Easter

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by nbs2, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #1
    To begin, I would like to wish you and yours a Happy Easter. Even if you don't celebrate the day, I believe the fundamental themes of hope, love, and sacrifice for your fellow men are universally important to all of us.

    There was a recent thread that sort of devolved and was abandoned, but I thought generally led to well done and mature conversation. Near the end I posted a question I was hoping someone might be able to answer for me.

    Like others with a Western Christian heritage, we celebrate Easter today. I was hoping someone could educate me on why we use a different calculation for the celebration instead of just celebrating the Sunday after Passover. I know the Eastern Christian heritage uses the Julian instead of Gregorian, but they don't follow the Jews either.
     
  2. SusanK macrumors 68000

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  3. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    #3
    No clue. I'm just along for the ride to keep the wife & inlaws happy. This is only my second time in church this year
     
  4. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #4
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_of_Easter
    ...
    For most of its history Christians have calculated Easter independently of the Jewish calendar. In principle, Easter falls on the Sunday following the full moon that follows the northern spring equinox (the paschal full moon). However, the vernal equinox and the full moon are not determined by astronomical observation. The vernal equinox is fixed to fall on 21 March (previously it varied in different areas and in some areas Easter was allowed to fall before the equinox). The full moon is an ecclesiastical full moon determined by reference to a lunar calendar, which again varied in different areas. While Easter now falls at the earliest on the 15th of the lunar month and at the latest on the 21st, in some areas it used to fall at the earliest on the fourteenth (the day of the paschal full moon) and at the latest on the twentieth, or between the sixteenth and the 22nd. The last limit arises from the fact that the crucifixion was considered to have happened on the fourteenth (the eve of the Passover) and the resurrection therefore on the sixteenth. The "computus" is the procedure of determining the first Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon falling on or after 21 March, and the difficulty arose from doing this over the span of centuries without accurate means of measuring the precise tropical year. The synodic month had already been measured to a high degree of accuracy. The schematic model that eventually was accepted is the Metonic cycle which equates 19 (tropical) years to 235 synodic months.

    In 1583, the Catholic Church began using 21 March under the Gregorian calendar to calculate the date of Easter, while the Eastern Churches have continued to use 21 March under the Julian calendar. The Catholic and Protestant denominations thus use an ecclesiastical full moon that occurs four, five or 34 days earlier than the eastern one.

    The earliest and latest dates for Easter are 22 March and 25 April. In the Western/Gregorian calendar those dates are as commonly understood. However, in the Orthodox/Eastern Churches, while those dates are the same, they are reckoned using the Julian calendar; therefore, on the Gregorian calendar as of the 21st century, those dates are 4 April and 8 May.​
     
  5. cfedu macrumors 65816

    cfedu

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    #5
    I feel for you, I'm down to only going to church for weddings, funerals and other special occasions. Last year no one in my family died but there were 2 first communions and a confirmation, this year I will hopefully have a perfect 0.
     
  6. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #6
  7. unlinked macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    No idea but I did see a news story this year about some plan to fix the date of Easter.
    Only realised this year that Mothers Day (in Ireland) is relative to when Easter happens. Nearly got caught out since mothers day was before my birthday instead of after like it usually is.
     
  8. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #8
    Easter moves around year-to-year and can occur anywhere between March 22 and April 25. But why does it always fall on a different day within that five-week period? Surely, it’s not simply to keep Easter-egg hunters on their toes?

    The answer boils down to the difference between solar and lunar cycles. The ancient Egyptians first developed the solar calendar, which the Romans adopted, creating the Julian calendar. The Gregorian calendar succeeded the Julian calendar in Western Europe, and is the global standard today. The Hebrew calendar, however, follows the lunar cycles, as does the Islamic calendar.

    Easter is a religious holiday that commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and always occurs on a Sunday. The preceding Friday marks Good Friday, the day of Jesus’ death. And the night before that was the Last Supper, a feast for the Jewish holiday of Passover, according to the Bible. Given that it’s a Jewish holiday, Passover naturally follows the Hebrew calendar.

    The solar and lunar calendars don’t sync up. The solar calendar is 365 days, five hours and 49 minutes, which is why February has a leap day every four years, while the lunar calendar only has 354 days. Reconciling the differences between the two has been attempted several times over the centuries, and different religious traditions have adopted their own timelines for observing the holiday.

    In 325 A.D., the Council of Nicea convened and, in addition to hammering out the basic principles of their still flowering faith, attempted to set a standard for the celebration of the religious holiday. The council, composed of Christian bishops, decided that the church would observe Easter on the Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox, known as the Paschal full moon. If the first full moon occurs on a Sunday, then the holiday is pushed back a week so that it still takes place after Passover.

    Although not universally observed at the time or the centuries that followed, the council established the basic practice for how Easter would be observed. They did make a number of errors in their calculations, however. The bishops fixed the date of the vernal equinox at March 21, though it occurs on March 20 today. Also, instead of relying on astronomical observations, the council instead devised a set of tables intended to following the lunar cycle that doesn’t sync up with the phases of the moon.

    That explains why the date of Easter moves every year. But the day most Western Christian churches celebrate Easter doesn’t match the date of the holiday as observed by the Eastern Orthodox church. Again the discrepancy comes down to calendars. The Orthodox church still follow the Julian calendar, which is around 11 days behind the Gregorian calendar. Orthodox tradition observes Easter anywhere between April 4 and May 8. This year, it falls on May 1.

    Attempts to modify the timing or set a fixed date for Easter have been welcomed by a number of Christian denominations, including the Catholic Church. One of the most recent efforts occurred in 1997 when representatives of various denominations convened in Aleppo, but failed to adopt a new standard.
     
  9. impulse462 Suspended

    impulse462

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    #9
    this is really off topic but i really like your avatar. toothless is awesome
     
  10. DUCKofD3ATH Suspended

    DUCKofD3ATH

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    #10
    If I remember aright, it's based on when the eggs turn color. If the Easter rabbit comes out and sees the eggs have changed, it's six weeks until Easter.
     

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