- Apr 22, 2013
- Reaction score
- Between Broken Bow and Black Mesa
- Episcopal Church
Alexander Shmemann once hinted that he might favor a southern hemisphere Easter in that hemisphere's Springtime. He wrote (For the Life of the World, 2nd edition, 4th printing, pp 55-56):Regnare said:If it's important for the moon to be really full on the day the tables say it's full, isn't it also important for the moon to be the first full moon after the vernal equinox if your lunar tables say it is? For all the Christians of the Southern Hemisphere, that's the first full moon after the fall equinox, and therefore inaccurate by a full six months.Mockingbird said:More accurate is, by definition, truer to the facts. The moon should look reasonably full on the day your lunar tables say it is full. The Julian tables do not pass this test.Asteriktos said:Does calendrical accuracy have some kind of significance I don't understand, such that the old calendar is vastly inferior to other inaccurate time-tracking methods we currently have available?
He goes on to describe the relationship of Easter to Springtime in terms that suggest that the two are inseparable. I conclude from his argument that the festival should occur as much as possible in the Mediterranean world's Spring season even if it can't be synchronized with Spring in other places.In fact, the understanding of feasts as historical commemorations which emerged little by little after Constantine meant a transformation of their initial meaning and, strange as it may seem, divorced them from their living connection with real time. Thus in Australia today Easter is celebrated in the fall and no one seems to find it odd, because for several centuries the Christian calendar was understood as a system of holy days to be observed within timer, that is, among "profane" days, but without any special relationship to them.