LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Why Was Easter So Early This Year?

I’ve heard several people ask this question. It seems like there is no rhyme or reason on 

why Easter is sometimes in March, and then the next year might be at the end of April. I 

did a little research here, and it turns out that you can blame Pope Gregory the 13th. 

Greg, and a couple of his buddies (Lilius and Clavius), decided the current method 424 

years ago.

Evidently, the aim of the Easter Dating Method is to maintain, for each Easter Sunday, 

the same season of the year and the same relationship to the preceding astronomical full 

moon that occurred at the time of Jesus' resurrection in 30 A.D.  A good goal, but very 

confusing. Maybe we can contact the current pope and suggest that Easter always be 

celebrated on the first Sunday in April.

Until that happens, you'll be glad to know that there are limits. Easter can never be before 

March 22 or after April 25. And it won’t be as early as this year again until the year 2035.

In case you wondered, here are the dates for Easter for the next five years...

 2017 – April 16

 2018 – April 1

 2019 – April 21

 2020 – April 12

 2021 – April 4