My positive Easter mood, as conveyed in my last post, was quickly overshadowed by no less a person than the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby.
Archbishop Justin was heard on the news programmes brightly announcing how, after more than a thousand years of Easter being a moveable feast, he had hopes of reaching agreement with the other churches to settle upon a fixed date for Easter. He said he would “love” to see Easter become a fixed date by the time he retires. But he added that it might take up to a decade for that to happen:
“I would expect between five and 10 years’ time – I wouldn’t expect it earlier than that not least because most people have probably printed their calendars for the next five years.”
Mr Welby said that he will consult with other authorities including Pope Francis and the Coptic Pope to negotiate a change to the date. It is very unlikely that any change will be made without the full assent of all those authorities.
Mr Welby did warn however that churches have been attempting since the tenth century to fix the date of the festival, which at the moment is set with reference to the moon and the sun. The legal foundation for changing the date of Easter has been in law since the Easter Act of 1928. But for it to be changed, churches need to assent to it — though the law allows the Government to simply decide to fix the date, authorities have deferred to churches since it was passed.
Since the fourth century, the date of Easter has fallen on the first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the spring equinox. That means that it can vary hugely from year-to-year. In 2017 for example, Easter Sunday will fall on April 16, and in 2018 it will be on April 1.
I wrote about this a year ago, in my post “Why Easter should remain a moveable feast” and there I set out details of some fascinating experiments done by the late Lili Kolisko, following indications given by Rudolf Steiner. These experiments demonstrate clearly that on the true date of Easter, there is an influx of cosmic energies of resurrection to the Earth. When worked with by priests and worshippers in Easter services, these energies have a hugely beneficial influence on all creation, whether the priests and congregations are aware of it or not. It will be yet another triumph for the oppositional forces if this energy is not used on the true Easter day.
Just before Easter, I decided to write to Justin Welby to ask him to re-consider. The reply I got from his correspondence secretary was very worrying:
“Dear Mr Smith – Archbishop Justin has now left London to spend Holy Week and Easter in Canterbury and so I have been asked to write thanking you for your message. The proposal to fix the date of Easter was made by the Coptic Pope Tawadros II, after discussions with Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch. The proposal is at an early stage of discussion between the main Christian denominations. The world-wide Anglican Communion is not leading on this but the Primates of the Communion, meeting in Canterbury recently, were supportive of the idea.”
How sad it is that these princes of the Christian church seem to have no knowledge of the true esoteric meaning and power of Easter. On March 25th, I sat with the farm team at Tablehurst Community Farm to listen to a reading of a passage from Emil Bock’s book, “The Three Years”, which described the real meaning of what was happening on that first Good Friday. It was a sobering thought to discover there was more true feeling and understanding of Easter in that simple gathering than exists among all the primates and popes of the Christian denominations.
Perhaps Archbishop Justin sees himself as a moderniser, in the mould of Tony Blair, bringing new thinking to fusty old institutions. But perhaps, also like Tony Blair, he hasn’t got the first idea of what it is he is tinkering with, and will bring disaster in his wake. Mr Welby would like to retire knowing that he has secured a fixed date for Easter – this would be his legacy. Instead, it will be another triumph for those who hate the spirit, if all the churches celebrate Easter on a day when none of the great Easter cosmic energies of resurrection is coming into the Earth. For anyone who cares about this, it’s time to start writing to these churchmen – we’ve got five years or so to get them to think again.