Easter Lunar/Celestial Calculations
Every now and then I enjoy a quiet weather pattern since I can turn my literary talents to less controversial yet still interesting tidbits. No worry about snowfall predictions or how roads will be with tonight’s blog. Instead, my focus is on the calculation of Easter Sunrise and Sunset data as I help ministers plan for their holiday services.
Let’s start with the Easter calculation. Easter is about as early as it can be this year. That in itself raises the specter of cold egg hunts next Saturday. And who could forget the snows falling last Easter weekend? The Marshall Invitational Golf Tourney was snowed out after just one round as Easter came in early April. This year, Easter is 10 days earlier!
The Easter calculation comes in 3 easy steps.
Step #1 When does spring begin? March 20th at 05:48 UTC which is 1:48 AM. So Maundy Thursday is first day of spring this year.
Step #2 Find the first full moon after the spring equinox. March 21 at 2:40 in the afternoon. That makes Good Friday night the evening of the full moon.
Step #3 The First Sunday after the full moon that follows the equinox is Easter. March 23.
As for church services, many churches have both Easter Vigil (at sundown Easter Saturday) and Easter Sunrise services to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Using the Charleston WV sundial sunset Easter Saturday night is 7:41 and Sunrise Easter Sunday is 7:25.