Doubling the Pleasure of Easter [PHIL-OSOPHY]
Do you recall the Double Mint Gum advertisement "Double your pleasure, double your fun, with Double Mint Gum?" That's what the Paleologos family does every Easter.
We rejoice not one, but two Easters; the holiday celebrated by Catholics and all Christian denominations in general, and then the Orthodox Pascha, or Easter.
But why are there two Easters in the first place?
There's a good reason for this. There are two calendars: the Julian and the Gregorian. Once in a blue moon, the two methods of calculating Easter lead to the same date. Those are the only years we have to pay full price for the marshmallow-filled eggs; otherwise, it's common to get 75 percent off those Peeps and chocolate bunnies.
So why does the Orthodox Church use the Julian calendar, not the Gregorian, to calculate when Easter is? The Orthodox Church started nearly 2,000 years ago when Julius Caesar officially implemented the calendar. This means it was the calendar when the church began, though most of the world now uses the Gregorian calendar that replaced the Julian, the Orthodox Church has remained true to custom and continues calculating the date of Easter as it has been since the start.
Another reason for the different dates is that Orthodox Easter must fall after Passover since the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ took place after he entered Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. In the other Christian churches, Easter sometimes precedes Passover by weeks.
So if you're mathematically calculating this, Orthodox Easter is held on the first Sunday that occurs after the first full moon, which follows the vernal equinox, on or after March 21, but always after the Jewish Passover.
In ending, I'd like for you to know that the word resurrection can be defined as having life after death, and Orthodox Christians define that as the greatest gift of all.
The Paleologos entourage embraces everyone in our paschal love.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.