- Special Sections
- Public Notices
“Why is Eastern Orthodox Christian ‘Easter’ this Sunday?” — JBA
This is a great but very complicated question to answer in a 300-word column. Suffice it to say, in some years, Easter does indeed fall on the same Sunday as in Western Christianity.
This year, Easter or Pascha as it is called in the east, is April 15. The service begins at 11:30 a.m.
A trivial point to address is about the word “Pascha.” It means “Passover,” as we believe that the events of Holy Week that culminate in Christ’s resurrection are the final Passover.
Another difference found in the east, is that the “pagan” roots of the word “Easter” never permeated the east. Also, Pascha doesn’t last only the length of Sunday, it lasts the entire next week.
It is the feast of feasts and this is how we celebrate it.
None of this has thus far addressed the question about the date of Pascha.
The simple answer is that the Orthodox Church calculates the date of Pascha using the ancient “Julian” calendar, whereas the west calculates the date using the new Gregorian calendar. One can see how there would be two different dates from year to year.
As we’ve said before, Orthodoxy, on an ontological level, is different from the churches that developed in the west. Fittingly, Pascha is also different.
As always, if anyone is interested in seeing “Easter” in the Eastern Christian Church, the feast is at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
For those who wondered about the strange Easter banner still posted on the overpass, we didn’t leave it up accidentally.
Christ is risen!