Why Is Greek Orthodox Easter Always After Passover

Easter Mykonos 2009_3349

Easter Eve celebration in Mykonos Greece

For those of you who always wonder why Greek Easter is rarely celebrated at the same time as Catholic Easter, there are two reasons.

#1. THE CALENDAR
The Christian Orthodox Church continues to follow the Julian calendar when calculating the date of Pascha (Easter). The rest of Christianity uses the Gregorian calendar. There is a thirteen-day difference between the two calendars.
Once in a while both Easters are celebrated the same day.  It  will happen in 2017.  After that you will have to wait until 2034.
#2. AN ANCIENT LAW FROM 325 AD
 This law requires that Pascha must take place after the Jewish Passover in order to maintain the Biblical sequence of Christ’s Passion.
Easter Mykonos 2009_3385y

Mykonos Greece Easter Eve celebration.

Easter Eve, is the day after Good Friday.  It is the day before  Easter  and the last day of Holy Week in which Christians prepare for Easter. It commemorates the day that  Jesus Christ’s body lay in the tomb.

THE HOLY FLAME     We gather at the church with our candles on Saturday night before midnight to pray, sing and receive the holy flame to take home. It is sent from The church of Holy Ascension in Israel to all Orthodox churches.  After receiving the flame and passing it to others waiting with candles,  everyone kisses and says Christos Anesti, (Christ has risen).  We carefully drive  with the precious fire to bless our homes. Every entryway is blessed  as we say a prayer and create a smokey cross above each portal.  Even the gas stove receives the flame. The candles are placed upright in glasses of water to extinguish on their own.  Many families then enjoy a traditional meal to begin breaking fast.  For us, we head to bed ready for a fun Sunday party celebration with lots of lamb!

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