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How to determine Easter & Good Friday dates
Paraphrased with the usual meanings of "the preparation" and "Sabbath," this verse would read: He presents the idea in the opposite manner: However it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world to end it at this point, as they observed the practice, which from Apostolic tradition has prevailed to the present time, of terminating the fast on no other day than on that of the Resurrection of our Saviour. Words of theirs are extant, sharply rebuking Victor. This replacement did not occur until later in many countries e. The Roman province of Asia was Quartodeciman, while the Roman and Alexandrian churches continued the fast until the Sunday following the Sunday of Unleavened Bread , wishing to associate Easter with Sunday. In any case it must be admitted that while in the New Testament we have definite mention of the observance of the Sunday, or "Lord's Day", there is no conclusive evidence in the first century or more of the keeping of the Pasch as a festival. First Council of Nicaea This controversy between those who advocated independent computations, and those who wished to continue the custom of relying on the Jewish calendar, was formally resolved by the First Council of Nicaea in , which endorsed changing to an independent computation by the Christian community in order to celebrate in common. Synods and assemblies of bishops were held on this account, and all with one consent through mutual correspondence drew up an ecclesiastical decree that the mystery of the Resurrection of the Lord should be celebrated on no other day but the Sunday and that we should observe the close of the paschal fast on that day only. Aveni, Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico, Austin: The lunar year consists of day and day lunar months, generally alternating, with an embolismic month added periodically to bring the lunar cycle into line with the solar cycle.
Since , when the Catholic Church adopted the Gregorian calendar while the Eastern Orthodox and most Oriental Orthodox Churches retained the Julian calendar , the date on which Easter is celebrated has again differed. Alfred Marshall, The R. An Astronomer's Confirmation New York: LDS sources relative to this debate include: Early Christians in Britain and Ireland also used an year cycle. By the later 3rd century, however, some Christians began to express dissatisfaction with the custom of relying on the Jewish community to determine the date of Easter. Thus Constantine in the letter quoted above protests with horror that the Jews sometimes kept two Paschs in one year, meaning that two Paschs sometimes fell between one equinox and the next. Quartodecimanism seems to have lingered into the 4th century, when Socrates of Constantinople recorded that some Quartodecimans were deprived of their churches by John Chrysostom  and that some were harassed by Nestorius. Pratt, and a response to the rebuttal by the authors, in Brigham Young University Studies 23, no. The Jewish communities in some places, possibly including Antioch, used methods of fixing their month of Nisan that sometimes put the 14th day of Nisan before the spring equinox. For example, Brooke F. As Professor De Morgan long ago clearly recognized, the moon according to which Easter is calculated is not the moon in the heavens nor even the mean moon, i. The dioceses of all Asia , as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should always be observed as the feast of the life-giving pasch [epi tes tou soteriou Pascha heortes], contending that the fast ought to end on that day, whatever day of the week it might happen to be. The emperor himself, writing to the Churches after the Council of Nicaea , exhorts them to adopt its conclusions and says among other things: March 20 has become the important date in recent Easter dating methods. For example, Elder James E. In January , Christian churches again considered the idea of a fixed and unified date of Easter, probably either the second or third Sunday in April. It took a while for the Alexandrian rules to be adopted throughout Christian Europe, however. Among the Oriental Orthodox some churches have changed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar and the date for Easter as for other fixed and moveable feasts is the same as in the Western church. However, a new dispute arose as to the determination of the Sunday itself, since Sundays can occur on any date of the month. But both those who followed the Nisan 14 custom, and those who set Easter to the following Sunday had in common the custom of consulting their Jewish neighbors to learn when the month of Nisan would fall, and setting their festival accordingly. Barnes, Journal of Theological Studies 19, , pp. Today it is generally believed that this feature of the modern Hebrew calendar was not incorporated in the earlier Judean calendar, so that 14 Nisan could have fallen on any day of the week at the time of Christ. Sources The bibliography of this subject is vast, and most ecclesiastical encyclopedias devote more or less space to it. Newton's analysis of the Gospels led him to think there were five not four Passovers after an A. They are supposed e. In any case it must be admitted that while in the New Testament we have definite mention of the observance of the Sunday, or "Lord's Day", there is no conclusive evidence in the first century or more of the keeping of the Pasch as a festival.
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