 PM
AMM I dont really think it is an issue of ligitimate differences. Sure we could continue to celebrate Easter at different dates. It is rather an issue of a united witness to the world. It is irrelavant when the West celebrates, sure we could easily concede to our brothers of the Orthodox Church. After all it is by the same reckoning that we date the day, except that our calendars are different and I believe the West did not lay much weight on when the Jews celebrated Passover.
However when a calendar is off by many days and is inaccurate is that a wise thing to do to keep following it?
Stephanos I
Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher Re: Common Easter date? - 02/26/09 06:28 PM
The enthusiasts of a "common Easter date" are quite welcome to join in celebrating Pascha on 6/19 April this year.

Fr. Serge
Posted By: IAlmisry Re: Common Easter date? - 02/26/09 06:35 PM
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
The enthusiasts of a "common Easter date" are quite welcome to join in celebrating Pascha on 6/19 April this year.

Fr. Serge


Not quite that easy. Unless you are in Finland.
Posted By: Epiphanius Re: Common Easter date? - 02/26/09 08:09 PM
Originally Posted by Azarius
Here is a quote from Constantine the Great and Christianity
Quote
The great Arian controversy seemed to him "intrinsically trifling and of little moment" involving "not any of the leading doctrines or precepts of the Divine law” but concerning "small and very insignificant questions."
Upon the proper day for observing Easter, however, vital issues depended: "A discordant judgment in a case of such importance and respecting such a religious festival, is wrong," "discrepancy of opinion on so sacred a question is unbecoming."

Sometimes an outsider can see things more clearly than those embroiled in a controversy. Having this kind of insight is especially useful in understanding a case like this that involves the witness we give as Christians to a non-Christian world.

Both sides seem to be saying, "if only you would change and see things our way, we could have a common date, but if you want to persist in your foolishness we have nothing to discuss."

Part of the problem is that Western mind seeks to approach a matter like this as scientifically as possible, and sees this approach as completely objective and unbiased.

The Eastern mind, however, does not hasten to jump when the name of science is invoked, and does not see a scientific approach as either objective or unbiased.

I once heard a story about Gen. Robert E. Lee, who found two young officers arguing about which one ought to salute the other first. The general gave them this admonition: "Let the one who is the better soldier salute first." I think this is the kind of attitude we need to have.


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Posted By: AMM Re: Common Easter date? - 02/26/09 09:49 PM
Originally Posted by Stephanos I
AMM I dont really think it is an issue of ligitimate differences. Sure we could continue to celebrate Easter at different dates. It is rather an issue of a united witness to the world. It is irrelavant when the West celebrates, sure we could easily concede to our brothers of the Orthodox Church. After all it is by the same reckoning that we date the day, except that our calendars are different and I believe the West did not lay much weight on when the Jews celebrated Passover.
However when a calendar is off by many days and is inaccurate is that a wise thing to do to keep following it?
Stephanos I


Fr. Stephanos, I tend to doubt the rest of the world really cares or would notice. I'm not a zealout or that concerned about all of this. We use the Julian Calendar. I'm fine with it. I'm fine with other people using the Gregorian. It's not a big deal to me.
Posted By: Alfonsus Re: Common Easter date? - 02/27/09 05:10 AM
But then, we owe an apology to our forefather regarding the Quartodeciman way of keeping Pascha.

Why don't we revive it? If it was good enough for St. John, why not for us?

Perhaps the Council itself was a mistake, trying to impose uniformity in diversity.

But then, even if we have an "Ecumenical Council" right now and right here to settle the calendar, I wonder if some people will create their own churches and saying that "this council is an abomination, we will not submit to this council canons since it is not valid!"
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 02/27/09 04:19 PM
Originally Posted by AMM
We use the Julian Calendar. I'm fine with it. I'm fine with other people using the Gregorian. It's not a big deal to me.
The Testimonials in behalf of the Julian Calendar, as expressed in the several forums on the subject, are one thing, and I accept them as such. Incorrect and false assertions about that calendar and the dating of Easter/Pascha are a different matter.

Nicaea-I left us no extant canons on the dating and celebrations of Pascha, but the consensus is that the reported result of the substance of those so-called canons is known and is generally acknowledged. This is how they have been stated and posted in a previous thread by Priest Andrew Phillips, an advocate of the Julian Calendar/Paschalion, link :
Quote
One of the tasks of the First Oecumenical Council in 325 was to fix a universal calendar for all Christians. The importance of this task lay in the fact that at that time Christians were celebrating Easter on different dates. Therefore it was essential to establish Paschalia - tables for the dating of Easter - in order to strengthen the unity of the Church and put an end once and for all to disputes and schisms about the calendar. The Fathers decided that there was only one way of doing this - to base the calendar on Christ, and most notably on the most important event in His Life and in the whole history of Creation - the Resurrection. Thus the Fathers looked at the events which in chronological order preceded the Resurrection and determined its date. They are as follows:

1) The spring equinox i.e. the moment when on the 21 March the day is as long as the night.

2) The first full moon after this equinox (the full moon being the moment when the night sky is illuminated by a maximum of light).

3) The first Sunday after this first full moon. Sunday is the third day after the Crucifixion and the first day of the week (Matt. 28, 1). It is the day of the Resurrection, the Lord's Day.


According to him then, two mandates are given, (A) unity of the Church and (B) a method or rule -- a sequence of events, his items 1), 2), 3) -- to determine the date.

Concerning (B) he is at least correct in acknowledging the inaccuracies in the Julian calendar, but he claims that this was actually intentional. So the Fathers gave a rule but also and more so a calendar that would intentionally deviate from it. I don't think so.

However, which way is it, Julian calendar/Paschalion advocates? I don't see how one can claim fidelity to (B), as given in the above quote, on the basis of the present reckonings of the Julian calendar/Paschalion. And consider too that adherence to (B) is readily achievable.
Posted By: AMM Re: Common Easter date? - 02/27/09 06:28 PM
I would like to see unity in the Orthodox Church on the Julian calendar for the calculation of all feasts. That concerns me much more.
Posted By: Azarius Re: Common Easter date? - 03/01/09 10:00 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Azarius
But I doubt that Leo the Great would have accepted a recommendation from a group like the WCC that arose from outside the Church ...
Leo would have needed to understand two things to put WCC-Aleppo into perspective and make an informed decision.

1. From the WCC website, note the affiliations and participants.


I have found another relevant letter by Pope St Leo the Great. This is Letter 88 to Bishop Paschasinus (who was to be Leo's legate at Calcedon) dated Jun 24, 451.
The main business of the letter is the condemnation of the Monophysite (and Nestorian) heresies. The secondary point is getting a common date for Easter (for 455).

If someone had told Leo that he should defer to a "World Council of Churches" to set a common date for Easter he might have asked the following question:
Have all the churches in this "Council" accepted the Tome (requiring belief in the two natures of Christ) as per Calcedon?
The answer would of course be no. Since the WCC contains what they describe as "anti- or pre-Chalcedonian, Monophysite" "Orthodox" churches (Oriental) .
Leo may have thus viewed this "Council" as a resumption of the Latrocinium.
Not surprisingly the WCC seems to avoid mentioning Pope Leo's name.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 03/02/09 03:10 PM
Originally Posted by Azarius
I have found another relevant letter by Pope St Leo the Great. This is Letter 88 to Bishop Paschasinus (who was to be Leo's legate at Calcedon) dated Jun 24, 451.
The main business of the letter is the condemnation of the Monophysite (and Nestorian) heresies. The secondary point is getting a common date for Easter (for 455).

Thanks for the reference; this is what the letter actually says about the dating of Easter:
Quote
This also we think necessary to enjoin upon your care that you should diligently inquire in those quarters where you are sure of information concerning that point in the reckoning of Easter, which we have found in the table of Theophilus, and which greatly exercises us, and that you should discuss with those who are learned in such calculations, as to the date, when the day of the Lord's resurrection should be held four years hence. For, whereas the next Easter is to be held by God's goodness on March 23rd, the year after on April 12th, the year after that on April 4th, Theophilus of holy memory has fixed April 24th to be observed in 455, which we find to be quite contrary to the rule of the Church; but in our Easter cycles as you know very well, Easter that year is set down to be kept on April 17th. And therefore, that all our doubts may be removed, we beg you carefully to discuss this point with the best authorities, that for the future we may avoid this kind of mistake. Dated June 24th in the consulship of the illustrious Adelfius (451).




Originally Posted by Azarius
If someone had told Leo that he should defer to a "World Council of Churches" to set a common date for Easter he might have asked the following question:
Have all the churches in this "Council" accepted the Tome (requiring belief in the two natures of Christ) as per Calcedon?
The answer would of course be no. Since the WCC contains what they describe as "anti- or pre-Chalcedonian, Monophysite" "Orthodox" churches (Oriental) .
Leo may have thus viewed this "Council" as a resumption of the Latrocinium.
Not surprisingly the WCC seems to avoid mentioning Pope Leo's name.
Based on the quote of Pope St. Leo's letter above, if I were writing the historical fiction, my interpretation would be quite different. The WCC doesn't mention Leo; who else has? There is no agenda to simply defer to the WCC; it has made a study and presents the findings for all to consider, accept of reject. It, as did Leo, I presume, refers back to Nicaea (a time before Nestorians and mon/mia-physites). Leo did request that "you should discuss with those who are learned in such calculations." Also "Theophilus of holy memory has fixed April 24th to be observed in 455, which we find to be quite contrary to the rule of the Church; but in our Easter cycles as you know very well, Easter that year is set down to be kept on April 17th. And therefore, that all our doubts may be removed, we beg you carefully to discuss this point with the best authorities."

To "discuss with those who are learned in such calculations" and "carefully to discuss this point with the best authorities," as Leo desires is what the WCC study, and others of that type, have done. I think Leo would be pleased and interested.

And since Leo raises this as an important question, what is the answer, the resolution of the differing dates (I presume based on the rule given by Nicaea)?

Posted By: Azarius Re: Common Easter date? - 03/03/09 01:34 PM
Re
Quote
And since Leo raises this as an important question, what is the answer, the resolution of the differing dates (I presume based on the rule given by Nicaea)?

Surely the answer is for all churches in communion with Rome to defer to the method that Rome decides should be used (currently the Gregorian calendar). This is in accordance with the documentation we actually have from Nicea.
From the Synodal Letter "To the Church of Alexandria"
The following is not found in the latin text, but is found in the greek text :
Quote
We also send you the good news of the settlement concerning the holy pasch, namely that in answer to your prayers this question also has been resolved. All the brethren in the East who have hitherto followed the Jewish practice will henceforth observe the custom of the Romans and of yourselves and of all of us who from ancient times have kept Easter together with you.

This letter assumes that Rome and Alexandria were following exactly the same method (not true in the details). But the precedence goes to Rome. At the time of Pope Leo the Alexandrians may well have had a better computus, but the principle of Rome deciding how differences should be resolved was still understood. When the Pope deferred to the Emperor (or his experts) to decide, he was deferring to those who were in communion with him.
Looking at Constantine's Letter on Pascha he says
Quote
and consequently, in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews, for it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without their direction we could not keep this feast.

Constantine's letter was unlikely to make any Jewish converts, but it would not make sense for the civil ruler to put into his civil calendar a Church holiday which was dependent on Talmud experts who had no intention of joining the Church (and had their own disagreements).
Constantine also puts the custom of the Roman Church first (rather than defining an exact method):
Quote
the custom now followed by the Churches of the West, ... is the most acceptable, it has appeared good to all; and I have been guarantee for your consent, that you would accept it with joy, as it is followed at Rome...
.

So the principle is that the practice of Rome should be followed even if there are some people outside the Church who propose a more astronomically accurate method for dating Easter.
It is likely that Jews were already developing a more accurate calendar (regarding leap years) than the Julian method at the time of Nicea. That in itself would mean that the Jewish Passover would sometimes fall on a different date to when Christians (using the less accurate Julian leap years) thought it should, simply due to different dating of the Vernal Equinox.
Here's some comments from the Jewish Encyclopedia on their calendar around the time of Nicea
Quote

Mar Samuel reckoned the solar year at 365 days and 6 hours [as per Julian calendar], and Rab Adda at 365 days, 5 hours, 55 minutes, and 25 25/57 seconds [more accurate].
...
Under the patriarchate of Rabbi Judah III. (300-330) the testimony of the witnesses with regard to the appearance of the new moon was received as a mere formality, the settlement of the day depending entirely on calculation. This innovation seems to have been viewed with disfavor by some members of the Sanhedrin, particularly Rabbi Jose, who wrote to both the Babylonian and the Alexandrian communities, advising them to follow the customs of their fathers and continue to celebrate two days, an advice which was followed, and is still followed, by the majority of Jews living outside of Palestine.


But going back to Pope Leo. You have only quoted the end of letter 88, but anyone who reads the whole thing can see that Easter is not the main consideration of the letter.
Here is the start of the main section
Quote
Although I doubt not all the sources of scandal are fully known to you, brother, which have arisen in the churches of the East about the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, yet, lest anything might have chanced to escape your care, I have despatched for your attentive perusal and study our letter [the Tome], which deals with this matter in the fullest way, which we sent to Flavian of holy memory, and which the universal Church has accepted;

Here is the end of the main section
Quote
You must also understand that I have recently received the bishop of Constantinople's letter, which states that the bishop of Antioch has sent instructions to all the bishops throughout his provinces, and gained their assent to my epistle [the Tome], and their condemnation of Nestorius and Eutyches in like manner.

Then follows your quote about a common Easter date.
Note that Leo wanted a common Easter date for those in communion with him. Letter 138 about a common Easter date is to "all our dearly beloved brothers the Catholic bishops...". But Pope Leo was not in communion with Monophysites (they had anathematised him). So it is a fact that he did not consider those who did not accept the dogma of his Tome or Calcedon orthodox. Yet among the members of the WCC are those anathematised by the Fourth Ecumenical Council. Here are some extracts from Calcedon:
Quote
Therefore this sacred and great and universal synod
...
has suitably added, against false believers and for the establishment of orthodox doctrines the letter [the Tome] of the primate of greatest and older Rome, the most blessed and most saintly Archbishop Leo, written to the sainted Archbishop Flavian to put down Eutyches's evil-mindedness, because it is in agreement with great Peter's confession and represents a support we have in common.
...
it anathematises those who concoct two natures of the Lord before the union but imagine a single one after the union.

But Calcedon did not make a resolution to remove the discrepancies about the date of Easter (even though one discrepancy was just 4 years ahead).

It seems that both Leo and Calcedon believed that unity on the faith is more important than unity on the date of Easter.
Posted By: AMM Re: Common Easter date? - 03/03/09 02:25 PM
I actually had someone in my Sunday School class (Jr. High Age) mention they wish we weren't on a different calendar.
Posted By: Epiphanius Re: Common Easter date? - 03/03/09 05:30 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Azarius
If someone had told Leo that he should defer to a "World Council of Churches" to set a common date for Easter ...

There is no agenda to simply defer to the WCC; it has made a study and presents the findings for all to consider, accept or reject.
AJ,

Thank you, this is an important point. I think there's some confusion here as to what it means to defer to another's judgment. Clearly the WCC isn't expecting anyone to bow to their authority on this issue, only to evaluate the facts as presented, without prejudice.

The letter quoted from Pope St. Leo I makes it quite clear that he is foreseeing a problem four years in the future, and while he is willing to defer to the judgment of someone with greater learning in these matters, he is otherwise adamant that April 17th is the correct date for Pascha in 455.

It is quite clear from this that his concern is both to have the most astronomically accurate date possible and to have all Christians be in agreement in their choice of a date. In this, he appears to reflect the mind of the Fathers of I Nicaea.

As the previously quoted letter shows, however, he eventually gave in to the emperor on this matter for the sake of Church unity, which is also a fact worth noting.


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Posted By: Athanasius Re: Common Easter date? - 03/03/09 06:53 PM
It would seem that the issue of the calandar is one that has been going on for a very long time. My only practical observation is the the current Latin means of determining the date of Pascha occasionally makes it fall BEFORE the passover! I think this is equally as humiliating as Pope St. Leo's mentioning our former reliance upon the Jews to set the date. In the Orthodox church, Pascha NEVER falls before Passover. Why doesn't the Pope, out of pastoral concern for universal agreement amongst christians on the date, use the same method as the Orthodox? Seems like pride is the only reason not to but as the Pontificus Maximus, he should be a servant of the servants and thus humbly do what is best for "catholic/universal" christianity.

Sbdn Jon
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 03/03/09 08:50 PM
Originally Posted by Athanasius
...the current Latin means of determining the date of Pascha occasionally makes it fall BEFORE the passover! I think this is equally as humiliating ... In the Orthodox church, Pascha NEVER falls before Passover. Why doesn't the Pope...pastoral concern ...universal agreement amongst christians on the date, use the same method as the Orthodox? Seems like pride is the only reason ... he should be a servant of the servants and thus humbly do what is best for "catholic/universal" christianity.


Are we objectively discussing the determination of the dating of Easter or, once again and again and yet again, raising the same, incorrect, thoughtlessly repeated, suppositions on the method of determining Pascha, that it must be after Passover etc.? Are we fairly discussing issues on the dating of Easter, as rational and reasonable people, or using the topic as a convenient pretext to vent on presumed character flaws of "the Pope" and the Latins? Why should anyone who is using a calendar that conforms to the rule attributed to Nicaea for determining Pascha be the one to switch to a calendar that does not? Is not acceptance of the truth -- the TRUTH -- that which we should factually be seeking, since that 'is best for "catholic/universal" christianity.'?
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 03/03/09 09:39 PM
Originally Posted by Azarius
Surely the answer is for all churches in communion with Rome to defer to the method that Rome decides should be used (currently the Gregorian calendar). This is in accordance with the documentation we actually have from Nicea.
...
So the principle is that the practice of Rome should be followed even if there are some people outside the Church who propose a more astronomically accurate method for dating Easter.
I have said that the Gregorian calendar/Paschalion is a viable solution and method. It is a good calendar, adhering to "Nicaea." There are other solutions, depending on legitimate choices of parameters; these, in that they do not directly pertain to faith, should not be discounted if they otherwise have merit.

I've tried to build a consensus by seeking agreement on certain accepted facts and their objective conclusions and ramifications, since appealing to the authority of Rome is sometimes not considered sufficient by some on this forum and elsewhere.


Posted By: Azarius Re: Common Easter date? - 03/04/09 10:35 AM
Re "In the Orthodox church, Pascha NEVER falls before Passover"
In fact this has happened a long time ago (see my article on page 6 of this thread), using the current Rabbinic/Talmudic method of Moses Maimonides.
Also the Jewish Karaite Passover could possibly fall after Julian Easter even in our times (if there is bad spring weather in Judea for consecutive years). See Jewish Karaite leap years for a recent example of the issues.

The greatest pre-schism exponent of the Julian Calendar was St Bede the Venerable.
His book on the subject has been translated into English The Reckoning of Time
Here is an example from page 143
Quote
However it never happens that our Paschal solemnity does not fall on a day of the Pasch [appointed by the] Law, but it often falls on all of them.

This means that Easter Sunday should fall on one of the days of the Feast of Unleavened bread (the 7 days after Passover).
But if you check the calendar for 2009 (or use this calculator) you will see the Gregorian Easter Sunday fits this rule of Bede, whereas the Julian calendar does not (its a few days after the Feast of Unleavened bread ends).
Why is this important?
One of the cycles that Pascha is trying to synchronise with the original Passion and Resurrection is the lunar cycle. It cannot be disputed that the Crucifixion was at the full moon, but this year the Julian Good Friday will be 17 April which is the last quarter of the waning moon. This is because the Julian ecclesiastical moon has drifted a long way from the real moon. This is one of the problems that the Gregorian calendar fixed. The Gregorian fix was not perfect, but is good enough. This year Gregorian Good Friday is only one day after the real Paschal full moon.

Here is Bede again (page 128):
Quote
For no Catholic can doubt that the Lord mounted the Cross on Friday, on the 15th day of the Moon ... lest he appear not to believe in the Law which stipulates that the Paschal lamb be sacrificed on the 14th day of the first month in the evening, nor in the Gospel which asserts that the Lord, taken captive by the Jews on that same evening...


There has been much previous discussion about the leap year error in the Julian calendar. Some have said this does not matter since "Pascha in midsummer" is so far away there is no need to worry about it. But perhaps the drift of the Julian/Dionysian moon is faster. Has anyone worked out how long it will be before Julian Good Friday is celebrated on a real New Moon (the exact opposite to how St Polycarp thought it should be)?
Posted By: chadrook Re: Common Easter date? - 03/07/09 02:30 AM
Canon VII of the Holy Apostles:

If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon celebrate the holy day of Easter before the vernal equinox with the Jews, let him be deposed.

Canon I of Antioch:

As for all persons who dare to violate the definition of the holy and great Synod convened in Nicaea in the presence of Eusebeia, the consort of the most God-beloved Emperor Constantine, concerning the holy festival of the soterial Pascha, we decree that they be excluded from Communion and be outcasts from the Church if they persist more captiously in objecting to the decisions that have been made as most fitting in regard thereto; and let these things be said with reference to laymen. But if any of the person occupying prominent positions in the Church, such as a Bishop, or a Presbyter, or a Deacon, after the adoption of this definition, should dare to insist upon having his own way, to the perversion of the laity, and to the disturbance of the church, and upon celebrating Pascha along with the Jews, the holy Synod has hence judged that person to be an alien to the Church, on the ground that he has not only become guilty of sin by himself, but has also been the cause of corruption and perversion among the multitude. Accordingly, it not only deposes such persons from the liturgy, but also those who dare to commune with them after their deposition. Moreover, those who have been deposed are to be deprived of the external honor too of which the holy Canon and God's priesthood have partaken.

See also the Sigillon of 1583 which anathematized the Gregorian and Papal Calendar.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 03/07/09 04:02 PM
Originally Posted by chadrook
Canon VII of the Holy Apostles:

...

Canon I of Antioch:

...

See also the Sigillon of 1583 which anathematized the Gregorian and Papal Calendar.
But what do the words of canons VII and I mean? Properly read and understood, as I and others have documented at length in previous posts, they support the method of the Gregorian calendar and Aleppo. The Julian calendar/Paschalion is on much weaker ground.

I have only found this on the Sigillon of 1583:
Quote
7) That whoever does not follow the customs of the Church as the Seven Holy Ecumenical Councils decreed, and Holy Pascha, and the Menologion with which they did well in making it a law that we should follow it, and wishes to follow the newly-invented Paschalion and the New Menologion of the atheist astronomers of the Pope, and opposes all those things and wishes to overthrow and destroy the dogmas and customs of the Church which have been handed down by our fathers, let him suffer anathema and be put out of the Church of Christ and out of the Congregation of the Faithful.

Signed by:

Jeremiah of Constantinople
Silvester of Alexandria
Sophronius of Jerusalem

In the presence of the rest of the prelates at the Council.


which is no more than an unbecoming and ill informed rant.
Posted By: chadrook Re: Common Easter date? - 03/07/09 06:15 PM

Quote
which is no more than an unbecoming and ill informed rant.


Ah do continue. I dont think that with Scholastic theology you will ever understand the mind of the Traditional Orthodox for it is antithetical to Orthodox tradition which is hesychastic. What is it that you say "I believe so as to understand" Anselm of Canterbury said this. And so we continue to hold fast to the traditions that were handed down to us.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 03/09/09 11:43 AM
Originally Posted by chadrook

Quote
which is no more than an unbecoming and ill informed rant.


Ah do continue.
No need, that just about sums it up.

Originally Posted by chadrook
I dont think that with Scholastic theology you will ever understand the mind of the Traditional Orthodox for it is antithetical to Orthodox tradition which is hesychastic. What is it that you say "I believe so as to understand" Anselm of Canterbury said this. And so we continue to hold fast to the traditions that were handed down to us.
Starting a new thread on Scholastic theology may be the way to go. It could provide the opportunity to discover how it actually treats various theological topics and its proper methodology, information that is sorely lacking by some in the East and West. As I have written before, I will not reply directly to some scholastic bogyman that is presented as though factual and an accurate representation of the approach. I will say that some theologians in the past have misapplied or perhaps were misinformed about Scholastic theology, Scholasticism etc., using it as a label for undesirable or unnecessary western influences in eastern theology. While that at times was unwarranted and unfortunate, in that it did happen or was characterized as such, to now continue propagating the myth of the mutual incomprehensibility and incompatibility of Scholasticism and the East is reprehensible.


Posted By: chadrook Re: Common Easter date? - 03/09/09 10:17 PM
I dont seem to be making myself clear. So here is a story from the old country.

Reverend Clergy, Orthodox Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Please forgive the babbling of an unworthy Greek folk priest, but I thought
I share with you this humble and Greek folk spiritual testimony, from a
humble Old Country Grandmother.

Panagiota came from Greece to Chicago in the late 60s with her late husband
and three children. A very simple, very devoted, and pious, woman past 65
now. She was a shepherd girl back in the hillsides near Tripoli having very
little secular education, being the older child in the family had to attend
the small flock of sheep, the family's main source of survival.

She called me yesterday and very humbly told me the following event that
happend the day before in an informal discusion with some of her New
Calendar (Ecumenist) neighbors. Their conversation drifted into the
Ecumenism issue where her visitors insisted that Ecumenism union and
communion with all "Christian faiths" is good for the church and that all
the churches are all the same and all branches of the same tree.

"I tried to convince them" she said, "that they were wrong but to no avail."
She is uneducated and they tried in their educated way to prove her wrong to
her persistence that the Church is only one, The One Holy Katholic and
Apostolic Church, The Traditional Othodox Church and no branches.

In her defense to Holy Orthodoxy, not being able to convey the truth to her
overpowering visitors, she crossed herself and prayed to our Holy God to
give her the wisdom and the words to defend her Holy Faith. As she prayed
the thought came to her and she made the following statement. She said to
them, the Holy and Traditional Orthodox Church in comparison to Ecumenism is
like this:

In the prairie you find many sorts of plants, also, many beautiful flowers
that stand out among all other plants. In the same way, the True and Holy
Orthodox churches all over the world stand out like the beautiful flowers in
the prairie. There in the prairie, you also find many insects, pasturing
each to its own pasture, including the flies where they pasture on anything.
But among all the insects, there is one very particular insect, which does
not go to just anything to pasture, but only, to the beautiful flowers. This
very particular insect, the cleanest of all insects, is the blessed honey
bee. In the same way also, the true and blessed believers, ought to be like
the blessed honey bees, and not go, to just any "church".

So she concluded to her visitors, my friends forgive me for my illiteracy,
but this is my humble comparison between the True Church of God and
Ecumenism, and my humble comparison between the True believers of God and
the Ecumenists.

This is Grandmother Panagiotas' humble comparison of the True Holy Orthodox
Church.

In Christ our Lord and Savior
the unworthy Greek folk priest,

Fr. Athanasios

----------

and lastly:
Elder Nectarius of Optina

*One must not demand of a fly that it do the work of a bee. Every
man should give according to his won measure. Everyone cannot do
the same thing.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 03/10/09 03:39 PM
Originally Posted by chadrook
I dont seem to be making myself clear. So here is a story from the old country.
...
... this is my humble comparison between the True Church of God and Ecumenism, and my humble comparison between the True believers of God and the Ecumenists.

This is Grandmother Panagiotas' humble comparison of the True Holy Orthodox
Church.
This seems better suited to a new thread on Orthodoxy versus Ecumenism.

My own take: Grandmother Panagiotas expressed in good faith what she has been told about Ecumenism; she would give a similar opinion, I suspect, about the calendar if that were the issue she was addressing. The teachers and leaders who have taught her incorrectly, venting their venom rather than seeking and expressing the truth, are the ones who deserve condemnation; they are a disgrace.
Posted By: Ruthenian Re: Common Easter date? - 04/15/09 04:44 AM
Originally Posted by Fr David Straut
All this would mean is that the Orthodox would start observing the Latin date of Easter over 99 times out of 100. They would never again observe the traditional Orthodox date. A non-starter, I'm afraid, from the beginning.

If Catholics want a unity of celebration in the date of Easter, I'm afraid the only solution is to "condescend" to their "weaker" brethren and accept the "scientifically inaccurate" Julian Calendar based Orthodox reckoning. Can they humble themselves? The Orthodox, I believe, will not accept a change themselves.

Fr David Straut




I said just the same thing, more or less, in another thread yesterday and to a number of different people in my BCC parish and in my local OCA parish. The Orthodox will not change the reckoning of the date, so hopefully the pope will change the CC's reckoning. I have asked people, "do you know what the date of Pascha is two years from now?" (answer, always "no"). "If there were a secret conspiracy to unify the date and the two sides actually came up with a different method entirely and so the date for Pascha ended up being different, would you have any idea or care?" (answer always "no"). "If the pope changed unilaterally so that we all celebrated the same day would you know if no one told you, and would you mind?" ("no"). The Orthodox are always more rigid, IMO, and probably /would/ care about which date Pascha was on if they thought there were any Catholic influence on any change or compromise. This is in spite of the fact that the two methods of reckoning are both complex and somewhat arbitrary and if they were switched you'd still have people claiming their method was correct. Because the Orthodox will not be flexible I say just make the date the same as they have it and be happy about one more tiny step toward being unified with them.
Posted By: A Simple Sinner Re: Common Easter date? - 04/15/09 06:13 AM
Originally Posted by chadrook

Quote
which is no more than an unbecoming and ill informed rant.


Ah do continue. I dont think that with Scholastic theology you will ever understand the mind of the Traditional Orthodox for it is antithetical to Orthodox tradition which is hesychastic. What is it that you say "I believe so as to understand" Anselm of Canterbury said this. And so we continue to hold fast to the traditions that were handed down to us.


(Emphasis added)

This, right here, is the set up for a heart-breaking non-starter. To say essentially "You can't understand this because you are in error" precludes it could ever go any further: a decision has been declared that those Errant-Thomistic-Westerners-with-their-scholasticism™just aren't going to get it and really simply can't get it through no fault of their own beyond being the victims of such errant thomistc western scholastic thought.

Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Not only are those you oppose wrong, they are so unduly - even if unkowingly - influenced by so much wrongness, they are left unable to see the wrongness their wrongness. Where could one even start if they even wanted to bother?
Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher Re: Common Easter date? - 04/15/09 06:26 AM
I've addressed this question several times already and will not rehash the argument here. Just take it as a given that there is an important body of Christians who are not about to change the Paschalia. Those who so passionately want a "common Easter date" are welcome to use the one that we use, should they so desire.

Fr. Serge
Posted By: Latin Catholic Re: Common Easter date? - 04/15/09 01:57 PM
Resurrectio Domini, spes nostra

I say unicuique suum, to each his own.

Why should it be such a big problem that there are two different dates for Easter? Let's not forget that every Sunday is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ.

The good news is that next year (2010) the Gregorian and Julian Easter dates will coincide.
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: Common Easter date? - 04/15/09 06:48 PM
Guess I cant go to Jerusalem to celebrate the Tridum next year and will have to say again "next year in Jerusalem".
Stephanos I
Posted By: rwprof Re: Common Easter date? - 04/15/09 08:18 PM
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
Those who so passionately want a "common Easter date" are welcome to use the one that we use, should they so desire.

Fr. Serge


Hear, hear, father!

I assume you've heard that the EU wants to set the date of Pascha?


Posted By: Monomakh Re: Common Easter date? - 04/16/09 12:51 AM
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
I've addressed this question several times already and will not rehash the argument here. Just take it as a given that there is an important body of Christians who are not about to change the Paschalia. Those who so passionately want a "common Easter date" are welcome to use the one that we use, should they so desire.

Fr. Serge


Amen Father!

Wouldn't it make sense for those who changed to change back and see the errors of their ways?! Or are they afraid of change?

In fact once this is taken care of, there are several other items that could use the same logic smile

Monomakh
Posted By: theophan Re: Common Easter date? - 04/16/09 01:41 AM
Christ is in our midst!! He is and always will be!!

As interesting as this discussion always is, there is an additonal element in the equation that no one has ever addressed.

The time when the Bishop of Rome could speak for the whole of Western Christendom was over some 500 years ago. Even if the Catholic Church decided to begin using the Orthodox method of calculating the date of Pascha, there would still be a large body of believers left behind--the Anglicans, Lutherans, and otehr Protestants. I'd venture to guess that these folks would object to changing with Rome simply because they don't accept Roman authority to do anything at all let alone change the date by which they have calculated Pascha.

You have to consider that many non-Roman Westerners think that the true form of Christianity followed westward through Rome, leaving the East in hopeless error, and that they have been in the same linear path, keeping the true form of Christianity by reforming Rome.

It seems there are more considerations about this question than a mere decision between Rome and the Eastern Churches, both Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian.

Praying that my brethren celebrating the Great and Holy Week find a deeper relationship with Christ as the fruit of their participation in His Saving Mysteries revelaed this week liturgically,

BOB
Posted By: A Simple Sinner Re: Common Easter date? - 04/16/09 02:57 AM
Originally Posted by theophan
You have to consider that many non-Roman Westerners think that the true form of Christianity followed westward through Rome, leaving the East in hopeless error, and that they have been in the same linear path, keeping the true form of Christianity by reforming Rome.


I had rather considered writing something similar lastnight... But my bed called and the hour was late.

But on a pragmatic level, when it comes to the dating of Easter, any number of non-Catholic Christians would be well out of the loop, and unity of all the Baptized is something that is important. More pragmatic still, Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians are as much attached to this dating system (for reasons most well could not explain) already, and "unilateral" moves by Rome to move the date would in turn cause as many problems later on down the line. It is worth remembering, China today has more Catholics than France and Ireland put together, and they (a) growing and (b) still only a tenth of the Christian population which is as much as not Evangelical and Pentecostal and growing faster still.

More than a few of us suspect (and I rather believe B16 himself understands this as well) that the future of Christianity is far more Eastern (Asian) and Southern (African) than most are imagining. Indeed Eastern Christians - of an East well different than that of the Imperium - are going to continue to be a growing source of influence and focus in the coming generations.

Given this, a certain wisdom is indeed to be found in simply accepting that different dates are used by different folks at different places, and YES, every single Sunday IS a little Easter.

Posted By: A Simple Sinner Re: Common Easter date? - 04/16/09 03:39 AM
Originally Posted by Monomakh
Wouldn't it make sense for those who changed to change back and see the errors of their ways?! Or are they afraid of change?

In fact once this is taken care of, there are several other items that could use the same logic


I hate to be the cantekerous contrarian who everyone suspects always feels compelled to do a fashion review of the emperor's latest wardrobe...

But that is a rather loaded, simplistic and uncharitable way of not only presuming their ways are errant and that failure to "correct the error" is indicative of further recalcitrance. More bluntly this comment offers "They could finally admit how wrong they are or are they even weaker in character than we all had suspected?"

However convinced you are of the superiority of the Julian reckoning and unmoved you may be by the arguments for either (1) the proposition that the Gregorian dating DOES serve the canons cited (perhaps better!) or (2) acceptance of both systems (the stance Rome actually DOES take)... To be so dismissive of people of good will who have presented their case succinctly and without rancor, guile or polemic...

If at the end of the day this is the sort of drive-by swipe that is going to hold sway here, what little time I spend online and in forums is going to be lessoned more dramatically still.

Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher Re: Common Easter date? - 04/16/09 06:27 AM
Somehow I am not inclined to think that the Chinese Catholics are particularly upset by the date of Pascha, or would be upset by a Catholic reinstatement of the traditional Paschalia. The Chinese Catholics have far more important problems to occupy their attention.

Almost every Sunday is a "little Pascha", but there are two exceptions: Palm Sunday and Pentecost. I've not run across anybody who wants to celebrate Pascha on Pentecost, but just a few days ago the West celebrated "Easter" on Palm Sunday.

["Easter", by the way, is not a Christian term - it refers to a spring festival connected with a minor Teutonic goddess.]

Fr. Serge
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 04/16/09 02:26 PM
Originally Posted by Ruthenian
... The Orthodox will not change the reckoning of the date, so hopefully the pope will change the CC's reckoning.
If the two calendars were on the same footing it would be something to consider. The two are NOT on the same footing -- see below.

Originally Posted by Ruthenian
I have asked people, "do you know what the date of Pascha is two years from now?" (answer, always "no"). "If there were a secret conspiracy to unify the date and the two sides actually came up with a different method entirely and so the date for Pascha ended up being different, would you have any idea or care?" (answer always "no")...
I've raised this point myself. Aleppo was an attempt to propose a third way. It was a disinterested solution that resulted in demonstrating, not surprisingly, the overall accuracy and superiority of the Gregorian calendar relative to the Julian.

Originally Posted by Ruthenian
The Orthodox are always more rigid, IMO, and probably /would/ care about which date Pascha was on if they thought there were any Catholic influence on any change or compromise.
Sad if true -- forget right or wrong, if it's Catholic it's unacceptable?

Originally Posted by Ruthenian
This is in spite of the fact that the two methods of reckoning are both complex and somewhat arbitrary and if they were switched you'd still have people claiming their method was correct. Because the Orthodox will not be flexible I say just make the date the same as they have it and be happy about one more tiny step toward being unified with them.
That approach may demonstrate that ignorance is bliss. The two methods are approximations that rely on tables, as has been discussed before. The problem is that the Julian method has a CUMULATIVE ERROR, which is a bad feature to have in a calendar. It causes calendar dates to move away from the seasonal events that are the reference points. The Gregorian calendar keeps these points stable around the given date, the vernal equinox, fixed at March 21 according to the purported Canons of Nicaea. The Julian calendar is off 13 day at the present, and the cumulative error is increasing. That is for the solar event, the lunar is also in error.

The bottom line, for those who say "follow Nicaea" -- just do the check, as I did this year, by getting the daily weather report. As has been established by even Orthodox writers and confirmed by Aleppo, Nicaea did not want any consideration to be give to how and when the Jews determined Passover. So that is not a factor. This is what I got from the local weather report for my place on the globe, longitude 39°11'N 76°40'W, following the Nicaean dictum, first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox (dates given are for the civil calendar):

Vernal Equinox: March 20, 7:45 a.m. EDT

Next full moon

Full Moon: April 9

Next Sunday

Pascha as per Nicaea: April 12

APRIL 12



Posted By: rwprof Re: Common Easter date? - 04/16/09 04:56 PM
Actually, the Revised Julian, with which the Gregorian will be on the same date until 2500 or something like that, is more accurate than the Gregorian. But the Julian-Gregorian distinction really has nothing to do with the different dates for Easter and Pascha. Whether Passover must fall before it or not does.




Posted By: Logos - Alexis Re: Common Easter date? - 04/16/09 06:24 PM
Father Serge,

Bless!

I'm glad you've brought up "Easter" vs. "Pascha."

I have to admit that I find the use of "Pascha" in English to be a little strange. In our language, the word Easter has traditionally been used to describe the Feast of Christ's Resurrection.

Whether or not it began as a feast to "minor Teutonic goddess" is beside the point, I think. The fact is that the word does not have this meaning now, and hasn't for centuries, and is today solely associated with Christ's Resurrection.

Use of "Pascha" to me just seems to be a strange rejection of what is the English word for this glorious event.

Not that I think it's a big deal. On the contrary, I think it's silly! I mean no offense to anyone at all, by the way.

Alexis
Posted By: Latin Catholic Re: Common Easter date? - 04/16/09 06:55 PM
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
[...]
Almost every Sunday is a "little Pascha", but there are two exceptions: Palm Sunday and Pentecost. I've not run across anybody who wants to celebrate Pascha on Pentecost, but just a few days ago the West celebrated "Easter" on Palm Sunday.
[...]

Fr. Serge


Resurrectio Domini, spes nostra!

Father Serge, this could be seen as quite insulting to Western Catholics. What would you say if I were to claim that you were celebrating "Pascha" a week late, on the Octave of Easter? I am perfectly happy to celebrate Easter on the same date as our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in accordance with the reform of Pope Gregory XIII of blessed memory, but I have no objections to your celebrating Holy Pascha this coming Sunday out of piety to the ancient and venerable Julian calendar. Why can't we respect each other's differences and not insist on being "right"? Why can't we show others the same respect we expect to be shown ourselves?

PS! The Norwegian word for Easter is påske. The etymology, I think, should be obvious. But there is no reason why the English-speaking world should not continue to celebrate Easter, regardless of the origin of the word itself.
Posted By: Our Lady's slave Re: Common Easter date? - 04/16/09 07:11 PM
True enough smile

But they don't have an Easter Caandle in Church - it's a Paschal Candle smile , oh and it's the Paschal Season too - well in the UK anyway
Posted By: Latin Catholic Re: Common Easter date? - 04/16/09 07:17 PM
Originally Posted by Our Lady's slave
True enough smile

But they don't have an Easter Caandle in Church - it's a Paschal Candle smile , oh and it's the Paschal Season too - well in the UK anyway

aka Eastertide... (in Norwegian påsketiden). And the paschal candle is called påskelyset.

We can't now go about changing English words with pagan etymologies. We would have to stop calling the days of the week Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, since they are named for pagan gods. How would you like to schedule a meeting for Midweekday or Fifthday? We would all have to start speaking Icelandic or Portuguese (or ecclesiastical Latin!), languages in which these references to the pagan gods have been eradicated. Sunday and Monday too are suspect, being dedicated to the Sun and Moon. Before you know it we would have to stop celebrating Christmas on December 25, because this used to be the date of an old pagan festival too. Where would it end?
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 04/16/09 09:55 PM
Originally Posted by rwprof
Actually, the Revised Julian, with which the Gregorian will be on the same date until 2500 or something like that, is more accurate than the Gregorian. But the Julian-Gregorian distinction really has nothing to do with the different dates for Easter and Pascha. Whether Passover must fall before it or not does.


Actually, no, no, and no. Misinformation about the Julian calendar(s) abound, are stated as fact and then repeated with great assurance.

You obviously have not bothered to read the numerous links provided to the neutral (Aleppo) or even Orthodox sources that debunk the points raised in this post.

1. As a solar calendar the revised Julian calendar is slightly more accurate, but the proper calendar choice, especially for church purposes, is one based on the tropical year, one that keeps the dates of the seasonal dates fixed, rather than the solar year. That is exactly because...

2. The "Julian-Gregorian distinction" has EVERYTHING to do with the dating of Pascha. You've got to explain why you say the opposite.

3. Any present Jewish dating of Passover is irrelevant to the Christian determination of Easter according to the uncontested method given by Nicaea.

As I reckon it, everything you've said is wrongheaded regarding the proper dating of Pascha. On what facts are your statements based?
Posted By: rwprof Re: Common Easter date? - 04/16/09 10:09 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
Actually, no, no, and no. Misinformation about the Julian calendar(s) abound, are stated as fact and then repeated with great assurance.


Uh-huh. Of course, you just make this pompous statement, with absolutely nothing to back it up.

Quote
2. The "Julian-Gregorian distinction" has EVERYTHING to do with the dating of Pascha. You've got to explain why you say the opposite.

3. Any present Jewish dating of Passover is irrelevant to the Christian determination of Easter according to the uncontested method given by Nicaea.

As I reckon it, everything you've said is wrongheaded regarding the proper dating of Pascha. On what facts are your statements based?


The difference in dates has absolutely nothing to do with the Julian (and when you use that term, be specific about whether you mean the Julian or Revised Julian Calendar, two very different calendars). Since most Orthodox are on the Revised Julian Calendar, if that were the distinction, we would be celebrating Pascha on the same day as the West. The difference is the Council of Nicaea, and whether Pascha must fall after Passover or not, which has absolutely nothing to do with the calendar.

It's Holy Week. I really shouldn't be engaged in this sort of debate, and certainly not with you. I suggest, however, that you look at a few Orthodox sources on the calculation of the date of Pascha.



Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher Re: Common Easter date? - 04/17/09 06:30 AM
Most Eastern Orthodox do NOT use the "Revised Julian Calendar", so thanks for the example of misinformation.

Fr. Serge
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: Common Easter date? - 04/18/09 04:34 AM
I was reading that the determination of Easter disregarded as to when the Passover began. (Nisan 15) Is this correct. Is not this the point of contention between East and West along with the inaccuracy of the Julian Calendar?
Stephanos I
Posted By: A Simple Sinner Re: Common Easter date? - 04/18/09 05:11 AM
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
Somehow I am not inclined to think that the Chinese Catholics are particularly upset by the date of Pascha...


And on the score, I largely agree... But am left wondering why you are compelled to state this... I didn't offer that it was Chinese Catholics we have concerns over.

Re-read it, and you will note that it was NOT Catholics I was writing about in China.

As to the use of the term Easter... However fun a fact that is in the terms etymology... One is left to ask, how long need a term be used, and how vast a majority of speakers of a given language need to be had who would only ever identify the term with a celebration of the Passion and Resurrection before it is, well, in fact a Christian term.

More succinctly, I know of darn near no one who would ask for clarification when I wished them a Happy Easter... "Now are you meaning the celebration of Christ's Passion and Resurrection, or the holiday surrounding a minor Teutonic goddess from paganism?" This never has been, and I suspect never will be a question with which I have to deal.

Ever the radical moderate, I would offer (without thinking myself to be too revolutionary) that Rome's current stance (allowance and acceptance of multiple datings) is, at the end of the day, quite alright. Cutting through the semantics of "I've not run across anybody who wants to celebrate Pascha on Pentecost, but just a few days ago the West celebrated "Easter" on Palm Sunday." More than a few would well reply "No, we celebrated Palm Sunday on Palm Sunday, and Eastern on Easter."



Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher Re: Common Easter date? - 04/18/09 09:00 AM
"Pascha" is an English word, and a perfectly good one - I just found it in eleven on-line dictionaries. One of its advantages so far as we are concerned is that it expresses the continuity of the Resurrection of Our Lord with the Passover.

Kali Anastasi!

Fr. Serge
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 04/18/09 01:53 PM
Originally Posted by Stephanos I
I was reading that the determination of Easter disregarded as to when the Passover began. (Nisan 15) Is this correct.


That is indeed correct. A number of posts by me and others have given links and references, even from Orthodox sources, that discuss the topic and clearly conclude that the intent of the Nicaean directive is that the determine of Pascha is to be totally independent of the dating of Passover.

Those who keep insisting and repeating that Pascha (Easter) must follow Passover need to reexamine what that means. Passover lasts for 7 days, and the "celebration" of the first Pascha itself, the Resurrection, whether one uses the synoptic or John's sequence of events, took place within, and not after those 7 days.

Consider the situation this year. For Passover it is stated:
Quote
Passover in 2009 will start on Thursday, the 9th of April and will continue for 7 days until Wednesday, the 15th of April.

Note that in the Jewish calander, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Jews will celebrate Passover on the sunset of Wednesday, the 8th of April.
link

So according to the Gregorian and astronomical reckoning, using the above and the information I provided in a previous post:

March 20 vernal equinox
April 8 Wednesday night, begin Passover -- meal
April 9 full moon
April 12 next Sunday, Pascha
April 15 end Passover

Coincidentally, much like the timing as in the Gospels. So why having to wait an extra week? I use this only as another example of the inconsistency in the erroneous insistence on the need for Pascha-after-Passover.


Originally Posted by Stephanos I
Is not this the point of contention between East and West along with the inaccuracy of the Julian Calendar?
Stephanos I
Yes.


-----------------------


I sincerely wish those about to celebrate the Resurrection a blessed and holy Pasch. I say that with fraternal affection and joy. There is no good reason that we should not be celebrating our common feast of the Resurrection at the same time. There is also no good reason why that should not be done in best conformity with the directives of Nicaea.

Last week, looking up in the sky, as usual for the celebration of Great Week and Pascha, the moon was very full. That is something I've looked forward to seeing. Those who will observe Pascha on the 19th will do so well and with devotion. But knowing the directives of Nicaea, directives that they insist be followed, they should look up in the night sky and ask, "how full is our Paschal moon?"
Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher Re: Common Easter date? - 04/18/09 04:51 PM
Kali Anastasi!

Fr. Serge
Posted By: Recluse Re: Common Easter date? - 04/27/09 12:22 PM
Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
I hate to be the cantekerous contrarian who everyone suspects always feels compelled to do a fashion review of the emperor's latest wardrobe.

Then perhaps it would be best to just stay silent.
Posted By: A Simple Sinner Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 07:39 AM
Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
I hate to be the cantekerous contrarian who everyone suspects always feels compelled to do a fashion review of the emperor's latest wardrobe.

Then perhaps it would be best to just stay silent.


Ahh, the recluse comes out of reclusion for advice so sound, I have given my own self such before, and as often as not (when I read this forum anymore) I actually DO follow!

That is to say when I actually do get around to checking into this forum anymore and reading it, as often as not, I leave it in about the same state I came, gracing it with my silence and not afflicting or challenging the established with opinions outside of what the chorus sings.

If and when I respond and get such responses, it only confirms me in my more common decision to remain silent.

Have a terrific day and keep me in your prayers.
Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 10:58 AM
Quote
Last week, looking up in the sky, as usual for the celebration of Great Week and Pascha, the moon was very full. That is something I've looked forward to seeing. Those who will observe Pascha on the 19th will do so well and with devotion. But knowing the directives of Nicaea, directives that they insist be followed, they should look up in the night sky and ask, "how full is our Paschal moon?"


Oddly enough, the discrepancy has to do with sidereal time, so when looking up in the sky one would do well to look beyond the moon!

Fr. Serge
Posted By: Secret Squirrel Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 11:20 AM
Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
Have a terrific day and keep me in your prayers.


APPLAUSE!!! Wonderful come back!
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 12:18 PM
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
Quote
Last week, looking up in the sky, as usual for the celebration of Great Week and Pascha, the moon was very full. That is something I've looked forward to seeing. Those who will observe Pascha on the 19th will do so well and with devotion. But knowing the directives of Nicaea, directives that they insist be followed, they should look up in the night sky and ask, "how full is our Paschal moon?"


Oddly enough, the discrepancy has to do with sidereal time, so when looking up in the sky one would do well to look beyond the moon!

Fr. Serge


Very odd indeed since it is not true!
It seems an effective justification of the Julian calendar/paschaliion is to keep repeating (we've been over this before) the same erroneous statements as though they were fact. What makes the statement even more absurd is that the Julian calendar/paschalion is not based on sidereal time either.

A good calendar, one that keeps one special season, or all the seasons on an average fixed to (a) given calendar date(s), is NOT BASED ON SIDEREAL TIME. Neither the old Julian nor the Gregorian calendars are based on sidereal time, but rather on what is called tropical time. For the case of a Christian calendar, this is not even the mean (average) tropical time based on all the seasonal changes (at equinoxes and solstices) but one special seasonal change, the northern hemisphere spring equinox (also called solar time).

Furthermore, according to the accepted prescription, Pascha is the Sunday following a full moon. I can understand why some would prefer "to look beyond the moon", however, since its phase is quite telling. Considering "Nicaea", judge for yourself (eve of Pascha; virtual images from the US Navy website link; civil calendar dates):

Gregorian, April 11, 2009 --- 20 hrs ET
[Linked Image]









Julian, April 18, 2009 --- 20 hrs ET
[Linked Image]




Posted By: Recluse Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 12:22 PM
Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
If and when I respond and get such responses, it only confirms me in my more common decision to remain silent.
LOL! Not quite common enough!

You are always in my prayers.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 01:09 PM
Originally Posted by Monomakh
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
I've addressed this question several times already and will not rehash the argument here. Just take it as a given that there is an important body of Christians who are not about to change the Paschalia. Those who so passionately want a "common Easter date" are welcome to use the one that we use, should they so desire.

Fr. Serge


Amen Father!

Wouldn't it make sense for those who changed to change back and see the errors of their ways?! Or are they afraid of change?

In fact once this is taken care of, there are several other items that could use the same logic smile

Monomakh


The issue, the problem, is that the address-ing and the subsequent amen-ing ignore that the original hash-ing conveyed faulty information and argued based on the acceptance of erroneous facts that are then inexplicably repeated even after being informed of the correction. Consider that first and then by all means apply the logic and determine who's afraid of change?

Posted By: Recluse Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 01:56 PM
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
Just take it as a given that there is an important body of Christians who are not about to change the Paschalia. Those who so passionately want a "common Easter date" are welcome to use the one that we use, should they so desire.

Fr. Serge

Amen Father!
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 02:22 PM
Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
Just take it as a given that there is an important body of Christians who are not about to change the Paschalia. Those who so passionately want a "common Easter date" are welcome to use the one that we use, should they so desire.

Fr. Serge

Amen Father!


One is entitled to a last refuge in a simple "Amen," but realize, at the least, that it ultimately is against facts, reason, sun, moon, seasons and the prescriptions commonly accepted as deriving from the First Council of Nicaea.

Posted By: Recluse Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 02:24 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
One is entitled to a last refuge in a simple "Amen,"

Thank you.
Originally Posted by ajk
but realize, at the least, that it ultimately is against facts, reason, sun, moon, seasons and the prescriptions commonly accepted as deriving from the First Council of Nicaea.

I have been reading your "facts".
I'll stick with Tradition.
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 02:38 PM
Originally Posted by Recluse
I have been reading your "facts".
I'll stick with Tradition.


Always stick with Tradition, but be willing to see traditions for what they are.

I do not want to misrepresent the issues or facts, so please inform me of any wrong or misleading information that you think I may have advanced.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 03:03 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
I do not want to misrepresent the issues or facts, so please inform me of any wrong or misleading information that you think I may have advanced.


I am not accusing you of misrepresenting anything. It is obvious that this subject is near and dear to you. However, the Orthodox (and some Eastern Catholics) are very pleased to celebrate the pious Julian Calendar (or revised Julian).

Besides, the Holy Fire in Jerusalem will not ignite if we were to change to the Gregorian obsevance. wink
Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 04:28 PM
Originally Posted by Recluse

I am not accusing you of misrepresenting anything. It is obvious that this subject is near and dear to you. However, the Orthodox (and some Eastern Catholics) are very pleased to celebrate the pious Julian Calendar (or revised Julian).
Wrong about the "near and dear" -- I have, however, become determined that this subject not be misrepresented (on this forum at least) as it has been in the past, and that rather blatantly.

Originally Posted by Recluse
Besides, the Holy Fire in Jerusalem will not ignite if we were to change to the Gregorian obsevance. wink
Just winking speculation and as I understand it, something that would not be a problem.




Posted By: Recluse Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 04:41 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
Wrong about the "near and dear" -- I have, however, become determined that this subject not be misrepresented (on this forum at least) as it has been in the past, and that rather blatantly.


Whatever. Seems a bit obssessed to me. whistle

Originally Posted by ajk
Just winking speculation and as I understand it, something that would not be a problem.


Okie doke!




Posted By: ajk Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 05:16 PM
Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by ajk
Wrong about the "near and dear" -- I have, however, become determined that this subject not be misrepresented (on this forum at least) as it has been in the past, and that rather blatantly.


Whatever. Seems a bit obssessed to me. whistle

My word was "determined," but better to be obsessed with accurate data and an open mind than otherwise. To allow the kind of irresponsible misinformation as put forth on this calendar/Pascha topic to simply propagate unchecked (as seems to happen) would be itself a fault. I invite (as I have before) you and others to read the several threads link including the whole of this one, appraise how they started and developed, and then to fairly weigh the arguments.
Posted By: Administrator Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 05:21 PM
Father Serge is correct that there are those Christians who are not about to change the Paschalia. It's not about following the recommendations of Nicea since the East does not follow them. It's not about theology since Nicea offered recommendations and in no way raised the Julian Calendar to infallibility. It's not about sound science since one can look up and see the moon and its phase during Holy Week. It's all about emotions and people discard common sense as they cling to emotion. We see emotion so strong that some would even restrict the Lord from the miracle of the Holy Fire!

Perhaps some future generations will be able to do what Nicea accomplished. Nicea used the reigning civil calendar of the day to unite Christians on the celebration of the Resurrection. Let us pray for future unity and common witness, keep the emotions in check and stop restricting power of the Lord.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 05:28 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
My word was "determined," but better to be obsessed with accurate data and an open mind than otherwise.


Lol! As opposed to determined or obesessed with inaccurate data and a closed mind.


Originally Posted by ajk
I invite (as I have before) you and others to read the several threads...


I have read your arguments and reviewed your data...and guess what? I would never leave the Julian calendar in reference to Pascha. It fits Orthodoxy like a comfortable shoe. It is the Tradition that we know. And most of us will not be swayed toward the new calendar. If you think that is closed minded---so be it---you are just another voice in cyberspace in favor of the Gregorian calendar, spewing forth science and fact...and you are welcome to follow it.

Peace
Posted By: Recluse Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 05:31 PM
Originally Posted by Administrator
We see emotion so strong that some would even restrict the Lord from the miracle of the Holy Fire!


Is it true that the miracle of the Holy Fire will only ocurr on Holy and Great Saturday according to the Julian calendar?
Posted By: Logos - Alexis Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 06:06 PM
Recluse,

Not that I care to press the issue here, but some of us have our doubts about the "miracle of the Holy Fire" in the first place. But as I understand it, it only occurs on the Julian Calendar.

Alexis
Posted By: Administrator Re: Common Easter date? - 04/28/09 06:13 PM
Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by Administrator
We see emotion so strong that some would even restrict the Lord from the miracle of the Holy Fire!


Is it true that the miracle of the Holy Fire will only ocurr on Holy and Great Saturday according to the Julian calendar?

No, that is not true. The miracle of the Holy Fire can occur at the moment at which the Church celebrates the Resurrection. To say it cannot happen should the Church adjust her calendar is to say the Lord is restricted by a man-made calendar. That is very poor theology indeed!

But your posts here have been uncharitable. You come across as a lamp warning people away from any Church that uses the Julian Calendar. The Julian Calendar should be an "oh, by the way we use the Julian Calendar". The way you speak one would think that the Julian Calendar is supreme to Christ in your thought and the Holy Tradition of your Church.
© The Byzantine Forum