Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lent in Eastern Orthodox Church Begins March 7; Orthodox, Catholics Celebrate Easter on April 24

Lent in the Eastern Orthodox Church begins tomorrow (March 7, 2011), and for the second year in a row, Easter -- the most important feast in the Christian Church -- will be celebrated on the same date (April 24) by both Orthodox and Western churches, according to the Orthodox Church Info blog.

In most years, Eastern and Western Christianity celebrate Easter -- which is a movable feast as opposed to having a fixed date like Christmas -- on different dates.

Fr. George Kevorkian, pastor of St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Mission in the Village of Florida, said, "The difference occurs because the Orthodox Church uses the older Julian calendar -- established in 46 BC -- as opposed to the newer Gregorian calendar, which was established in the 16th century and used by the Western churches."

Kevorkian explained that the difference in calendars causes the dates to sometimes by one week apart, occasionally occur on the same day, and even be as many as five weeks apart.

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