Norwich church celebrates Easter a week late
At least one Norwich church is set to celebrate Easter this weekend, a week later than most other congregations.
The Romanian Orthodox Church in Norwich is celebrating its Holy Week starting with a 12 Gospels Service on April 12 from 5-6.30pm, The Burial of our Lord Service on Good Friday, April 13 from 5-7pm and a Midnight Easter Vigil starting on Saturday April 14.
Services will then finish during Bright Week with a Divine Liturgy and the Blessing of Water on Friday April 20, from 10am to 12 noon.
They are all held at The Parish of Martyr Philothea and Venerable Bede, Colgate, Norwich NR3 1HZ where all services are conducted in Romanian and English.
The date of Easter was established at the first ecumenical council, Nicaea in 325 AD, where it was set as the first Sunday after the full moon, after the spring equinox.
Western Christian traditions now follow this date while the Eastern Orthodox Churches differ because not all of them have yet managed to adopt a new calendar, calculated in more recent times, explained Fr Liviu Barbu, from the Norwich church.
“In order to maintain the unity and communion of all Orthodox Churches, it was decided that until all local Churches are ready for adopting the new calendar, Easter will still be celebrated together by all Orthodox sister Churches on the date that they have always been celebrating it. On this date, every year, the Holy Fire or the Holy Light comes, in a miraculous manner, in Jerusalem in the church of the Holy Sepulchre.
“I believe that the Easter date is not as important as the feast itself. God, in his loving condescending towards humankind bestows his grace whenever we get together, in his name, to celebrate the holy and saving Passion and Resurrection of his Son. However, Easter should be celebrated together by all Christians and I hope that this will soon be achieved,” said Fr Barbu.
“The Easter Vigil is the most beautiful, powerful and emotionally charged service of the year in the Eastern Orthodox Church.”