Easter's full moon twist

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Easter's full moon twist

Post by SamCogar on Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:10 am

Something ya always wondered about ..... but were afraid to ask.

The first full moon of spring, however, is usually designated as the Paschal Full Moon or the Paschal Term. Traditionally, Easter is observed on the Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon. So if the Paschal Moon occurs on a Sunday, Easter is the following Sunday.

Following these celestial rules, we find that Easter can fall as early as March 22 and as late as April 25.

Pope Gregory XIII decreed this in 1582 as part of the Gregorian calendar. So according to the current ecclesiastical rules Easter in 2011 is to be celebrated nearly as late as it can come, on April 24.

Interestingly however, these rules also state that the vernal equinox is fixed on March 21, even though at European longitudes from the years 2008 through 2101 the equinox will occur no later than March 20.

Hence, there can sometimes be discrepancies between the ecclesiastical and astronomical versions for dating Easter.

In the year 2038, for instance, the equinox falls on March 20 with a full moon the next day, so astronomically speaking, Easter should fall on March 28 of that year. In reality, however, as mandated by the rules of the Church, Easter in 2038 will be observed as late as it can possibly come, on April 25!


Iffen you are wondering why Pope Gregory XIII decreed this in 1582 ....... it was because they had not yet figured out the necessity to add in a Leap Day every 4 years.


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