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Is the date of Christmas the same on the Old and New Calendars?


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#1 Brad D.

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 12:16 PM

Do Orthodox celebrate Christmas on December 25th, also? Is it the same on both the Old and New calendars?

Thanks,
Brad

#2 Olga

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 12:45 PM

Yes, Christmas is celebrated on December 25. However, December 25 for those Orthodox churches which follow the Julian calendar (also known as the "old calendar") falls on January 7 according to the civil calendar. The Julian calendar is, at present, thirteen days behind the civil calendar used today. The Orthodox churches which use the new calendar as their liturgical calendar include the Greek, Antiochian, Alexandrian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and Cypriot churches. Old-calendar churches include those of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Serbia.

So the general rule of thumb is that any feast or saint's day which always falls on a specific date ("fixed feasts") will be celebrated first by the new-calendar churches, then thirteen days later by the old-calendar churches. Movable feasts and periods, such as Easter, Great Lent, the Ascension, and Pentecost, are celebrated at the same time by all Orthodox, as they are not fixed to a specific date on the calendar.

#3 Brad D.

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 01:37 PM

Wow...that is very disharmonic. That is pretty sad, actually...people celebrating these great days separately...

#4 Father David Moser

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 03:20 PM

Wow...that is very disharmonic. That is pretty sad, actually...people celebrating these great days separately...


Yes it is sad and disharmonic, however, it is the reality in which we live at present. Perhaps at some point the Church will return to using the same method of computing which day is which, but until then we use what is given to us. Up until the last century all Orthodox used the "old calendar" but then there was a move by some but not all to revise the calendar to conform with the civil calendar (which is actually the Papal calendar established in, iirc, the 17th century by Pope Gregory - hence the term "Gregorian Calendar").

Before we go off on a new discussion of the calendar issue here, I suggest that you use the "search" capacity of the forum and look through the past discussions of this issue which tend to be quite complete and even technical in some cases and overall objective to get a good perspective on the whole issue.

Fr David

#5 Brad D.

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 03:25 PM

Will do... I hadn't realized the depth of the differences between the two calendars. I thought it was only related to lectionary readings, but I see it is much more than that. Will do some reading.

#6 Paul Cowan

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 08:23 PM

Will do... I hadn't realized the depth of the differences between the two calendars. I thought it was only related to lectionary readings, but I see it is much more than that. Will do some reading.


yes, especially since Santa Claus has an opportunity to come twice if he doesn't see your brightly decorated Christmas tree out by the street. Jurisdiction hopping is only encouraged by the children.

#7 Brad D.

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 08:57 PM

yes, especially since Santa Claus has an opportunity to come twice if he doesn't see your brightly decorated Christmas tree out by the street. Jurisdiction hopping is only encouraged by the children.


lol! too funny

#8 Olga

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 09:16 PM

yes, especially since Santa Claus has an opportunity to come twice if he doesn't see your brightly decorated Christmas tree out by the street. Jurisdiction hopping is only encouraged by the children.


... Santa comes but twice a year also happens for those of us who have grown up in one jurisdiction, and have married someone of another. I not only get to celebrate two Christmases, but also have a choice of two dates for celebrating the date of my patron saint (both of which hubby forgets!) :-D But, in all seriousness, this anomaly as it relates to fixed feasts is minor, compared to the possibility of two Easters, and therefore two Great Lents. Observing two calendar versions would be utterly impossible.

#9 Paul Cowan

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 09:54 PM

My brain would be happy with just one date for all things. Let's just make it October 6. That's my birthday and I can easily remember all other events will just naturally occur on that date. It'll be a very long day indeed, but for one day a year, who needs sleep or food or to sit down? It'll just be one very long grueling church day. who's with me?




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