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Moses and the Paschal Liturgy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter reviews the presence of Moses in some early Christian texts (roughly from 300 to 600 AD) on the liturgy of Easter. To the Christians, Easter was, of course, about Christ, but the link with the Jewish Passover was there from the beginning. Anatolius of Laodicea looms large both in the theoretical foundations of Easter observance among the Irish and in the practical applications of these principles to Easter reckoning. In the letter of Columbanus of Bobbio, the law of Moses is given great prominence. In AD 525 and again in 526, Dionysius Exiguus addressed two letters to the papal chancery in Rome proposing the adoption of the Alexandrian system of Easter reckoning. His method of calculation, inherited from the school of Alexandria that in turn had inherited it from the Egyptians, is still current today to determine the date of Easter for Catholics and many other Christian churches.

Keywords: Anatolius of Laodicea; Columbanus of Bobbio; Dionysius Exiguus; Easter liturgy; Jewish Passover; Moses



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