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Britain looks like getting a fixed date for Easter... but what are the chances of it happening here?

Could we be set for Easter Sunday to happen at the same time of year each year?
Jan 18th 2016, 6:00 AM 23,952 95

shutterstock_71878834 Source: Shutterstock/kaczor58

EASTER IS NOT a date that you can set your watch by.

The paschal celebration currently falls on a different weekend each year, and that has been the case for as long as any of us can remember.

But the Archbishop of Canterbury in England has some ideas about changing all that.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby said on Friday that Anglican leaders would join discussions with other church leaders about fixing the date of the Christian celebration for the same weekend each year.

At present Easter can fall on any Sunday between 22 March and 25 April (it’s set for Sunday 27 March this year in case you’re wondering).

There is in fact a routine behind this – currently Easter Sunday falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox in and around 21 March.

The Archbishop is expecting the fixing of the date to happen “between five and ten years time”.

“I wouldn’t expect it earlier than that not least because most people have probably printed their calendars for the next five years,” Welby said.


But what about here? Could Irish people be set for a fixed date holiday once a year also?

At the very least it would mean off licence owners knowing exactly when the traditional Holy Thursday windfall is scheduled for as Irish patrons feverishly buy up alcohol in preparation for the booze-free zone that is Good Friday.

Well it doesn’t look like there’s any such plans in train for it just yet unfortunately.

“This is not a matter to be decided by the Catholic Church in Ireland,” a spokesman for the Catholic Communications Office told

Rather it falls under the universal authority of Pope Francis.
However this issue was considered in 1963 by Vatican II in the context of not just the position of the Catholic Church, but also mindful of the assent of other Christian Churches which are not in communion with the Holy See.

Oh well.

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Cianan Brennan


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