Easter in New York is Considered 'Controversial' After NY Archdiocese Shares How Easter Coincides With Passover

Bridget Mulroy

Easter in New York is Considered 'Controversial' After NY Archdiocese Shares How Easter Coincides With PassoverPhoto by(@ricardoreitmeyer/iStock)

The Archdiocese of New York announced in ‘The Good Newsroom’ how the date for Easter is determined, and it’s being deemed controversial despite years of the tradition.

What is the Paschal Full Moon, and why does Easter always fall around the same time of year as Passover – a holiday celebrated by Jewish people?

The Paschal Full Moon is the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. It usually occurs in March, and sometimes has occurred in April. Another term for the full moon at this time of year is the ‘Egg Moon.’

In Judaism, Passover is culturally observed on the first full moon of the month of Nisan or the first month of the Jewish ecclesiastical year.

Anyone who celebrates Easter knows the holiday never falls on the same date each year. It always coincides with the Paschal Full Moon, however, the Paschal Full Moon won’t always be on the same days as the astronomical full moon. The two moons will usually intersect, but the misalignment can sometimes be as much as two days off!

As the story goes, Christ was crucified during the time of Passover. So, when the bible was first written, all believers agreed on celebrating Christ’s death and resurrection (Easter Day) at the same time. It’s also noted that the crucifixion occurred on a Friday because it coincided with the 14th day in the month of Nisan.

Since the crucifixion fell on a Friday, the Christian church has celebrated Easter Sunday on the Sunday following the first astronomical full moon after the Spring Equinox, ever since. Eventually, a more standardized system for determining the date to celebrate the holiday was established in 325 AD by the Council of Nicea and the Western Church.

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