The calculation of Easter

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Posted by murrisk on April 11, 2001 at 18:54:47:

The calculation of when Easter occurs has given rise to several controversies especially in the early years of the church. The Council of Nicea in AD 325 decided that Easter was to be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. While this gave a date for Easter it did not give time for preparation, eg Lent and the liturgical year, so various schemes were devised including a 19 year cycle which apparently is still used today.

When St. Patrick lit the first paschal fire in Ireland in AD 432, on the Hill of Slane, he clearly knew how to calculate Easter. In AD 575, St. Columbanus landed in Brittany with shipload of monks. When he died in AD 615 he and his group had spread celtic monasticism across a huge area of France, Italy and the Alps and had founded over 40 monasteries. There were of course other monks engaged in the same process but Columbanus was extraordinarily successful. Columbanus and his group ,however, did not celebrate Easter according to the calculations made by Rome and did not use any of the calendar systems common to the Mediterranean area. This led to conflict with Rome and the problem was not resolved in the lifetime of Columbanus. At the Synod of Whitby, in AD 664, which was called to settle the issue of Easter in England, between the celtic monks and Rome, the king of Northumbria opted for Rome instead of the celtic monks at Lindisfarne.

In Latin, French etc the name for Easter derives from the Hebraic word Pasch or Passover. In English, the word Easter is derived from Eostre, the name of a pagan Saxon goddess whose spring festival was christianized.

Does anybody know how the date of Easter is calculated today ??

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