Always Something to Argue About


…It took the Christian Church centuries to decide when to celebrate Easter and we’re still not all on the same page. The earliest Church simply followed their Jewish brethren and celebrated Easter on Passover, which date is determined by a lunar calendar. Some locations chose to celebrated it on a Sunday, the one during or just after Passover in keeping with the belief that Jesus rose on Sunday. The Council in Nicea in 325 AD issued a formula firmly putting decreeing use of a solar calendar and separating it from Passover. Settled right? Except for that whole Julian/Gregorian calendar thing, differences between definitions of the “paschal full moon,” and various local customs sometimes associated with pagan festivals. The English name “Easter” comes from old German. Does that word, as some claim, derive from Eostre, the Saxon goddess of spring? Seems likely. It seems likely local customs persisted. Romantic languages use names derived from the Latin Pasche. What astonishes me is how much energy—paper, councils, squabbles—churches put into arguing about it.

Here? The world is lurching back to life, daffodils are blooming, Easter services were profoundly moving, and I’m busy writing.

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Caroline Warfield, Author

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