Friday, 21 March 2008
Posted by Neugier

For those who may be curious, we are currently on the road and will be headed homeward first of next week. May you each have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Do you know why the date for Easter is different each year?

The gospels tell us that Christ's death and resurrection took place during Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the sacred commemoration of Israel's deliverance from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12:1-17). Passover is a festival that always falls on the evening of the fourteenth day of the Hebrew month of Nisan. The Feast of Unleavened Bread follows immediately on 15 Nisan and lasts seven days. Although Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are separate festivals, they have usually been considered to be a single multi-day observance. Therefore, the gospel of John refers to Passover as the "Day of Preparation" and the Feast of Unleavened Bread as a "High Day Sabbath" (John 19:31). The ancient Hebrew calendar is based on twelve lunar months, which is a total of approximately 354 days -- 11 days short of the full cycle of the seasons. Passover must fall in the spring because that is the time of year that lambs are mature enough to slaughter for the feast (Exodus 12:5). To keep the month of Nisan in the spring, a 13th month is added to the Hebrew calendar every three years or so. The result is that Passover always begins in the March/April timeframe but on a different day each year. Since the date of Passover is moveable, the date of Easter, which was originally based on Passover, is also moveable.

Prayer to the Resurrected Christ who Saves Us
O Jesus, King,
receive my supplication,
and consider my supplication,
as a pledge to You.
For you, O living King,
have gone forth and gone up,
out of Hell,
as Conqueror.

Woe to those who have rejected you;
For, to evil spirits and demons,
You are sorrow,
to Satan and to Death,
You are pain,
To Sin and Hell,
You are mourning.

Yet, joy has come today,
for those who are born anew.
On this great day therefore,
We give great glory to You,
who died and is now alive,
that to all you may give
life and resurrection!

Adapted by David Bennett from Nisibene Hymn 36:17,18, by St. Ephrem the Syrian