5 April 2009 | Fr Patrick Jones explains how the date of Easter is calculated
Fr Patrick Jones, Director, National Centre for Liturgy, answers some frequently asked questions about the dates of Easter
The history of the date of Easter shows several disputes about its calculation. In the second century, we find places observing Easter according to the date of Passover, 14th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, that is, at the first full moon after the spring equinox. Easter could, therefore, fall on a weekday. Most, and very soon, all celebrated Easter on Sunday, following the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection.
There remained differences until the Council of Nicea in 325 gave us our present way of calculation. But different calendars could give different results. Such a difference existed in these islands until the Council of Whitby in 664 brought us into line with Rome!
Q Why is there a different date for the Orthodox Easter?
A The Julian calendar