Holy Week observation for Orthodox Church begins April 14

For the third time this century, Easter will be celebrated on the same by the Orthodox and Western churches

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  • Fr. George Kevorkian, pastor of St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church in the Village of Florida, celebrates Pascha (Easter).

  • Rev. Fr. George Kevorkian, pastor of St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church in the Village of Florida.

FLORIDA — This year, the Orthodox Church and the Western Church Holy Week begins Monday, April 14, and for the third time in this century, Easter, the most important feast in the Christian calendar, will be celebrated on the same date, April 20.

In most years Eastern and Western Christianity celebrate Easter, which is a movable feast as opposed to having a fixed date like Christmas, on different dates.

"This difference occurs," said Rev. Fr. George Kevorkian, pastor of St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church in the Village of Florida, "because the Orthodox Church uses the older Julian calendar, established in 46 BC, as opposed to the newer Gregorian Calendar, established in the 16th Century and used by the Western churches."

Kevorkian explained that the difference in calendars causes the dates to sometimes be one week apart, occasionally occur on the same day, and even be as much as five weeks apart.

"Instead of Easter," said Kevorkian, "we also use the Greek word 'Pascha' which means passover, and reminds us that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ allows us to pass over from death to new life."

In 2011 St. Ignatius, a mission at that time, became the owner of the church, hall and property that formerly housed St. Edward's Catholic Church at 75 North Main St.

St. Ignatius had been renting the facility for the previous four years and during that time experienced a twofold increase in its congregation with many worshipers traveling from nearby Orange County and New Jersey communities.

- Roger Gavan

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