Orthodox Christian Pascha
How the Date is Set and Why It is Set Differently
from the Roman Catholic Church and its Derivatives

At this time of the year, whenever the dates of Easter (or Pascha as the term is correctly applied) is not set to coincide, the question arises why the Holy Orthodox Church sets a date apart from that of the Papal influenced churches and its Protestant derivatives.

Every year that this question arises, we give the same answer. The Holy Orthodox Church observes Holy Pascha in accordance with the testimony contained in the Gospels and in accordance with the Paschal tradition and practice followed throughout the centuries.

There exists two sources, Biblical and Holy Oral Tradition, that provide irrefutable evidence that our Lord and Saviour had risen after the Jewish Passover. (We are of a very stong belief that Judaism and Christianity are closely related). The first Ecumenical Council of Nicea, assembled in 325 A.D., and its Holy proceedings under the Guidance of the Holy Spirit, are witnesses to this Holy Tradition. The canon states that: Christians all over the world must observe Pascha together and it must be observed following the Jewish Passover.

There are two conditions which must be resolved for the proper determination of the date of Holy Pascha. (1) The Jewish Pascha, symbolically prepared the way for the new Spotless Paschal Lamb. (2) The Jewish Pascha begins with the full moon of the 14th of the month of Nissan, that is, the Spring Vernal Equinox. The two conditions set by Nicea are as follows:

  1. According to the canons, the Christian Pascha must occur on the first Sunday after the full moon of the Vernal Equinox.
  2. Provided that the Jewish Passover had been observed.

Therefore, the Christian Easter, according to the Fathers of the first Ecumenical Council of Nicea, must always be observed following the Jewish Passover.


Read about the Meaning of Pascha - A short description of Holy Week
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Compute the date of Pascha in the Julian Calendar