Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” – John 11:25
Have you ever wondered why Easter Sunday can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25? And why do Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter on a different day than Western churches? These are all good questions with answers that require a bit of explanation. In fact, there are as many misunderstandings about the calculation of Easter dates, as there are reasons for the confusion. What follows is an attempt to clear up at least some of the confusion.
At the heart of the matter lies a very simple explanation. The early church fathers wished to keep the observance of Easter in correlation to the Jewish Passover. Because the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ happened after the Passover, they wanted Easter to always be celebrated subsequent to the Passover. And, since the Jewish holiday calendar is based on solar and lunar cycles, each feast day is movable, with dates shifting from year to year. Now, from here the explanation grows more complicated.
Today in Western Christianity, Easter is always celebrated on Sunday immediately following the Paschal Full Moon date of the year. I had previously, and somewhat erroneously stated that “Easter is always celebrated on a Sunday immediately following the first full moon after the vernal (spring) equinox.” This statement was true prior to 325 A.D., however, over the course of history (beginning in 325 A.D. with the Council of Nicea) the Western Church decided to establish a more standardized system for determining the date of Easter.
In actuality, the date of the Paschal Full Moon is determined from historical tables and has no correspondence to lunar events.
As astronomers were able to approximate the dates of all the full moons in future years, the Western Christian Church used these calculations to establish a table of Ecclesiastical Full Moon dates. These dates would determine the Holy Days on the Ecclesiastical calendar.
Cream of Roasted Tomato Soup, English Cotswold Cheese Espuma
Cream of roasted tomato soup and pumpernickel croutons, topped with an English Cotswold cheese foam.
Soup a L’Oignon Gratinée
French onion soup with toasted crouton and Gruyère cheese.
Rich lobster bisque flavored with brandy and tarragon topped with a fleuron.
Chez François Salad
Chez François Blackberry & Strawberry Spring Salad
Erie County greens tossed with a champagne vinaigrette dressing, wrapped in an English cucumber topped with seasonal blackberries, strawberries and honey-roasted pecans.
Miso Marinated Chilean Sea Bass Filet, Papaya & Mango Sauce
Seared sea bass filet served over braised baby bok choy & lyonnaise sweet potatoes
topped with a papaya & mango sauce with a hint of jalapenos, garnished with a sweet potato curl.
Bell & Evans Chicken Breast, Louisiana Shrimp, Wild Mushroom Tarragon Cream Sauce
Lightly egg battered free-range chicken breast sautéed served over mousseline potatoes topped with a seasonal wild mushroom & Louisiana shrimp tarragon cream sauce.
Roasted Australian Rack of Lamb, Provençale, Tomato Glace de Viande
Roasted Australian rack of lamb, topped with a tomato tapenade and fine herb crust, served over a stuffed heirloom tomato, with zucchini, eggplant and onion mix topped with a rich lamb glace de viande.
Filet de Boeuf Napoleon, Pekin Duck Confit & Tawny Port Wine Sauce
Filet of aged beef, grilled, served over a ragout of cannellini beans with root vegetables, potato galette, topped with duck confit and a tawny port wine sauce, garnished with spring vegetables.
Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Torte, Black Currant Sauce
A rich chocolate génoise cake filled with a hazelnut chocolate mousse topped with a praline Chantilly cream icing and toasted hazelnuts, black currant sauce.
Vanilla Cheesecake, Strawberry Chutney
A vanilla cheese cake served with a graham cracker crust topped with a Chantilly cream icing, finished with a strawberry sauce.