Thought for the Week – Easter Moon

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Isn’t great that the date for Easter- the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – is determined by nature, by the cycle of the moon and not by financial or other considerations.

There have been several attempts to settle the date of Easter. In England, The Easter Act 1928 was established fix the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the second Saturday in April. The law was not implemented, although it remains on the UK Statute Law Database. In 1997 the World Council of Churches proposed a reform of the Easter calculation to replace an equation-based method of calculating Easter with direct astronomical observation. The reform was proposed to be implemented in 2001, but was never adopted.

It was at the First Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) that the date of Easter was established as being the first Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, the full moon that occurs on or soonest after the 21st March which is taken to be the Spring equinox – equinox meaning equal day and night – a time of balance between light and darkness.

The date of Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as its position in the calendar. The Easter Vigil mirrors what is happening in the natural world. The paschal moon lights up the sky and shines from evening till morning taking over from the sun, giving us a day when there is no night.

As Christmas is tied to the winter solstice when the light begins to conquer darkness, Easter is tied to the full moon of the spring equinox; the day without night.
The Easter fire and the Paschal candle turn the darkness of night into one endless day at the Easter Vigil. Easter Sunday becomes a day without night, filled with the light of the Risen Lord.
Murroe Website EditorThought for the Week – Easter Moon