Whichever way you look at it and whatever the weather does, once Easter comes, then it really is spring!
Of course Easter can be early, and this year it was just about the earliest possible date, or it can be anything up to a month later. Is the date decided at random? No, certainly not – if you look in the Book of Common Prayer, it will tell you that Easter Day is always the first Sunday after the full moon which is on or after 21st March, unless the full moon is actually on a Sunday, in which case Easter Day is the Sunday after. So now you know!
As with Christmas, the early church decided to ‘take over’ the dates of existing pagan festivals, the idea being that if the date was at a time when the people were accustomed to celebrating, it would be much easier to persuade them to celebrate Jesus instead of the previous pagan gods.
As you know, there is a suggestion that the date of Easter should be fixed: I think that would be a pity, as we would lose something of the mystery.
And mystery is at the heart of the Easter story. One would think that such a momentous event would be documented meticulously by the disciples, but there are very few stories in the gospels of Jesus’ appearances to them following the Resurrection. I like to think that the reason for this is in part because nothing was written down until many years later, and the stories about Jesus were told and retold many times before they ended up on parchment.
It is really difficult to describe something so mysterious and amazing consistently. So I think we are left to our own thoughts and interpretations as the Easter season unfolds.
Easter is not just a day, special though that is, nor is it just a week. It is a season of fifty days that lasts right up until Pentecost, which will be in the middle of May this year, but could be in June!
So once again,