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Ecumenical Patriarch rues lack of common date for celebration of Easter

April 03, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor among the Orthodox churches, lamented the lack of common date for the celebration of Easter.

Easter fell this year on March 31 on the Gregorian calendar, and falls on May 5 on the Julian calendar.

“We extend a heartfelt greeting of love to all Christians around the world who celebrate Holy Easter today,” the Ecumenical Patriarch said on March 31. “We beseech the Lord of Glory that the forthcoming Easter celebration next year [April 20 on both calendars] will not merely be a fortuitous occurrence, but rather the beginning of a unified date for its observance by both Eastern and Western Christianity.”

“This aspiration is particularly significant in light of the upcoming 1700th anniversary in 2025, marking the convening of the First Ecumenical Synod in Nicaea,” he continued. “Among its pivotal discussions was the matter of establishing a common timeframe for the Easter festivities. We are optimistic, as there is goodwill and willingness on both sides. Because, indeed, it is a scandal to celebrate separately the unique event of the one Resurrection of the One Lord!”

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