Date of Easter is to be fixed

      It is the best bit of Easter news I think I’ve ever heard. I am referring to the fact that a permanent date for Easter is going to be set.

The annually-changing date has puzzled people for over two thousand years. And soon the puzzle is going to be solved.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, has announced that Easter Day will soon fall on the same Sunday each year.

He says Anglican Church leaders are working with other Church leaders about a move to fix the date, which will put an end to almost 2,000 years of controversy.

At present, Easter Day falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox around March 21. This means it can fall on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25.

But the Archbishop said he, along with Pope Francis (Roman Catholic), Pope Tawadros II (the Coptic Orthodox Pope), and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I (of the Greek Orthodox Church), are now working towards fixing a common date.

Primates of the worldwide Anglican Church have also agreed to be a part of the decision-making.

The Archbishop said: “We had warned the Government this was coming up. I would expect it to happen between five and 10 years’ time.

“I wouldn’t expect it earlier than that, not least because most people have probably printed their calendars for the next five years.”

He prompted laughter as he added: “Equally, I think the first attempt to do this was in the tenth century.”

Agreement on the issue would bring to an end one of the longest running controversies in the history of Christianity, dating back to the second century.

It will also have wide-ranging implications for schools and universities, the tourism industry, retailers, and sporting fixtures.

Do you know how the date of Easter is currently calculated? And how the confusion arose? The Jewish Passover, which was when Jesus died and rose, is always commemorated at Full Moon.

In the early church there was a controversy over whether to celebrate Christ’s resurrection on that Full Moon (which could occur on any day of the week), or to celebrate it on the Sunday which followed (Sunday being the day of the week that Jesus rose, and the Christian day of worship).

All very exciting !


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