Dating of easter sunday
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For that reason, the Church does not use the exact date of the paschal full moon but an approximation.
The Council of Nicaea decided that Easter must always occur on a Sunday because Sunday was the day on which Christ rose from the dead.It's important to note that the Orthodox use the exact same formula for determining the date of Easter—the formula that I gave above, established by the Council of Nicaea, in which Easter is the Sunday following the paschal full moon, which is the full moon that falls on or after the vernal (spring) equinox.Currently, on the Julian calendar, March 21 (the date of the vernal equinox) falls on April 3 on the Gregorian calendar.The Council of Nicaea agreed with the latter group.While Easter and Passover were related historically—as I noted above, the Last Supper occurred on the Passover—and theologically, the Council declared that the connection between the two holidays ended with the Death and Resurrection of Christ. Because Christ is the new Paschal Lamb: The lamb sacrificed at Passover before Christ's Death and Resurrection was just a sign or symbol of Christ Himself.(See Reader Question: Why Does Easter Come Before Passover This Year? In fact, the reason the Council of Nicaea set up a formula for calculating the date of Easter was to separate the Christian celebration of Christ's Resurrection from the Jewish celebration of Passover.
)But look closely once again at the formula for calculating Easter, established at the Council of Nicaea: Easter is celebrated on the Sunday following the paschal full moon. Some Christians in the early fourth century were calculating the date of Easter according to the Jewish calendar, while others believed it needed to be calculated separately.But why is the paschal full moon used to determine the date of Easter? Passover fell on the date of the paschal full moon in the Jewish calendar, and the Last Supper (Holy Thursday) occurred on the Passover.Therefore, the very first Easter Sunday—the day on which Christ rose from the dead—was the Sunday after Passover.Therefore, many people assume that the Eastern Orthodox calculate the date of Easter differently and that the Orthodox Church includes in its calculation a consideration of the modern date of Passover.But as I mentioned several times above, the Orthodox use the very same formula established by the Council of Nicaea.Still, Easter isn't celebrated universally on that date—at least not on the calendar we all use in everyday life.