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The ecclesiastical rules are: Easter can never occur before March 22 or later than April 25.

The statement that Easter Day is the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs next after the vernal equinox, is only an approximate statement of the actual ecclesiastical rules.

The full moon involved is not the astronomical Full Moon but an ecclesiastical moon (determined from tables) that keeps, more or less, in step with the astronomical full Moon.

The Western (Roman Catholic and Protestant) Christian churches use the Gregorian tables while many Eastern (Orthodox) Christian churches use older tables based on the Julian Calendar.

Thus, the civil date of Easter depends upon which tables - Gregorian or pre-Gregorian - are used.

By the 1700's, though, most of western Europe had adopted the Gregorian Calendar.

The Eastern Christian churches still determine the Easter dates using the older Julian Calendar method.For dates of Easter and other Christian observances, see the Selected Christian Observances service.The lunar cycles used by the ecclesiastical system are simple to program.In some cases the difference may apply to some parts of the world and not to others because two different dates separated by midnight are always simultaneously in progress on the Earth.For example, in 1962 the astronomical full moon occurred on March 21, UT=7h 55m - about six hours after astronomical equinox.In a congress held in 1923, the Eastern Churches adopted a modified Gregorian Calendar and decided to set the date of Easter according to the astronomical full moon at the meridian of Jerusalem.


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