Why do Catholics and Orthodoxes celebrate Easter on different days?

This year Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter on April 27th, while Catholic, Protestant and Neo-protestant Christians celebrated the Ressurection of the Lord on March, 23rd. Where does this disctinction come from and what does God say concerning this event?

The difference is generated by different calendars

The Orthodox church guides itself by Julian calendar, while the Catholic, Protestant and Neo-protestant churches guide themselves by the Gregorian calendar. The author of the portal www.catholica.ro posted an article whith a short and a very good explanation concerning the origins and differences between these two calendars:

The Julian calendar was established by Julius Caesar in 45 B.C., it was divided in 12 equal months. In 1582, the Julian calendar was the base of the Gregorian reformation, that brought in the Gregorian calendar, decreed by Pope Gregory XIII. The Romanian Orthodox Church celebrates all holidays according to the Julian calendar changed in 1923 at Constantinopol. But they celebrate Easter by the Julian unchanged calendar, not to harm the unity in Orthodoxy, because the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, Mount Athos, Russian Church and Serbian Church continue to observe the unchanged Julian calendar.

The difference had existed until the Julian calendar was brought in

Eusiebius of Caesarea lived and activated in the IVth century during the life of Constantine the Great. Eusebius wrote the “Ecclesiastical History”, which is the first trial to systematize the History of Church in written form. In his book he touched the subject of what date we should celebrate Easter, because this was a very discussed subject in those times. So he writes:

For the parishes of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should be observed as the feast of the Saviour’s passover. But it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world to end it at this time, as they observed the practice which, from apostolic tradition, has prevailed to the present time, of terminating the fast on no other day than on that of the resurrection of our Saviour. Synods and assemblies of bishops were held on this account and all, with one consent, through mutual correspondence drew up an ecclesiastical decree, that the mystery of the resurrection of the Lord should be celebrated on no other but the Lord’s day, and that we should observe the close of the paschal fast on this day only. (Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History, Book V, 162)

The difference of the day we celebrate Easter doesn’t affect the reality of the event

As we can see the arguments cited above, the differences concerning the date of celebrating are of human nature and they don’t affect the reality of the Ressurection of our Lord Jesus Christ described very detailed on the pages of the New Testament.

We celebrate the sacrifice and the ressurection of the Lord Jesus Christ on Easter

Every Sunday Christians celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, that is 52 times a year. If we call this day Sunday (The Day of the Lord), then Russian people call it “Voskresenie”, that is Resurrection. At Easter we also celebrate the event when the Lord Jesus sacrificed Himself for the sins of the whole world.

How will you celebrate Easter?

It doesn’t really matter when you celebrate Easter; if you don’t believe in the sacrifice of Jesus and in His ressurection from death, it doesn’t help. Even if you have observed strictly the fast for 40 days, even if you have baked cookies and you have the most beautiful feast meal, even if you call all beggers and poor people from your city to make their hearts glad in this day, even if do any other thing, it doesn’t help you anyhow, unless you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart to enter a covenant with Him and to continue to live according to His Word – Bible. Beware of this word of God:

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” (Epistle of Paul to Romans 10:9–11)(NASB)

Translated by Felicia Djugostran