Easter Dating Fomula–What?

Today is the last day of January, and, oddly, Sunday is the last day of Epiphany. This means that Lent starts next week—Ash Wednesday is six days away. This is very early in the year, and, of course, it means that Easter will be coming soon. The date of Ash Wednesday is connected to the date for Easter and this year Easter is almost as early as it can be.

The history of the dating for Easter is fairly long and complicated. What we are left with are the following ecclesiastical rules:
Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or after the day of the vernal equinox;
· this particular ecclesiastical full moon is the 14th day of a tabular lunation (new moon); and
· the vernal equinox is fixed as March 21.
· resulting in that Easter can never occur before March 22 or later than April 25.

Easter is March 23 this year, the second earliest possible date. But if you can’t remember Easter ever being earlier you are not alone. Easter has never been on March 22 in past 250 years (you can find such important information on the internet).

The point of all this is that Lent starts next week. Our Ash Wednesday service will be held at 7:00 PM. The Diaconate has decided that they will challenge the congregation to all give up something for Lent—the same thing. I’m not going to tell you what it is—I am saving that for the big sermon surprise on February 10. (Don’t worry, it’s not chocolate.)

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