To His Holiness the Patriarch Neophyte of Bulgaria
To His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
To His Holiness Pope Francis
Your Holiness! Your All Holiness!
With regards to the documents entitled “The relationship of the Orthodox Church with the rest of Christendom” and “The mission of the Orthodox Church in the modern world” – part of the documents provided for consideration at the Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church, which will be held in Crete from 16 to June 2016 and in particular the texts concerning the “unity of all Christians” and in connection to the forthcoming Ecumenical Council in 2025, we bring to your attention the following proposal:
The Resurrection of Christ, along with the traditional celebration of the Holy Week, to be celebrated annually by all Christians in the week, which includes the date 8 April, since 8 April is the true date of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, proven by science and confirmed in chronological historical publications.
For more than 2,000 years Christians have acclaimed: “Christ has risen!” – “He has risen indeed!”.
Undoubtedly the Resurrection is the greatest treasure of mankind, the greatest celebration of the world. The celebration of the Resurrection unites mankind – in order to achieve this, the celebration has to be held at the same time. We bring forward our proposal inspired by our deep concern for this illuminating Day to be celebrated in unity by all the Christians all over the world.
It is known that Jesus Christ rose from the dead after the Jewish holiday Passover (Pesach). Therefore, the Christian festival is determined according to the Jewish one, which, in turn, is in connection with the Exodus from Egypt. It is also known that at the First Ecumenical Council of 325 it was decided that the Resurrection of Christ be celebrated on the Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox. But if the Orthodox world postpones for one lunar month the celebration of Easter in case it coincides with the Jewish holiday Passover, the Catholics and Protestants do not follow this consideration.
More than twenty-five years ago BBC Radio announced that scientists had found out the exact date of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and that it was 8 April. This fact was also confirmed in several encyclopaedias, one of which is “Chronological Encyclopaedia of the World”, “Elpis” Publishing House, Volume 3/1994, p. 24.
In this connection, let us emphasize:
no one in their life ever celebrates their birth on another date, except on the very date of their birth, regardless of the changes in the calendars. Likewise people cannot commemorate a passing but on the exact date. It is the date that is determining since the days of the week change.
However, due to the considerations which the institutions have adopted, some Christians celebrate Christ’s Resurrection when He, figuratively speaking, is not yet in the tomb, while others go sing resurrection hymns many days after He has left the tomb!
Our Lord Jesus Christ said: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) And what would it be if the entire Christian world in one voice acclaimed: “Christ has Risen!”
The Church as an institution has the right to impose its considerations – dogmatically and canonically justified. But Jesus said, “If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32) Therefore it is essential to continue in His word!
Truth is above any consideration! Truth is above the holiday – it is what obliges us, as a mystic living in the historical reality, to address this supplication, to express our appreciation and make the necessary efforts!
ASSOCIATION “SOCIETY WAY OF THE WISDOM”
Translation: Borislav Zlatkov