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Metropolitan of Volokolamsk Hilarion: The issue of a change of calendar and Paschalia is not on the Russian Church’s agenda

Metropolitan of Volokolamsk Hilarion: The issue of a change of calendar and Paschalia is not on the Russian Church’s agenda
Version for print
4 April 2021 year 13:19

During the time of Great Lent, the representative of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to the World Council of Churches the archbishop of Telmessos Job spoke for a change in the calculation of the date of Easter so that Orthodox Christians would be able to celebrate this holiday at the same time as Western Christians.

Commenting on this declaration in the Church and the World TV programme, the chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate the metropolitan of Volokolamsk Hilarion noted that such proposals had been discussed over a number of decades in various contexts, including at the World Council of Churches: “But here we are dealing with a very simple question: who should change their Paschalia? We, for example, have no intention of changing ours,” said the bishop.

In outlining the pre-history of the issue, metropolitan Hilarion reminded viewers that according to the testimony of early church sources, originally in the Christian Churches there was no single date for the celebration of Easter. At the First Ecumenical Council, which took place in Nicaea in 325, it was laid down that Easter would be celebrated by all Christians on the first Sunday after the first full moon in Spring. “This method of calculating the date of Easter has remained the same to this day in the Orthodox Church,” His Eminence noted.

The chairman of the DECR said emphatically: “There are no internal impulses which would come from within our church people in favour of changing the church calendar. This concerns not only the date of celebrating Easter, but also the adoption of the so-called New Style Gregorian calendar. From time to time voices can be heard in favour of aligning our church calendar with the secular calendar. Once such attempt was made in the Russian Church in the 1920s when Patriarch Tikhon issued a directive on the adoption of the New Style calendar, but two weeks later this directive was annulled for the simple reason that the church people rejected it.”

Thus, said metropolitan Hilarion in summing up, “the issue of a change of calendar is not on the agenda of the Orthodox Church, or at least it’s not on the agenda of the Russian Orthodox Church.”

DECR Communication Service/Patriarchia.ru

Version: Russian, Greek

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