Pat Shingleton: "The Passover Moon, The Easter Egg..."
Passover begins at sunset this evening - 7:23 P.M. The official “full” moon will be recorded Saturday evening. Astronomers determine a full moon by calculating the percentage of illumination as tonight’s full moon will have 98.6% illumination. One school of thought suggests "light" was needed for the Israelites to leave Egypt, in darkness, and continue their journey out of bondage. Guiding them was a full moon, referred to as the Passover Moon. Easter is calculated as the first Sunday after the paschal full moon or after the vernal equinox which began on March 20th. Moon phase is a time-tested component when Easter occurs during the Liturgical year. Lent began 44 days ago and Easter can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25. Also of interest, Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches originated the Easter tradition of coloring hard boiled eggs. This tradition represents eggs that are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ, shed on the Cross and the hard shell of the egg symbolized the sealed Tomb of Christ. The cracking of the hard egg symbolizes Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Our Easter egg hunts in Western Pennsylvania were held regardless of the weather. It wasn’t unusual to find a colored egg plugged in a pocket of mud. A review of our picture albums and scrapbooks showed my Great-Aunt, Catherine, who shared holidays with us, sitting next to the dining room window with snow drifts outside on Easter Sunday. Those snow drifts held the Easter eggs that we later found after the spring thaw.