Dating for easter
The question thus debated was therefore primarily whether Easter was to be kept on a Sunday, or whether Christians should observe the Holy Day of the Jews, the fourteenth of Nisan, which might occur on any day of the week.Those who kept Easter with the Jews were called Quartodecimans or (observants); but even in the time of Pope Victor this usage hardly extended beyond the churches of Asia Minor. with entire unity of judgment." From this and other indications which cannot be specified here (see, e.g. 325, the Council of Nicaea set the date of Easter as the Sunday following the paschal full moon, which is the full moon that falls on or after the vernal (spring) equinox.The Council of Nicaea decided that Easter must always occur on a Sunday because Sunday was the day on which Christ rose from the dead.
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The first was mainly concerned with the lawfulness of celebrating Easter on a weekday. However it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world to end it at this point, 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. Polycarp, who like the other Asiatics, kept Easter on the fourteenth day of the moon, whatever day of the week that might be, following therein the tradition which he claimed to have derived from St. 150 about this very question, but could not be persuaded by Pope Anicetus to relinquish his Quartodeciman observance.
We read in Eusebius ( V.23): "A question of no small importance arose at that time [i.e. 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 day but the Sunday and that we should observe the close of the paschal fast on that day only." These words of the Father of Church History, followed by some extracts which he makes from the controversial letters of the time, tell us almost all that we know concerning the paschal controversy in its first stage. Irenæus is among the extracts just referred to, and this shows that the diversity of practice regarding Easter had existed at least from the time of Pope Sixtus (c. Nevertheless he was not debarred from communion with the Roman Church, and St.
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It was pagan practices, such as the spring fertility goddess rituals that the Catholic Church “absorbed” and attempted to Christianize, that resulted in Easter's being linked to the vernal equinox and the full moon.