Menu Home

Easter Season

Easter Season

Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. The date of Easter varies from year to year, according to a lunar-calendar dating system. The Easter season extends from the Easter Vigil (Saturday night before Easter) through Pentecost Sunday.

Ascension Thursday, which celebrates the return of Jesus to heaven following his resurrection, is the fortieth day of Easter, but, it may be observed the following Sunday.

 

Principal Themes

The resurrection of Jesus Christ

Color of the Season

Gold or white, except on Pentecost, on which the color is Red.

 

When is Easter?

Computus ( for “computation”) is the calculation of the date of Easter in the Christian calendar. The name has been used for this procedure since the early Middle Ages, as it was one of the most important computations of the age.

In principle, the date of Easter is defined as the Sunday following the Full Moon following vernal equinox (the so-called Paschal Full Moon).

But neither the vernal equinox nor the full moon are determined by astronomical observation. Instead, a theoretical model known as the Ecclesiastical Full Moon is used, and the vernal equinox is taken to be set on 21 March. The model assumes that 19 tropical years have the same duration as 235 synodal months (modern value: 234.997).

The computus is thus the procedure of determining the first Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon that falls on or after 21 March.

Since the Great Schism of the 11th century, there have been differences in calculation in the Western and Eastern Churches, respectively. Eastern Orthodox Christians use an ecclesiastical full moon that occurs four to five days later than the western ecclesiastical full moon. The Roman Catholic Church since 1583 has been using the Gregorian Calendar to calculate the fixed date of 21 March, while Eastern Churches continue to use the Julian Calendar

  • 2012 — 8 April
  • 2013 — 31 March
  • 2014 — 20 April
  • 2015 — 5 April