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Joined: Nov 2001
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Thomas Offline OP
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Glory to Jesus Christ!

Some of my Eastern Catholic friends have e-mailed me and asked why the Orthodox(and those in the Eastern Catholic Churches who follow the orthodox Paschalion) are observing Pascha (Easter) so late this Year?

After doing some checking I think I have the answer. As we know Orthodox Christian Pascha is the first Sunday after the first Full moon after the Vernal Equinox after the Jewish Passover. The Equinox is March 21. The Jewish Passover begins on March 28, the day of the first full moon after the Equinox in the U.S., but doesn't end until the following Thursday, April 4. So the earliest Pascha could occur is the first Sunday after the next full moon, which occurs on April 27 in the U.S. This would seem to make Pascha April 28. BUT in the Orthodox calendar for Paschal calculations the baseline, by Ecumenical Council decision, is to be done at Alexandria, Egypt. So, even though the full moon occurs on Saturday, April 27 in the U.S., it occurs just after midnight on Sunday, April 28 in Alexandria. Since Pascha always falls on the first Sunday AFTER the full moon (in Alexandria Egypt), Pascha will be the next Sunday, May 5.


I found the information very interesting and noted that until the west changed the paschalion, east and west celebrated using this paschalion. As an Orthodox Christian, it is interesting to note this is one the areas that both old calendar and new calendar Orthodox jurisdictions do agree on---we hold commom celebration on this Feast of Feasts and witness Eastern Orthodoxy as a United Faith if on no other day but on this Feast of Pascha.

Your brother in Christ,
Thomas

[ 02-22-2002: Message edited by: Thomas ]

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Thank you, Thomas, for that explanation. I understand it better now. Of course, I'm kinda jealous of you guys this year. Our Church follows the Gregorian calendar, and so our Easter is 31 March, and Lent started almost immediately after Christmas. I usually like a little break in between, and for Easter to occur sometime in April. Guess you can't have it all... smile

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The originating post of this old thread contains erroneous information. The facts are these:

The year 2002 was the eighth year of the 19-year Metonic cycle according to the Western count. The Julian Paschal full moon that year was on May 1, the same as it is in the 8th year of every 19-year cycle. May 1 2002 was a Wednesday. Easter is always the Sunday after the Paschal full moon, so this was May 5. And that is all. The astronomical full moon on April 27 2002 had nothing to do with it, nor did the meridian of Alexandria.


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