Letters to the Editor: Are we celebrating Easter on the correct dates?

April 17th, 2023 8:00 AM

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EDITOR – Having two calendars to work from when trying to calculate Easter results in it being called a ‘moveable feast.’ 

This is because the Church tries to keep the event close to the date of Passover, but not actually on it, as it chooses to celebrate on the closest Sunday to it.

The Celtic Church in Britain and Ireland commemorated the crucifixion on the actual date of Passover on Nisan 14th in the Biblical calendar, rather than tying it to a day of the week. This changed at the Synod of Whitby in 664.

There were two Sabbath rest days during the week of Passover, the regular weekly Sabbath on Saturday, plus the annual Sabbath of the First Day of Unleavened Bread on Nisan 15th. But most people seeing the word ‘Sabbath’ assume it to be a Saturday.

It is counting from the day before the weekly Sabbath, which would be Friday, that gives the well-known Friday to Sunday timeframe. However, John 19:31 describes the Sabbath, before which Jesus had to be taken off the cross, as a ‘high day’. So it was actually the Annual Passover Sabbath, and not the weekly Sabbath that the Bible cites. This can fall on any day of the week.

The Gospels nowhere state Friday, but only the term Preparation Day, which precedes both the weekly and annual Sabbaths when they occur. The first visitors came to the tomb on Sunday morning to discover it to be empty, but no one saw the resurrection taking place. That took place some time before their arrival. All Biblical days start and end at sunset, so Jesus had to be put in the tomb before the onset of the Annual Sabbath at sunset, due to Jewish ritual law.

Jesus said that he would be three days and three nights (72 hours) in the grave, so he would need to rise just before sunset, not at sunrise, 72 hours later. The only point before the first visitors coming that would be at that time would be just before sunset on the weekly Sabbath just before the onset of Sunday, but not actually on Sunday itself. Count back 72 hours and it reveals Wednesday to be the crucifixion day, not Friday, as is so often assumed.

This means that Yeshua (his given name) actually rose on the Sabbath, making him lord of the Sabbath, but not of Sunday at all. All because of conflating two different Sabbaths. 

It does not affect any other details of the story, but will the Church accept this anomaly?

We should not pass over Passover, as ‘Christ is our Passover, therefore let us keep the feast.’

Colin Nevin,


Co Down.


Why don’t we all learn how to speak Spanish?

EDITOR – Why is Spanish not taught widely in Irish second level schools? Almost two million Irish people will visit Spain this year. They will insist on speaking English to all the waiters, hotel staff and service operators they meet. Imagine if all German tourists visiting Ireland insisted on speaking German with all the Irish people they meet! As well as being demeaning to the host nation, Irish visitors to Spain miss out on experiencing the richness of another culture. There is more to Spain than ‘hola’ ‘buenos dias’ and ‘gracias’. Tuyo sinceramente,

Seán Ó Floinn,

Bothar an Sceach Árd,



Is pedestrian crossing in the wrong place?

EDITOR – On a visit to Skibbereen last weekend I was appalled at the obvious lack of observance of rules around the relatively new pedestrian crossing outside the former Baby Hannah’s pub.

I attempted to cross the road to access the shop there, on three occasions over the Easter bank holiday weekend, and on two of those occasions, no traffic stopped.

On the third I had to practically wave and jump about from the sideline to attract the attention of drivers so I could get across in some very heavy traffic.

I am sure the County Council has much more educated staff than I to decide where to put such crossings.

But in my mind, placing one so close to the corner of a busy street is unwise at best, and dangerous at worst.

I fear that much over-used adage: an accident waiting to happen.

Susan Crowe,




Who pays for our water?

EDITOR – Motorists, driving from Bandon to Clonakilty for the last six months were inconvenienced by two series of roadworks on their journey. The construction of this pipeline is to bring a supply of water to Clonakilty, whose development was held up by a lack of water supply. As I sat in my car, watching all those diggers, tractors, dumpers, and assorted other machinery at work, I wondered if they and their drivers were free. After all, as Paul Murphy and other socialist TDs told us, water should be free.

‘Someone else pays!’

Michael Hallissey, 



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