It was and remains “a movable feast.” That is to say that Easter is not like Christmas in that it doesn’t happen on a specific fixed date as Christmas does or All Saint’s Day.
Easter is that major Christian holiday that is set, not by the calendar of St. Gregory, but rather by the movement of the stars and the planets in the heavens.
When is it? Well, Easter is a day we celebrate on the first day of the week (Sunday) after the 14th day of the first full moon of Spring. Clear?
“A final Judgment”
It sounds a little pagan to me, but you know the lines blur between celebrations that we mark as Christian that have an earlier root somewhere back in the mists of time. By the way my birthday fell on Easter Sunday April 8th in the year 2007. The next time Easter Sunday will fall on April 8th will be in 2091. I will be 145 on that day. There’s a lesson about the cosmos and eternity in there somewhere.
That’s the end of the details on the date for Easter. You could have looked that up yourself.
I can tell you however that I have always had a problem with the teaching of the whole Easter “story” to my children; at least the timing part.
In a piece I wrote a couple of decades ago I explained without apologies how the story of the Crucifixion, as gripping as it is, is not something I shared with my boys for a long time. The scourging at the pillar, the crowning of thorns, being nailed to a cross in a public execution and all the rest is more like a Stephen King horror story than a Bible lesson for children.
That is my opinion and, if there is “A Final Judgment,” as we practicing Christians believe, I can defend the decision I made.
The God I believe in will understand. That exact issue I did raise to a Catholic Archbishop once. It was the late Archbishop Faber MacDonald and he listened and said he understood, but he didn’t go so far as to say that he agreed with me.
Love & Understanding
Now before you start writing angry letters and e-mails I am a Christian gentleman (well, Christian anyway). This is not a discussion about fundamental Christian beliefs. It is rather about timing.
When Jesus was going around doing His “thing” and changing the world forever with a message of peace, He wasn’t sitting down with six-year-old children and frightening them into submission.
His story was of love and understanding, not of fear. In tone and tenor it might have been a tale of chocolate eggs and Spring.