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Easter





"Jesus said unto her I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me,
though he were dead, yet shall he live; And whosoever liveth and
believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
~~John 11:25-26~~

originally a Saxon word (Eostre), denoting a goddess of the Saxons, in honour of whom sacrifices were offered about the time of the Passover. Hence the name came to be given to the festival of the Resurrection of Christ, which occurred at the time of the Passover. In the early English versions this word was frequently used as the translation of the Greek pascha (the Passover). When the Authorized Version (1611) was formed, the word "Passover" was used in all passages in which this word pascha occurred, except in Acts 12:4. In the Revised Version the proper word, "Passover," is always used.

List of Easter Sunday Dates 2000-2099
   23rd April 2000   20th April 2025   10th April 2050    7th April 2075
   15th April 2001    5th April 2026    2nd April 2051   19th April 2076
   31st March 2002   28th March 2027   21st April 2052   11th April 2077
   20th April 2003   16th April 2028    6th April 2053    3rd April 2078
   11th April 2004    1st April 2029   29th March 2054   23rd April 2079
   27th March 2005   21st April 2030   18th April 2055    7th April 2080
   16th April 2006   13th April 2031    2nd April 2056   30th March 2081
    8th April 2007   28th March 2032   22nd April 2057   19th April 2082
   23rd March 2008   17th April 2033   14th April 2058    4th April 2083
   12th April 2009    9th April 2034   30th March 2059   26th March 2084
    4th April 2010   25th March 2035   18th April 2060   15th April 2085
   24th April 2011   13th April 2036   10th April 2061   31st March 2086
    8th April 2012    5th April 2037   26th March 2062   20th April 2087
   31st March 2013   25th April 2038   15th April 2063   11th April 2088
   20th April 2014   10th April 2039    6th April 2064    3rd April 2089
    5th April 2015    1st April 2040   29th March 2065   16th April 2090
   27th March 2016   21st April 2041   11th April 2066    8th April 2091
   16th April 2017    6th April 2042    3rd April 2067   30th March 2092
    1st April 2018   29th March 2043   22nd April 2068   12th April 2093
   21st April 2019   17th April 2044   14th April 2069    4th April 2094
   12th April 2020    9th April 2045   30th March 2070   24th April 2095
    4th April 2021   25th March 2046   19th April 2071   15th April 2096
   17th April 2022   14th April 2047   10th April 2072   31st March 2097
    9th April 2023    5th April 2048   26th March 2073   20th April 2098
   31st March 2024   18th April 2049   15th April 2074   12th April 2099
How is Easter Sunday Date Determined?

Easter Sunday is the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon (PFM) date for the year.   (Paschal is pronounced "PAS-KUL", not "pas-chal").   See Christian Prayer Books for proof of this concise definition.

In June 325 A.D. astronomers approximated astronomical full moon dates for the Christian church, calling them Ecclesiastical Full Moon (EFM) dates.   From 326 A.D. the PFM date has always been the EFM date after March 20 (which was the equinox date in 325 A.D.)

From 1583, each PFM date differs from an Astronomical Full Moon (AFM) date usually by no more than 1 date, and never by more than 3 dates.   (Each AFM is a two-dates event due to world time zones.   Each PFM is a one-date event world-wide).

HISTORY

Easter Sunday is the date of the annual celebration of Christ's resurrection.   The aim of the Easter Dating Method is to maintain, for each Easter Sunday, the same season of the year and the same relationship to the preceding astronomical full moon that occurred at the time of his resurrection in 30 A.D.

This was achieved in 1583 A.D. using skill and common-sense by Pope Gregory the 13th, and his astronomers and mathematicians, predominantly Lilius and Clavius, by introducing their new larger (revised) PFM Gregorian dates table.   This replaced the (original) 326 A.D. "19 PFM dates" table in the Julian calendar.

Easter Sunday, from 326 A.D., is always one of the 35 dates March 22 to April 25.

From 31 A.D. to 325 A.D. Easter Day was celebrated either:
(a) on or just after the first day of the Jewish Passover (no matter on which day of the week that Easter Day occurred), or
(b) on a Sunday close to or on the first Passover Day.
Both of these methods existed continuously throughout this period.

From 326 A.D. to 1582 A.D. Easter Sunday date was based on the Julian calendar in use at that time.   It became defined as the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon date for the year, using a simple "19 PFM dates" table.   Precise information on this subject can be found on pages 415 to 425 of the Explanatory Supplement to the 1961 Astronomical Ephemeris.

The Julian calendar was replaced by the Gregorian calendar in October 1582 to re-align March 20 (and therefore Easter) with the seasons by removing 10 dates October 5 to 14, 1582.   This replacement did not occur until later in many countries e.g. in September 1752 in England. ENGLISH Easter Sunday dates for 1583 to 1752 can be calculated using information near the end of this Easter Dating Method document.

The Gregorian calendar very closely maintains the alignment of seasons and calendar dates by having leap years in only 1 of every 4 century years, namely, those divisible exactly by 400.   One additional February 29 date will need to be removed in about 4140 A.D., therefore Easter calculations will need to use the changed Days of Week of PFM dates when the exact year for this removal is decided.

Despite never-ending references to March 21, this date, unlike March 20, has never had any special significance either to any Easter Dating Method or to any major Astronomical event (e.g. an Equinox).   From 326 A.D., the Easter Sunday Date for any given year is NOT determined by the March Equinox date for that year.

ORTHODOX CHURCHES

Orthodox churches became fully autonomous in 1054 A.D., and celebrate their Easter always on the basis of the Julian calendar and the "19 PFM dates" table.   The Julian calendar date Thursday October 4, 1582 was followed by the Gregorian calendar date Friday October 15, 1582.   The 10 dates October 5 to 14 were removed.

Consequently, their Easter Sunday dates are identical up to 1582, then from 1583 onwards often differ from those of Western churches.

In some years the Orthodox Easter Sunday occurs on the same day as the Western Easter Sunday.   For example, this occurred in 1990 because the Western Easter Sunday date of (Gregorian calendar) April 15, 1990 is the same as the Orthodox Easter Sunday date of (Julian calendar) April 2, 1990.   In most years, Orthodox Easter follows Western Easter by one or more weeks.

To determine the Orthodox Easter Sunday date, it is first necessary to find the Julian Easter Sunday date, then to add the number of days which have been "skipped" in the Gregorian calendar.