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Jon Magoulias* – As Greek-Orthodox Christians prepare to celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 12th, we would like to shed some light on the reasons why the Orthodox Christian Church celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ later than the Catholic one.While the issue is somewhat complicated, it may be summarized in the two factors at work that cause this conflict in dates: 1) The issue of the calendar; and 2) the adherence by the Orthodox to the early practices of the Christian Church.While this year Catholic Easter is today the Orthodox Church will celebrate it next Sunday, April 12, 2015 (in 2016 Orthodox Easter is on May 1st).Occasionally we do celebrate Pascha on the same day. The two dates coincide when the full moon following the equinox comes so late that it counts as the first full moon after 21 March in the Julian calendar as well as the Gregorian. Error Banner.fade_out.modal_overlay.modal_overlay .modal_wrapper.modal_overlay [email protected](max-width:630px)@media(max-width:630px).modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:before.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:before.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:before.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:hover:before. Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_input. Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_spinner. In observance of the Great Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ, the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America will be closed on Friday, December 22, 2017.
However, in modern times, the Western Church has rejected the part of the Nicene formula that requires that Pascha “always follow the Jewish Passover.” Western theologians (and, unfortunately, a few misguided Orthodox Theologians as well) now claim that this provision was never a part of the council’s intention, saying that it is not necessary for Pascha to follow the Jewish Passover.The result being that today we celebrate most feast days, like Christmas, Epiphany and the rest, at the same time as Western Christians and only Pascha and the feast days that are connected with it like Pentecost and the Ascension, are dated according to the Julian calendar and celebrated on different dates.For Orthodox, it is important to maintain the teachings and traditions of the Church intact and pure. In order to ensure that there was no confusion as to when the vernal equinox occurred the date of the vernal equinox was set to be March 21 (April 3 on the Julian Calendar).This formula was universally accepted by all of Christianity, ensuring that Pascha was celebrated on the same day throughout the world.