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Source: (consider it) Thread: Is It True?
fletcher christian

Mutinous Seadog
# 13919

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I heard something on the radio that sounded like it might have been total nonsense, but I'm kind of hoping it might be true. The contents of the short bulletin suggested that the Pope has accepted a fixed date for Easter (of the second Sunday in April) after talks with the Coptic church, in hopes that the church throughout the world will fix the date of Easter and celebrate it on the same day.

I'm sure that old Saint Laserian and the members of the synod of Magh Lene will either smile or smirk in heaven.....if it's true.

*my stupid spell checker keeps changing the word 'of' to 'opt' more frequently than the Irish have changed the date of Easter.

[ 27. October 2015, 13:58: Message edited by: fletcher christian ]

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Stetson
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# 9597

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The latest from wikipedia on a fixed Easter is from June 2015, when Francis I said he wanted to "come to an agreement" with the Copts about the matter. Unless what you heard was as-it-happens news, I would suspect that there hasn't been anything definite since then.

EDIT: That same wiki search didn't turn up anything later than June 2015, at least not on the front page.

[ 27. October 2015, 14:18: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Enoch
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Why would anyone hope such a rumour might be true? It would break the connection between Holy Week, Easter and the full moon. The events in the Garden of Gethsemane would have been either at the full moon, or close enough to it that the Garden would have been in bright moonlight.

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leo
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I like the seeming seredipity of Easter moving around - it challenges the tyrrany of clock time.

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LeRoc

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# 3216

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Sometimes I hear that commerce wants Easter to be on a fixed date, and I think: Go ahead. You can have your bunnies and chocolate on a fixed date, and us Christians will continue celebrating Jesus' resurrection on our moving date.

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Crœsos
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I've never really understood the "difficulties" involved in a holiday that doesn't fall on the same day within the Gregorian calendar every year. It seems like a minimal bother, at best. Of course, you could satisfy both the purists who like the current method of determining Easter with those who insist on it having a fixed numerical date through the expedient of calendar reform. Simply say that the date of Easter is fixed (the first day of the month of Paschember, or whatever) and fill in the rest of the calendar around it. Of course there's the difficulty that the years would no longer have the same number of days in them. (Each year would have either ~355 days or ~383 days in it, depending on whether the lunar cycle required an intercalary month.) Everyone's happy (except those trying to work out schedules in a variable-length year)!

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Oscar the Grouch

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If "commerce" and "industry" win on this, then the next in line will be Christmas. It moves about the week with gay abandon - surely it would be "better" if Christmas was always on a Sunday, with the Monday as a public holiday?

Let's face it - there is less historical justification for Christmas = 25 Dec than there is for the current system for calculating the date of Easter.

But if a secular society wants a fixed Spring break (like it hasn't already got one or two), then by all means let secular society so decide - as long as it isn't called "Easter" and there is built into the legislation the proviso that Christians have the right to take time off to celebrate Good Friday and Easter.

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Oscar the Grouch:
If "commerce" and "industry" win on this, then the next in line will be Christmas. It moves about the week with gay abandon - surely it would be "better" if Christmas was always on a Sunday, with the Monday as a public holiday?

Agh! Please, no!

There are, I have learned, huge cultural differences in the celebration of Christmas not only in different places but also in different church traditions. In American evangelical subculture, when Christmas falls on a Sunday it creates a huge mosh-up of traditions that just doesn't work. In a subculture which doesn't go to church on Christmas Day (usually do for Christmas Eve) and has a whole host of family-based traditions for Christmas Day, it's problematic. otoh, having it on a predictable day-- even if it were Sunday-- would force us to rethink those presuppositions and establish new traditions so it doesn't become this whole hugely fraught problem every 7 years or so.

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fletcher christian

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There hasn't been a whimper about it since in the media here; I suspect I have been dupped!

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Staretz Silouan

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Humble Servant
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my googling turned up only the offer to unify the date with the eastern church, refered to in Wikipedia. Perhaps the suggestion of a fixed date was a mistranslation?
I can imagine the chaos it would cause for the protestant churches if the RCC were to make such a change. Some would embrace the unity of a single date for Easter, others would reject any such popery as unbiblical and stick with the system they've always used.
Closer union with the east could cause a rift in the west.

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Philip Charles

Ship's cutler
# 618

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The Copts (and some other Orthodox) are not good astronomers and can't calculate the date of Easter properly even though they shift it about in a lunar (lunatic) fashion. I guess that the Roman Pope is trying to get the Coptic Pope to do his sums right.

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PaulTH*
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# 320

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I see no reason to have a fixed date for Easter. Like others, I rather like its link to the astronomical calendar. But I think it's important that the world churches should all celebrate Easter on the same day. It's totally absurd to have different Easters east and west. Although the eastern calculation is older, the western one is more astronomically correct and celebrated by far more people. So I see this as an issue on which Orthodox Christianity should give ground. Perhaps the Oriental Orthodox could be persuaded, but I don't see it happening on Mt Athos.

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Humble Servant
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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
It's totally absurd to have different Easters east and west. Although the eastern calculation is older, the western one is more astronomically correct and celebrated by far more people. So I see this as an issue on which Orthodox Christianity should give ground.

See what I mean?
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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Philip Charles:
The Copts (and some other Orthodox) are not good astronomers and can't calculate the date of Easter properly even though they shift it about in a lunar (lunatic) fashion. I guess that the Roman Pope is trying to get the Coptic Pope to do his sums right.

The method for finding easter has to do with very complex lunar and solar calendars, and this is just as true for the blissful, wonderful, intelligent, Christ-loving Pope of Rome as it is for those in the East. There has been a recalibration of the calendar in the west, and by and large a reasonable and good one. But it's still lunacy.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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Easter is supposed to match with Passover. The Jewish calendar does not match the Gregorian. So be it.

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Easter is supposed to match with Passover.

According to whom?

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Easter is supposed to match with Passover.

According to whom?
Well, if you're happy with reading Gospel passages about what Jesus and his disciples were up to and thinking that we're weeks out of whack, that's fine, but it's pretty obvious that's precisely the reason that the date of Easter currently moves. The church didn't adopt a movable date for the hell of it, the church copied it.

[ 31. October 2015, 02:41: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Easter is supposed to match with Passover.

According to whom?
Well, if you're happy with reading Gospel passages about what Jesus and his disciples were up to and thinking that we're weeks out of whack, that's fine, but it's pretty obvious that's precisely the reason that the date of Easter currently moves. The church didn't adopt a movable date for the hell of it, the church copied it.
You didn't answer my question.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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The answer to your question is "The Bible".

Seriously, how do you think the system was developed? Do you think that church leaders decided to use a lunar system on a whim? Do you think that they picked a fixed date for Christmas but a moving one for Easter by flipping a coin?

The reason that Easter is always on a Sunday is the Bible. The reason that Easter is linked to the lunar cycle is also the Bible. Because the Bible links Jesus' death to Passover, and they basically knew how Passover and the Jewish calendar worked.

[ 31. October 2015, 02:58: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

The reason that Easter is always on a Sunday is the Bible. The reason that Easter is linked to the lunar cycle is also the Bible. Because the Bible links Jesus' death to Passover, and they basically knew how Passover and the Jewish calendar worked.

Point of clarification: the Bible says the resurrection happened the Sunday after Passover. It doesn't say Easter-- the day we celebrate the resurrection-- did or should happen the Sunday after Passover.

Personally, I'd be just as happen to pull out the charts and figure out if the Sunday after Passover in 33 AD was the 4th Sunday in March or the 1st Sunday in April or whatever and go with that. But ultimately, whichever system we use is not nearly as important as the fact that we do celebrate Jesus' life, death and resurrection.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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Personally, I'm trying to describe why it is where it is. If 21st century Christians feel like saying that the decision reached by church leaders many centuries ago is no longer desirable, then I suppose they can.

For myself I don't see any reason to remove the link that currently exists, though I suppose some people get put out by how much the date varies. Australian school terms get mucked about by it.

[ 31. October 2015, 05:25: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Mockingbird

Mimus polyglottos navis
# 5818

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Easter is supposed to match with Passover.

According to whom?
If "Passover" is defined as "the first full moon of Spring", then Easter depends on it according to the 3rd- and 4th-century Christian writers who wrote on the question.

If "Passover" is defined as "the Feast of Unleavened Bread according to the Rabbinic Jewish calendar", then Easter is not supposed to depend on it.

quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
I heard something on the radio that sounded like it might have been total nonsense, but I'm kind of hoping it might be true. The contents of the short bulletin suggested that the Pope has accepted a fixed date for Easter (of the second Sunday in April))

As far as I can tell, the pope merely made an offhand remark about how nice it would be to have a common Easter. Somehow it has turned into an ink-blot card, with some saying, "the Pope wants to go back on the Julian computus" and others saying "the Pope wants a fixed Sunday in April."

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Forþon we sealon efestan þas Easterlican þing to asmeagenne and to gehealdanne, þaet we magon cuman to þam Easterlican daege, þe aa byð, mid fullum glaedscipe and wynsumnysse and ecere blisse.

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
The answer to your question is "The Bible".

Seriously, how do you think the system was developed? Do you think that church leaders decided to use a lunar system on a whim? Do you think that they picked a fixed date for Christmas but a moving one for Easter by flipping a coin?

The reason that Easter is always on a Sunday is the Bible. The reason that Easter is linked to the lunar cycle is also the Bible. Because the Bible links Jesus' death to Passover, and they basically knew how Passover and the Jewish calendar worked.

If they wanted Easter to be at the same time as Passover, they could have done that quite easily. Define it as the first day of Passover. Or, alternatively, if they wanted it on a Sunday, they could have defined it as the Sunday that falls during Passover week. But they did not.

I thought the feast of Passover as celebrated by the Jews was a certain day of a certain month on their lunar calendar. Is their lunar calendar defined such that they work hard to make sure the months align so that Passover falls on a certain day after a full moon after the Equinox? If so that's news to me.

quote:
Originally posted by Mockingbird:
If "Passover" is defined as "the first full moon of Spring", then Easter depends on it according to the 3rd- and 4th-century Christian writers who wrote on the question.

It is not my understanding that the Jews so define Passover.

[ 31. October 2015, 13:32: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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leo
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# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
If they wanted Easter to be at the same time as Passover, they could have done that quite easily. Define it as the first day of Passover. Or, alternatively, if they wanted it on a Sunday, they could have defined it as the Sunday that falls during Passover week. But they did not.

Indeed - the Council of Chalecedon was quite adamant that Easter should never coincide with Passover - which suggests that some Christians were keeping Easter as Passover.

[ 31. October 2015, 14:55: Message edited by: leo ]

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Mockingbird

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# 5818

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
If they wanted it on a Sunday, they could have defined it as the Sunday that falls during Passover week. But they did not.

Some Christians in the 3rd-4th centuries did. The system is described in the Didascalia. It is the system deprecated at Nicea. It was deprecated because, at that time, the Jewish elders in many places took the last full moon before the equinox as their Paschal full moon.

quote:
I thought the feast of Passover as celebrated by the Jews was a certain day of a certain month on their lunar calendar.
It is, just as the Paschal full moon (νομικον φασχα) is defined as a certain day of a certain month of our lunar calendar, Easter being the following Sunday.

quote:
Is their lunar calendar defined such that they work hard to make sure the months align so that Passover falls on a certain day after a full moon after the Equinox? If so that's news to me.
Yes and no. The Rabbinic calendar was arguably set up to define its Paschal full moon as the first full moon of the Spring season. In three years out of every nineteen, though, the Rabbinic calendar takes the second full moon. This is because the Rabbinic calendar, like the Julian calendar, has a solar drift. (The Rabbinic calendar's is far smaller than the Julian calendar's though.)

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Mockingbird:
If "Passover" is defined as "the first full moon of Spring", then Easter depends on it according to the 3rd- and 4th-century Christian writers who wrote on the question.

It is not my understanding that the Jews so define Passover.
But the fathers of the 3rd-4th centuries did so define it.

[ 31. October 2015, 17:04: Message edited by: Mockingbird ]

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Forþon we sealon efestan þas Easterlican þing to asmeagenne and to gehealdanne, þaet we magon cuman to þam Easterlican daege, þe aa byð, mid fullum glaedscipe and wynsumnysse and ecere blisse.

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
I thought the feast of Passover as celebrated by the Jews was a certain day of a certain month on their lunar calendar. Is their lunar calendar defined such that they work hard to make sure the months align so that Passover falls on a certain day after a full moon after the Equinox? If so that's news to me.

Passover starts on 15 Nisan. In the Jewish calendar each month starts on the new moon, so the 15th day is a full moon. The month of Nisan is defined as starting on the first new moon after the vernal equinox. Very often this means 15 Nisan is the first full moon after the vernal equinox, but not always. For example, if the moon is waxing on the vernal equinox there will be a full moon before the new moon and therefore 15 Nisan will be the second full moon after the vernal equinox.

And yes, the Jewish calendar is defined so that the months stay synced up with the solar year using what is most commonly called the Metonic cycle, where intercalary months are added every so often to make up the difference. In the Jewish calendar this means there are sometimes two months of Adar in a year. (Pragmatically called "Adar I" and "Adar II").

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Elephenor
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# 4026

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Of course in the UK the relevant legislation is already on the books and just awaits a commencement order... Easter Act 1928

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"Man is...a `eucharistic' animal." (Kallistos Ware)

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Mockingbird

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# 5818

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
The month of Nisan is defined as starting on the first new moon after the vernal equinox.

The Samaritan calendar may (or may not) define Nisan in this way, but the Rabbinic calendar does not. In the Rabbinic calendar the first of Nisan is always the 177th day before the following Rosh Hashanah. The first of Nisan so defined can never fall on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, but it can fall well before the Spring equinox. In 2013, for example, 1 Nisan in the Rabbinic calendar corresponded to March 12th, i.e. it went from sunset on March 11th to sunset on March 12th. This was before the equinox.

The full moon of Rabbinic Nisan corresponds to the full moon of Gregorian Iyar in three years out of every 19: These are the 3rd, 11th, and 14th years of the Gregorian Easter cycle, which correspond respectively to the 19th, 8th, and 11th years of the Jewish cycle. The underlying reason is that the Rabbinic calendar's implied solar year is slightly too long, so that its implied equinox is now around 4 to 6 days later than the astronomical one.

quote:
Originally posted by leo:
The Council of Chalcedon was quite adamant that Easter should never coincide with Passover

The Council of Chalcedon did not deal with the Easter question at all. But even if we substitute "NIcea" for "Chalcedon" we still don't get a correct statement. The Council of Nicea stated only two things explicitly about Easter: that all Christians should use the same date, and that the date should be calculated independently of the Jewish computation of Passover. Implicitly it also stated that the festival must never fall before the equinox. So if the word "Passover" in the proposition "that Easter should never coincide with Passover" is defined to mean "the Passover, 14 Nisan, or the first Day of Unleavened Bread, 15 Nisan, according to the Jewish computation", then Nicea stated the complete opposite of this proposition. An Easter computation that depends on the Jewish computation of Passover or Matzoth, even if only to avoid a coincidence of dates, is by definition not independent of the Jewish computation.

The system that eventually prevailed, the Alexandrian, defines a Christian Passover, the fourteenth of Christian Nisan, and a Christian Week of Unleavened Bread, the 15th to the 21st of the Christian Nisan. Since Easter in this system is the Sunday falling within the Christian Week of Unleavened Bread, then of course it never coincides with the Christian Passover. As it happens Easter Sunday can never coincide with (Rabbinic) Jewish 14 Nisan because Jewish 14 Nisan never falls on Sunday. This is a feature of the Jewish computation, not of the Christian. There is no rule in the Christian computation that Easter Sunday can never coincide with the first day of Jewish Unleavened Bread, and this state of affairs occasionally happens, as in 1981. It is mere superstition to hold that such a coincidence was ever forbidden by any council.

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Forþon we sealon efestan þas Easterlican þing to asmeagenne and to gehealdanne, þaet we magon cuman to þam Easterlican daege, þe aa byð, mid fullum glaedscipe and wynsumnysse and ecere blisse.

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Mockingbird

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# 5818

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Here is a passage from the Theodosian Code against the Protopaschites -- those who set Easter to the Sunday in the Jewish week of Unleavened Bread, even when it would cause the festival to fall before the Spring equinox. If someone on-list has a knowledge of Roman law and can suggest improvements in the translation, I'd appreciate it.

quote:
Theodosian Code 16.6.6.1.

Illud etiam, quod a retro principibus dissimulatum est et in iniuriam sacrae legis ab exsecrandis hominibus agitatur et ab his potissimum, qui, novatianorum collegio desertores ac refugae, auctores se quam potiores memoratae sectae haberi contendunt, quibus ex crimine nomen est, cum se protopaschitas appellari desiderent, inultum esse non patimur. Sed si alio die novatiani, quam quo orthodoxorum antistites, praedicandum ac memorabilem saeculis diem paschae duxerint celebrandum, auctores illius conventionis deportatio pariter ac proscriptio subsequatur, contra quos acrior etiam poena fuerat promulganda, si quidem hoc delicto etiam haereticorum vesaniam superent, qui alio tempore quam quo orthodoxi paschae festivitatem observantes alium paene dei filium, non quem colimus venerantur. Dat. XII kal. april. Constantinopoli Lucio v. c. cons. (413 Mar. 21).

Which I think means something like:

quote:

That which is whispered behind the back of the princes, and is done to the injury of sacred law by worthless men -- and by those especially, who [are] deserters and refugees from the congregation of the Novatians, [yet] hold that they are rather to be considered as the authors of the aforementioned sect, [and] who are named after their crime, since they desire to be called protopaschites -- we will not suffer it to be unpunished. If the Novatians, on a day other than that on which the priests of the orthodox do so, order that [the day they set] is the day of Easter to be proclaimed, celebrated, and transmitted to posterity, let deportation and proscription equally follow the authors of this custom. A sterner penalty was to be promulgated against them, [because] if they who, observing the festival of Easter at another time than that on which the orthodox [observe it], by this crime even exceed the madness of the heretics, [then it is as if] they venerate almost another Son of God than him whom we worship. Given at Constantinople on the 12th Kalends of April in the year of Lucius, vir clarissimus, Consul (March 21 413).



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Forþon we sealon efestan þas Easterlican þing to asmeagenne and to gehealdanne, þaet we magon cuman to þam Easterlican daege, þe aa byð, mid fullum glaedscipe and wynsumnysse and ecere blisse.

Posts: 1443 | From: Between Broken Bow and Black Mesa | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mockingbird

Mimus polyglottos navis
# 5818

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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
I heard something on the radio that sounded like it might have been total nonsense, but I'm kind of hoping it might be true. The contents of the short bulletin suggested that the Pope has accepted a fixed date for Easter (of the second Sunday in April) after talks with the Coptic church, in hopes that the church throughout the world will fix the date of Easter and celebrate it on the same day.

The communication between the Coptic and Roman Popes seems real enough, if Agenzia Fides is to be believed:

http://www.fides.org/en/news/35673-AFRICA_EGYPT_Coptic_Patriarch_Tawadros_II_writes_to_Pope_Francis_let_us_unify_the_dates_fo r_the_Easter_celebration#.VkeJYyi25FI

The part about the second Sunday in April is unconfirmed. My suspicion is that, if there is an agreement at all, it is either to use the Gregorian computus (which some Coptic churches, so I have heard, use already) or on the Milankovic computus.

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Forþon we sealon efestan þas Easterlican þing to asmeagenne and to gehealdanne, þaet we magon cuman to þam Easterlican daege, þe aa byð, mid fullum glaedscipe and wynsumnysse and ecere blisse.

Posts: 1443 | From: Between Broken Bow and Black Mesa | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged


 
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