Easter is a moveable feast, which means that it does not occur on the same date every year. Easter can occur as early as March 22 and as late as April 25, depending on when the paschal full moon occurs.
Ecclesiastical history preserves the memory of three distinct phases of the dispute regarding the proper time of observing Easter.
It will add to clearness if we in the first place state what is certain regarding the date and the nature of these three categories. 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 , contending that the fast ought to end on that day, whatever day of the week it might happen to be.
It was pagan practices, such as the spring fertility goddess rituals that the Catholic Church “absorbed” and attempted to Christianize, that resulted in Easter's being linked to the vernal equinox and the full moon.
The only thing that is biblical regarding when Easter is now observed is the fact that Easter is always on a Sunday.
But why is the paschal full moon used to determine the date of Easter? Passover fell on the date of the paschal full moon in the Jewish calendar, and the Last Supper (Holy Thursday) occurred on the Passover.
Therefore, the very first Easter Sunday—the day on which Christ rose from the dead—was the Sunday after Passover.
Stuff a care package or basket with carrots to let them know that “no bunny compares!
” These little carrot boxes are filled with their favorite Easter treats.
The first was mainly concerned with the lawfulness of celebrating Easter on a weekday. 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. Polycarp, who like the other Asiatics, kept Easter on the fourteenth day of the moon, whatever day of the week that might be, following therein the tradition which he claimed to have derived from St. 150 about this very question, but could not be persuaded by Pope Anicetus to relinquish his Quartodeciman observance.
We read in Eusebius ( V.23): "A question of no small importance arose at that time [i.e. 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." These words of the Father of Church History, followed by some extracts which he makes from the controversial letters of the time, tell us almost all that we know concerning the paschal controversy in its first stage. Irenæus is among the extracts just referred to, and this shows that the diversity of practice regarding Easter had existed at least from the time of Pope Sixtus (c. Nevertheless he was not debarred from communion with the Roman Church, and St.
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