Sunday, 5 April 2009

One Date for Easter?


Many Christians now believe that there should be only one date for Easter Sunday. At present, East and West work from different calendars. Sometimes the celebrations coincide, but usually, the Orthodox Easter Day comes a week or so after the Western date. This year Orthodox Easter Sunday is April 19th.
How can we hope to come closer together without dealing with this problem? Christian Unity will not be possible unless we can agree on this question. What kind of message does it present to the world in general if the followers of Christ cannot even celebrate the Resurrection together? This has got to be a priority in ecumenical relations and in evangelisation. Some scholars are already working on this problem, but there seems to be a reluctance on both sides to give way. I am sure the Lord would be more pleased with East and West celebrating on the same day than with any insistence on having the correct biblical date.
There is a web site where you can sign a petition (onedate.org), but we should also pray for this to happen.
The picture above is of the Patriarch of Alexandria venerating the tomb (Good Friday). Vassula can be seen in the background. Below is a really fast (5 minutes) introduction to Orthodox Lent and Easter.

video

2 comments:

  1. Dear Fr. Abberton (Father, bless!)

    I entirely agree with you that we should all celebrate the Pascha of our Lord on the same date. The question is, how to do so.

    The difference in calculation of the date of Pascha between Orthodox and Catholics occurs because the Orthodox add into the calculation that Pascha is to take place after the Jewish Pesach. I personally think that the Orthodox have the right handle on things.

    The question comes down to who is going to agree to which way. I doubt that the Orthodox will ever change from the way that they have followed, which as far as they are concerned is Holy Tradition. The only way that I see union is if some wise pope, in the interest of unity, after consulting with His synod of bishops, decides in council to agree with the Orthodox. I have every hope that our current pontiff (God grant His Holiness many years!) has all of the qualifications.

    By the bye, you have a wonderful weblog. May I link to yours?

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  2. Thanks very much for your comments. I agree completely with your views on this. I also believe that the Orthodox are more likely to be correct, especially given the history of the calendar changes.
    Please do link up.
    God bless

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