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Scott P. Richert

How Many Ways Can You Say, "When Is Easter?"

By January 28, 2014

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One of the most common questions that brings people to the About Catholicism site, especially at this time of year, is "When is Easter?"A statue of the risen Christ at Saint Mary Oratory, Rockford, Illinois. (Photo © Scott P. Richert) But as an e-mail from a reader reminded me, different people mean different things when they ask, "When is Easter?"

Not surprisingly, most people mean, "When is Easter this year?" or more specifically, in the case of this year, "When is Easter 2014?" But some are looking for the date of Easter in other years, either in the future or even, surprisingly often, in the past.

But even some of those who do mean "When is Easter 2014?" are looking not for the date of Easter as celebrated by Catholics and Protestants—that is, Easter as calculated according to the Gregorian calendar—but Easter as celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox, calculated according to the Julian calendar.

And some even mean "How is the date of Easter calculated?" They want to know why the date of Easter changes from year to year, and why Catholics and Protestants usually celebrate it on a different date from the Eastern Orthodox.

The good news is that I have resources here on the About Catholicism site to explain each of these questions. And the even better news is that I've consolidated them all in one handy document entitled (appropriately) When Is Easter?

Check it out, and bookmark it for future use. And if there's another thing you might mean by the question "When is Easter?" that I haven't addressed in When Is Easter? simply leave a comment below, and I'll update the document.

(A statue of the risen Christ at Saint Mary Oratory, Rockford, Illinois. Photo © Scott P. Richert)

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Comments
April 16, 2011 at 8:36 am
(1) cassy says:

Your page was very interesting and as well as
very easy to read not that i don’t know how to read
But you made it simple and straight to the
Point i like that. It wasn’t like okay you read it then
You say to yourself do I really understand what I just
Read.

April 12, 2012 at 1:57 am
(2) Paul says:

Question:
Is Easter day the first day of the 50 days of Easter? Then after the 50 days of Easter, the day of pentecost happens as the Acts of the Apostle’s
and early church is formed. Why do we not celebrate the day of pentecost and the great works of our Lord through the Saints of the early church?
Thanks to you and thanks to our Lord…
God Bless…
Brother Paul Lyons
of K of C # 237
66 Columbus Avenue
Waterford, NY 12188
(518) 894-5362

April 12, 2012 at 11:10 am
(3) Scott P. Richert says:

Paul, perhaps I’m not understanding your question. We do celebrate Pentecost on the 50th day of Easter—the seventh Sunday after Easter Sunday.

March 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm
(4) m burns says:

This explanation (non-explanation) about the date of Easter 2013 is the most cryptic gibberish I’ve seen. Maybe we should just skip it this year.

March 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm
(5) Scott P. Richert says:

M Burns, this isn’t an “explanation” about the date of Easter 2013; it’s an attempt to point people to the various answers to the question “When is Easter?”, depending on what they mean by it.

If you are looking for the date of Easter 2013, the document giving the date is linked twice in the post.

January 29, 2014 at 5:02 am
(6) Divina says:

Paul, your question seems not to be clear. As I know the Church celebrates Pentecost. It is true that the celebration is not as intense as Easter, considering that it is just a one day celebration with not other feastor obligation days linked to it, but it celebration still gives the meaning of the day.

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