Date of Easter

Okay I am probably going to get nasty comments and email about this post as much as I did about my post on Open Communion. I think that the Orthodox Churches that find themselves in the Western World should have the same date of Easter as the Western World! We calculate the date the same way, but for some strange reason we use a different calendar. A calendar by the way that we do not use for any other reason but the date of Easter. Most Orthodox Christians changed the date of Christmas from January 6th to December 25th to coincide with the west, and that was changing His birthday! I don’t like the day of my birth so I am going to change it…

How about a fixed date for Easter? Let’s say the first Sunday in April is now Easter or if that is too early pick another one. I don’t really think that would work and the mystery of when Easter is is great. The most asked question I get as a priest is Father, when is Easter?

From a personal stand point I think having Easter on a different day makes us Orthodox look like we cannot read the calendar. Why not have the same date at least.

Okay let the comments begin!


  1. I like the fixed date thing… but (and this is important, I think) the reason XMas succumbed to commercialisation is the fixed date. Although Easter suffers from some commercialism, a fixed date would nail it (no pun intended). There would be complaints every year about the “Easter Ads” starting before Candlemas.

    Superstitions abound about the dates: one legend is that Nicea was appalled at the idea that, using Passover, a year might go be (365 days) without Easter. Of course… that happens under the Nicea calculations, roughly, ever other year. Another (more antisemitic legend) is that we’re not supposed to celebrate Pascha during passover (this is demonstrably not true and some Orthodox no longer say this).

    I’d be happy if we could just agree, all of us, to use the more-scientific Gregorian calculation.

  2. One thing that sets Orthodox apart from other denominations is its insistence on community. Because of this, I think that it is more important for the Orthodox Church to be unified in its celebration of Easter than for it to happen on a particular day. I also think that it would be better for Orthodox to celebrate Easter on the same day as the west, whatever that date may be. Of course, this would involve convincing the more traditional Orthodox churches to follow a new calendar, which I think would be difficult to do. Unlike Christmas or other holidays, Easter is the most important holiday of the year. I think it would be a shame to see a split in the celebration of this holiday based on calculations. I think we should use whichever calculation everyone can agree on, even though it would be easier, particularly for those Orthodox living here in the US or other western countries, to use the Gregorian calculation. Has there ever been a discussion within the Church to change calendars?

  3. I think it is the case that while most Orthodox in America use the New Calendar that most Orthodox worldwide use the Old. I may be wrong but the sheer size of the MP suggests otherwise to me.

    Not celebrating Pascha before or on the same date as Passover has nothing to do with anti-semitism. It is because Passover is a theological type of Pascha (Christ is our paschal lamb, etc) and the type must precede its fulfilment. I am sure the early church when the synagogue was the main ‘competition’ enjoyed the practical effects of this but they are not theological reasons.

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