Saturday, March 23, 2019
No other issue in the Church has been as contentious as the date of Easter. It was one of the main reasons for the Great Schism of the 11 century, when the Church in the East (Orthodox) and the Church in the West (Latin) went their separate ways.

A few years ago there was a proposal to 'secularize' the issue, and to plump for a fixed date for Easter, but that has been dropped for the time being. Looking at my copy of Common Worship, there is, on page 17, a run-down of dates for Easter (and other variable dates, all of which are governed by the date for Easter), from 2001 to 2030, and here I read that the earliest date for Easter is 23 March (this occurred back in 2008) and the latest is 24 April (which occurred in 2011). You have to turn to the early pages of the Book of Common Prayer to view the Byzantine set of calculations to do with the phases of the moon, which are intended to help us arrive at the 'golden numbers', and hence at the date for Easter.

I'm sure the Risen Lord would be impatient with such goings-on, but then the Church is made up of fallible human beings, who try to fathom the divine will.
Whatever the date in any given year (this year on 21 April) on which it falls, Easter is the 'festival offestivals', to be celebrated with great joy and rejoicing.

Stephen

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