Why the date of Easter was not changed in Ukraine: how Christians of the Eastern and Western rites calculate it

By SSPDailyMar 23, 2024 11:04 AMPersonal Development
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Why the date of Easter was not changed in Ukraine
Why the date of Easter was not changed in Ukraine. Source: visitukraine.today

Archpriest Vitaly Sobko, head of the Information and Publishing Center of the Volyn Diocese of the OCU, explained why Ukrainians will continue to celebrate Easter and all the holidays associated with it without changes. SSPDaily tells about it.

It turns out that the difference arose because Christians of the Eastern and Western rites use different methods of calculation and different calendars for this purpose.

Why Christians celebrate Easter on different days

Father Vitaliy said that in general terms, the principle of calculating the date of Easter is the same. Both Christians of the Eastern and Western rites calculate when to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ by certain indicators, including the solar spring equinox, the lunar calendar (the first full moon of spring), and it must be Sunday after the celebration of Passover (Easter) among the Jews.

The situation with the calculation of the date of Easter was greatly complicated by the calendar reform carried out by the Roman Catholic Church in the sixteenth century. It aimed to introduce a new way of calculating Easter holidays.

Christians of the Eastern rite (OCU and UGCC) in Ukraine are guided by the New Julian calendar (Julian until September 1, 2023), calculating the equinoxes according to it. This was approved by the First Ecumenical Council. Christians of the Western rite (Roman Catholics) use the Gregorian calendar. That is why these differences arose.

How to calculate the date of Easter: why the days do not match

One of the important rules for calculating the date of Easter is that it must be the Sunday after the full spring moon. Therefore, according to the Julian and New Julian calendars, Easter can fall between March 22 and April 25 in the old style (i.e., from April 4 to May 8), and the difference between the dates of Easter in the Eastern and Western traditions is due to the difference in the dates of church months and the difference between solar calendars, which is 13 days.

According to the Gregorian calendar, Easter can fall a week earlier (45%), in 4% of cases the difference can be 4 weeks, and in 20% - five weeks. The dates may also coincide (30%). But there is no difference of 2-3 weeks.

Is a single date for Easter possible?

Father Vitaliy also told us whether it is possible to agree on a common date for the celebration in the near future. He answered that the first Council of Nicaea was held in 325 and that an important date is approaching, the anniversary (2025), so this issue can be resolved. However, it is important that the tradition of calculating the Resurrection of Christ does not suffer.

Therefore, it is necessary to look for a "golden mean," because both Catholics and Orthodox have their own arguments.

Once again, the father emphasized that Easter is not about a date. The most important thing is the celebration of an important day, a major event in the Christian world. The clergyman explained that the events currently taking place in Ukraine, a full-scale war, are in many ways in tune with spiritual life. After all, every person is fighting against evil inside. And this path is very much in line with the Lenten season before Easter.

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