Happy Easter 2021 – He is risen. He is risen indeed.

Posted By on April 4, 2021

EasterCrossFor Christians, there’s no more celebrated day than Easter … for without a risen Savior, no other day in Christianity would matter. He is risen indeed! 

BUT … why does the day always change? I mean, we’ve assigned December 25th to celebrate Christmas and most other holidays on our calendar at least fall in the same month? So why does Easter have to move around so much? Like a birthday, etc … there must have been “one” day on the calendar that Christ rose … although it was a Sunday. Hmm?

Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon.

A look at some Jewish and Christian history helps to shine a “little” more light on the subject, but reading a BBC magazine article makes one realize just how politically charged and difficult it was for churches, let alone governments and countries, to come to an agreement on when to celebrate Easter … even if they were all using our relatively modern (1582) Gregorian calendar. It’s no wonder they couldn’t come up with one fixed date.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who still struggles with the March through April wide span of daysthe earliest being March 22nd and the latest being April 25th. That is quite the spread … but why?

It has to do with the moon

The moon’s cycles played an important role in ancient times, which is how the date of the Jewish holiday of Passover was determined. Eventually, Christians decided to observe Easter during the same time as Passover, with early celebrations occurring on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring.

The Paschal Full Moon and Easter

The date of Eastera moveable holiday—coincides with the Paschal Full Moon. However, the Paschal Full Moon may not be the exact same date as the actual astronomical full moon. The date can vary as much as two days from that of the actual full moon, although the two intersect more often than not.

In the earliest days of the Christian church, all believers agreed to celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection (Easter) at the time and season when these events had actually occurred—the time of the Jewish Passover. They also agreed that the Lord’s crucifixion had taken place on a Friday, which coincided with the 14th day of Nisan, the day on which the paschal lamb was slain.

Thus, the original celebrations of Easter by the Christian church were celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the first astronomical full moon after the Vernal (Spring) equinox. Over the course of history, beginning in AD 325 with the Council of Nicea, the Western Church decided to establish a more standardized system for determining the date of Easter.

Ecclesiastical Full Moon Dates

Astronomers were able to approximate the dates of all the full moons in future years for the Western Christian churches, therefore establishing a table of Ecclesiastical Full Moon dates. These dates would determine each of the Holy Days on the Ecclesiastical Calendar.

Though modified slightly from its original form, by 1583 AD the table for determining the Ecclesiastical Full Moon dates was permanently established and has been used ever since to determine the date of Easter.

Consequently, according to the Ecclesiastical tables, the most accurate current definition of the Paschal Full Moon is the first Ecclesiastical Full Moon after March 20 (which happened to be the Vernal Equinox date in 325 AD). So, in Western Christianity, Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the Paschal Full Moon.

The possible dates of the Paschal Full Moon range from March 21 to April 18. As a result, Easter can fall anywhere from March 22 through April 25 in Western Christianity.



Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.