Monday, March 17, 2008

Holy Week, Easter and St. Paddy's Day

Got your green on for St. Patrick's Day? Well, you missed it! St. Paddy's is over!

Because the saint's feast day falls during Holy Week this year (a week devoted to observing the events of the last days of Christ), the official celebration was on Saturday. Check out this Wikipedia article, which explains the dating exception. Did you know that here in Chicago, they dye the Chicago River green every year on St. Patrick's Day? The article includes a picture--from March 15, 2008!

Don't let this exception rock your world, though--it'll never happen again in your lifetime.

I thought it seemed like Easter was incredibly early this year. I dislike an early Easter for several reasons:

Lent starts too soon after Christmas for me to get into it.
Chance of snow on Palm Sunday, when we do an outdoor processional.
Chance of snow on Easter.
Wearing long sleeves on Easter.
New life=new clothes, by longstanding tradition, and I hate covering up a new Easter dress with a sweater!
No crocuses, tulips, lilies or daffodils up in my garden yet.
No holidays to look forward to in April.
Since Easter has arrived, I think warm weather should too--and I get cranky when cold weather hangs around longer than it should.

But Easter will never be this early again in my lifetime--or yours!

I received this by email and it's accurate according to (with one correction, noted below):

Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.

This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives! And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or above!). And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier!

Here's the facts :

1) The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). (Snopes says the next time will be 2160, then 2228.) The last time it was this early was 1913 (so if you're 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that).

2) The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818.

So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year!

Whew. That's a relief. I'm glad I won't live to see it any earlier.

I just realized I forgot to get assistance uploading a picture of our Palm Sunday processional through the snow drifts. Never again, I hope!

Anybody else just not ready for Holy Week to be here??


Annie said...

You forgot to mention the disadvantage that it's too early to have forsythia to put on the cross. That's one of my favorite Rez traditions (after Easter Vigil). PLEASE be sure to put forsythia on the cross at Light of Christ.

jenny said...

Yes, yes and yes! You have no idea how encouraging it was to read that you, too, are struggling with the early Easter date this year.

Question for you...what are your favorite resources for creating family worship times that embody a hearty liturgy?

Also, can you recommend a book edition that you recommend reading the daily office from? We have an ancient copy of the Book of Common Prayer but it seems like it is very different at times from the ones I link to online (and I'm pretty sure I'm on the right year

Many thanks!