Rus Articles Journal

When to celebrate Easter?

the Divergence between dates of orthodox Easter and Catholic are distributed as follows: the western Easter in 45% of cases for week before orthodox, in 30% of cases coincides, 5% - a difference in 4 weeks, and 20% - a difference in 5 weeks (it is more than a lunar cycle). In 2015 date of Christ`s Easter - on April 5 at Catholics and on April 12 at orthodox Christians.

A why? Or someone celebrates Easter incorrectly? History of this holiday contains not one millennium and to state all information in small article very daunting. However I will try.


the Holiday of Easter came from the Old Testament. Jews in a year have three large holidays: Pesakh, Shavuot and Sukkot. These holidays remember three stages of an outcome of the Jewish people from Egypt. Pesakh marks freedom connected actually with an outcome, Shavuot attaches to freedom spiritual significance, noting the Torah phenomenon on Mount Sinai, and Sukkot emphasizes that the true security is possible only at God`s presence, and for this purpose notes wandering of Jews through the desert to the Promised Land.

According to the Bible, Jesus Christ during the mortal life took part in Judaic holidays (Ying. 2, 13-25; 5, 1-47) and apostles after Rise followed its example (Dejan. 2, 1; 20, 16). Therefore commission by Christians of Easter in day of the 14th Nissan, i.e. in the same day when Jews made the holiday was the most ancient liturgical custom.


Judaic. Ancient Israelis, developing the calendar, based it mainly on the movement of the moon. The moon needs about 29,5 days to turn back around Earth. The beginning of emergence of the moon in the sky, the new moon, also specifies for the beginning of new month for Jews. In three years the difference between lunar and solar year will make the whole month therefore approximately time in three years was added 13 - y month and leap-year lasting the 384th day turned out.

The Council, great legislative court gathered in ancient Israel for the thirtieth day of month in Jerusalem, and expected arrival of two reliable witnesses who will personally assure that they saw a new moon in the sky. Then the Council declared this day in the afternoon of a new moon, Rosh Hodesh (the moon head). At Gallel 2, the patriarch of the Palestinian Judaism, the permanent calendar was developed. It is based on 19 - summer lunno - a solar cycle, the offered astronomer of antiquity Meton in 432. Leap-years in it settle down so: 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, 19.

Julian. the Roman emperor Julius Caesar put into practice on January 1 45 g to N. aa. the Julian calendar which received the name on his name. The Egyptian calendar, with constant year in 365 days, plus use of system of the leap days added each 4 years was taken as a basis. Inaccuracy of a Julian calendar makes 1 day within 128 years (1 / (365,25 - 365,2422)=128).


In 1582 at the Pope Grigory 13 it was offered to b to complicate system of an insert of leap days. Within 400 years their quantity decreased for 3, i.e. 100, 200 and 300 years of each four hundred-anniversary were not leap, 400 year remained leap. The error of such calendar makes 1 day for 3333 g (365+97/400=365,2425; 1 / (365,2425 - 365,2422) =3333). Now the difference between a Julian and Gregorian calendar makes 13 days, and it will increase till 14 days in 2100 which according to a Julian calendar will be leap, and on Gregorian - simple.

New Julian. In 1923. when in Constantinople meeting of Orthodox Churches took place, its participants claimed corrected Julian, or so-called new Julian calendar. It has the period in 900 years during which the number of leap years decreases on 7. Duration of such year makes 365+218/900=365,24222, i.e. the mistake in 1 day in it will collect after more than 40 000 years.

of the Ecclesiastical calendar

After into 344 g entered an obligatory Judaic calendar, there was a problem: the Judaic holiday calculated according to a new Judaic calendar happened before the vernal equinox from time to time. To exclude such situation, two main Christian departments - Rome and Alexandria - began to make own easter tables (ecclesiastical calendars) independently from each other. Astronomical data of that era were their basis.

The Roman and Alexandria ecclesiastical calendars were based on the principle according to which Easter has to be made by on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox . The difference consisted in date of the vernal equinox (on March 18 and 21 in Rome and Alexandria respectively), a cycle which lay in the ecclesiastical calendar basis (8 - and 19 - a summer cycle), and easter borders, i.e. limit dates of celebration of Easter. Therefore it could be made in the West in a period from March 20 to April 21, and in the east - from March 22 to April 25.

At first sight these divergences are insignificant, however in practice they were very notable. So, in a year after 1 - go the Ecumenical Council which approved this rule, Alexandria and Rome made Easter in different days: On April 3 and 10 respectively.

Papal bull Inter gravissimas about introduction of a Gregorian calendar it was addressed only to Catholic governors of Europe, neither Orthodox Christians, nor Protestants to whom these resolutions did not extend were mentioned in it. Therefore the Catholic Church celebrates Easter on the Roman ecclesiastical calendar and a Gregorian calendar.

In the basis of practice of celebration of Easter by Orthodox Church the official resolution of the Moscow Meeting of Orthodox Churches of 1948 according to which all Orthodox Christians have to make Easter on the Alexandria ecclesiastical calendar and a Julian calendar lies (the only exception the Finnish Orthodox Church making Easter according to the Gregorian ecclesiastical calendar is).

The divergence between dates of orthodox Easter and Catholic is caused by distinction in date of church full moons and a difference between solar calendars - 13 days in 21 - m a century. But any this divergence, spirit of a holiday lives in soul of each Christian, irrespective of belonging to faith (the Catholic, the Orthodox Christian or the Protestant).

By the word of the prelate Melito of Sardis, sacrifice of the antiquated blameless innocent person became rescue of Israel, and his death became life of the people. Such Sacrifice was made by Jesus Christ on the Golgotha Cross. It voluntarily gave itself(himself) on suffering for rescue of mankind. The suffering It expiated the human race from a sinful damnation and the power of death.