Saturday, April 26, 2008

He is Risen! Today is Orthodox Easter

Today is Easter Sunday in the Orthodox world, including Russia. Of course Western Easter (or Catholic Easter as it's called around here) was celebrated earlier. The difference in the two Easter dates is puzzling because both claim to celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. And this year, the vernal equinox was the 3rd week of March. So the five weeks between the two Easters this year had me quite puzzled until I read that the vernal equinox is defined somewhat differently by the Catholic and Orthodox churches. Or. . . something like that.

Earlier this week, I was yakking about this with dear cousin Joyce and she said something pretty neat. Well, it doesn't really matter, does it? See, she's a farm girl and in my experience, farm girls are somewhat more practical and realistic than the rest of us. Especially me. And she hit the nail on the head there. Because it really does not matter on which date Easter is celebrated. Because for one thing, the term is not even in the Bible, not in the best translations anyway. More importantly, we're meant to celebrate The Resurrection of Christ on every Sunday. And that is exactly what we do.

Across Russia today, our Christian brothers and sisters would have said to each other in greeting, Christ is Risen! And the response, He is Risen, indeed! That one concept, so simple yet so profound, is the most significant truth of all. He is risen, indeed!

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