Easter Computus

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The question of how to figure the date of Easter has plagued successive generations of Christians, and led to every kind of discontent between the various competing ideologies.

But in all truth the heavens will not open up and unload a deluge of fire upon those who figure the date of Easter according to one formula and not another.

However that shouldn't stop us from appreciating the reality that throughout the history of Christianity certain determinations have been made by which we, as members of Christ, married to His Bride the Church are historically and traditionally bound to follow with due diligence and faith.

Easter, which is known as Qyamta in Aramaic, is the most important feast and pivotal moment in the annual Calendar, from which a large number of other dates are calculated. Knowing the correct date of the Qyamta is therefore imperative, to be able to conduct the ritual services of the Church.

The feast of Qyamta is celebrated on the first Sunday of the lunar month of Nisan, which is associated to the vernal equinox. Christ was crucified on the full moon, which is to say on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan.

The ecclesiastical full moon varies from the astronomical full moon in that it is said to occur exactly fourteen days after the New Moon in any lunar month. The “New Moon” is when the first sliver of moon appears. The actual astronomical ‘full moon’ may occur either before or after this date. This calculation is based on the famous Tablets of Alexandria.

In addition to this it used to be that the Emperor of Rome determined the date based on the sightings of Alexandria, until Saint Sixtus of Rome began doing it. It is because of this that the Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church is also called “Pope” or “pontifex”, which means ‘head of the calendar’.

Date of Easter

The Gregorian Calendar date of Qymta as figured in accordance with the Julian Pascalion. In order to obtain the Julian date, subtract thirteen (13) days from the Gregorian date given below.

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