Last week, one of my piano students asked me why we don’t always celebrate Easter on the same date, the same way we celebrate Christmas. As she pointed out, Christmas is always December 25, no matter what day of the week on which that falls, while Easter is always observed on Sunday.
I was happy to have the opportunity to explain that Easter is on Sunday because it was Christ’s resurrection day. Most Christians worship on Sundays rather than Saturdays to remember the day Christ arose. Until that time, everyone observed Saturday (the Sabbath) as their holy day of the week.
Furthermore, according to Wikipedia, the First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the March equinox. Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on 21 March (although the astronomical equinox occurs on 20 March in most years), and the “Full Moon” is not necessarily on the astronomically correct date. The date of Easter therefore varies from 22 March to 25 April inclusive. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian calendar, whose 21 March corresponds, during the 21st century, to 3 April in the Gregorian calendar, and in which therefore the celebration of Easter varies between 4 April and 8 May. Easter is also linked to the Jewish Passover.
I love this time of the year. Bradford pear trees, dogwood, daffodils, jonquils, irises, and many other plants bloom, making me think of new life. The trees begin to turn a lush green, and our lawns show the first signs of needing mowing.
Sometimes, I need to stop and look around me. I need to appreciate that “all things become new” and “old things are passed away.” Spring is my favorite time of year. There is a promise in the season.