Saturday, 11 April 2009

Easter

A movable feast commemorating the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. The date was decided at the first Council of Nicaea. The Council, called by Emperor Constantine l in the year 325, was supposed to be a gathering of all 1800 Bishops of the Christian Church. In the end a much smaller number attended - although the exact numbers are unknown, it was reported that between 250 and 318 Bishops actually attended. The Bishops were allowed to bring with them, two priests and three deacons so the actual number of attendees could well have been in excess of 1500.
The agenda of the Council included the formalising of the Creed - still known to this day as the Nicaean Creed. The delicate subject of Easter, or at least it’s date, was also discussed. Formerly, the date of Easter had been linked to the Jewish Passover and so relied on the Jewish calendar. Christians argued that the Jews had the date all wrong and insisted on choosing their own date which was to be after the spring equinox.
After centuries of argument, the date of Easter was finally accepted as being the first Sunday after “Paschal Full Moon“, which is the first moon who’s 14th day is on or after March 21st. A complicated system which has little - if anything - to do with the actual date of the events it is supposed to represent…… But that’s religion for you!
Happy Easter.
The Salvador Dali masterpiece Christ of St John of the Cross.
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