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Pascha may not be celebrated before April 3, which was March 21, the date of the vernal equinox, at the time of the First Ecumenical Council.
The rule for determining the date of Pascha, therefore, is it falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox (calculated on the Old Calendar as April 3).
However, by exception, Pascha related to the “Passover of the Jews” in a historical and theological way, but our calculation does not depend on when the modern-day Jews celebrate.
The reason why Orthodox and Western Christians celebrate at different times is because we still go by the old Julian calendar in calculating the date of Pascha, even though we go by the new calendar for all the fixed feasts (like Christmas and so on).
Protestants and Roman Catholics use the Gregorian Calendar for everything.
The Old Testament specifies that the Passover/Pascha is to be observed on the 14 th day of the first month (alternately known as Abib or Nisan; see Deuteronomy 16.1-7).
Being a fixed day on the old Hebrew calendar, it could fall on any day of the week.
According to the Gospel of John, Pascha just happened to fall on a Saturday† the year that Jesus was crucified.
It is important to note that Christ died on the Cross at the very hour the paschal lambs were being slaughtered for the Feast; thus Christ is Pascha, our Passover Lamb, sacrificed for us.
Strictly speaking, then, we must distinguish between the Feast of Pascha (on Holy Friday) and the Feast of the Resurrection (on Sunday); the two are inseparable though distinct.
The early Church in the East continued to observe Pascha on the eve of the 14 th of Nisan, according the Jewish Calendar, with the Resurrection on the third day, that is on the 15 th.
That meant that the Resurrection could fall on any day of the week.
In Rome and Alexandria, however, the early Christians always kept the Resurrection on a Sunday. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna in Asia Minor, journeyed to Rome to confer with Pope Anicetus regarding the disagreement over the proper date for the celebration of Pascha.