Why Does Easter Sunday Change Dates?
Wonder why the date of Easter changes every year? How do we decide when we'll celebrate Easter? Believe it or not, it has to do with the full Moon.
Easter is movable and does not have a fixed date other than being on a Sunday. The Sunday we celebrate Easter is always the first Sunday after the full Moon that occurs on or just after the vernal equinox. Almanac.com states:
For simplicity’s sake, the Church has set a fixed date for the equinox, March 21, though astronomically, the vernal equinox may also occur on the 20th. The paschal full Moon always falls on the 14th day of a lunar month; because ancient calculations (made in a.d. 325) did not take into account certain lunar motions, it may differ slightly from the actual full Moon date.
Easter always falls on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25.
How To Use The Golden Number To Determine The Date Of Easter:
Add 1 to any given year and divide the result by 19, ensuring that you calculate to the nearest whole number; the remainder is the Golden Number. If there is no remainder, the Golden Number is 19.
For example, to calculate the Golden Number for 2018, we take 2018 and add 1, resulting in 2019, then divide it evenly by 19, giving us 106 with a remainder of 5. Therefore, the Golden Number for 2018 is 5, meaning 2018 is the 5th year of the Metonic cycle. [Almanac.com]
WHAT IS EASTER SUNDAY?
Easter is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.
Most Christians refer to the week before Easter as "Holy Week"—it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus.
Easter is the most important holiday on the Christian calendar—and has been regularly observed from the earliest days of the Church.
Easter Sunday celebrates Christ’s resurrection from the dead, following the crucifixion of Jesus. It marks the end of Holy Week, the end of Lent, and the last day of the Easter Triduum (starting from the evening of Maundy Thursday, through Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday), as well as the beginning of the Easter season of the liturgical year. [Wikipedia]
The resurrection represents the triumph of good over evil, sin, death, and the physical body.
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