Question:

Is easter based on the moon? Is it the sunday after the first full moon of spring?

Answer:

Modernday Easter is derived from two ancient traditions: one Christian and the other Pagan. The moon is not associated with Easter

More Info:

A full moon is the lunar phase that occurs when the Moon is completely illuminated as seen from the Earth. This occurs when the Moon is in opposition with the Sun (when it is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun; more precisely, when the ecliptic longitudes of the Sun and Moon differ by 180 degrees). This means that the hemisphere of the Moon that is facing the Earth (the near side) is almost fully illuminated by the Sun and appears round (while the far side is almost completely unilluminated).

Lunar eclipses can occur only at full moon, where the moon's orbit allows it to pass through the Earth's shadow. Lunar eclipses do not occur every month because the moon usually passes above or below the Earth's shadow (which is mostly restricted to the ecliptic plane). Lunar eclipses can occur only when the full moon occurs near the two nodes of the orbit, either the ascending or descending node. This causes eclipses to only occur about every 6 months, and often 2 weeks before or after a solar eclipse at new moon at the opposite node.

Easter Christianity

The Catholic Church is fundamentally liturgical and sacramental in its public life of worship.

As explained in greater detail in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its shorter Compendium, the liturgy is something that "the whole Christ", Head and Body, celebrates — Christ, the one High Priest, together with his Body, the Church in heaven and on earth. Involved in the heavenly liturgy are the angels and the saints of the Old Covenant and the New, in particular Mary, the Mother of God, the Apostles, the Martyrs and "a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues" (Revelation 7:9). The Church on earth, "a royal priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9), celebrates the liturgy in union with these: the baptized offering themselves as a spiritual sacrifice, the ordained ministers celebrating at the service of all the members of the Church in accordance with the order received, and bishops and priests acting in the person of Christ.

Moon

Holy Week (Latin: Hebdomas Sancta or Hebdomas Maior, "Greater Week"; Greek: Ἁγία καὶ Μεγάλη Ἑβδομάς, Hagia kai Megale Hebdomas) in Christianity is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter. It includes the religious holidays of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. It does not include Easter Sunday.

In Eastern Orthodox tradition, Holy Week starts on Lazarus Saturday, the day before Palm Sunday. (Easter Sunday, for context, is the first day of the new season of the Great Fifty Days, or Eastertide, there being fifty days from Easter Sunday through Pentecost Sunday.) It is followed by Easter Week in the Liturgical year.

Calendars Sunday

Notionally, the paschal full moon refers to the ecclesiastical full moon of the northern spring used in the determination of the date of Easter. The name "paschal" is derived from "Pascha", a transliteration of the Greek word, which is itself a transliteration of the Hebrew pesach, both words meaning Passover. The date of Easter is determined as the first Sunday after the paschal full moon. This "full moon" does not currently correspond directly to any astronomical event, but is instead the 14th day of a lunar month, determined from tables. It may differ from the date of the actual full moon by up to two days. The use of tables instead of actual observations of the full moon is useful and necessary since the full moon may occur on different dates depending where one is in the world.

The calculations to determine the date of the paschal full moon are somewhat complex, but can be described briefly as follows:

Easter Triduum, Holy Triduum, Paschal Triduum, or The Three Days, is the period of three days that begins with the liturgy on the evening of Maundy Thursday (the vigil of Good Friday) and ends with evening prayer on Easter Sunday, the three-day period therefore from the evening of Maundy Thursday (excluding most of Thursday) to the evening of Resurrection Sunday. It recalls the passion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, as portrayed in the canonical Gospels.

Since the 1955 reform by Pope Pius XII, the Easter Triduum, including as it does Easter Sunday, has been more clearly distinguished as a separate liturgical period. Previously, all these celebrations were advanced by more than twelve hours. The Mass of the Lord's Supper and the Easter Vigil were celebrated in the morning of Thursday and Saturday respectively, and Holy Week and Lent were seen as ending only on the approach of Easter Sunday.

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