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Nik wrote:

> Yeah, irregularities give languages character, I think. :-) Of course,
> I also like the lunisolar basis of Easter. A fixed date would be so
> dull.

Earlier this year I read J L Heilbron's "The Sun In The Church", which is
all about the astronomy undertaken by the Catholic Church in order to set
the date of Easter correctly.

I'm neutral about whether the lunisolar basis of Easter is desirable
aesthetically/philosophically, but in the history surrounding it there
are definately both good and bad aspects.

Good: that various advances in astronomy came out of it, and that it
      lead to cathedrals being used as observatories which is a
      wonderful symbol of the connection between worship of God and
      admiration of creation.

Bad:  that for many, many centuries the celebration of Easter on the
      correct date became a dogma. For example Archbishop Theodor of
      Tarsus excommunicated the Scots and Britons for celebrating Easter
      on the wrong day. When you remember that the Bible says "Don't let
      anyone bother you over ... what holy days you observe" (Colossians
      2:16), the tragedy of this attitude becomes apparent.

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