Happy Easter to you! 復活の主日

Springtime is well into its appearance for 2010, the full moon showed last week, and today is Sunday: So it’s Easter! ( * )

The most convenient church for me is the Hatsudai Catholic Church, which is affiliated with the Bishop of Rome (known popularly as the Pope). So I have gone there in recent times. They are Japanese Christians who have built a substantial community in this part of Tokyo, and they always have a wonderful service.

I was brought up in the Roman Catholic tradition, and so I can feel comfortable in the environment, even if the Mass is in the language of the people, which has been the rule since Paul the Sixth in 1970. I don’t really understand everything that is being said, but I do understand everything that is being done.

(In this way, I am perhaps like the vast majority of baptized Roman Catholics of history, once Latin fell out of common usage and before the Mass of Paul Vi.)

The people there take steps to make everyone feel welcome. They seemed to be concerned that I didn’t have a place to sit. But that was okay, because I came there a little bit late. My main concern was not blocking anybody else’s view.

The older I get, the more varied I feel about the mysteries and phenomena of religion. Here is a denomination, and a rather dogmatic one if you take it literally, that exists amid a people who are really Easterners—far Easterners. They have beliefs that are strongly influenced by Buddhism and Shinto. Not Ki-ri-su-to. (Christ). And in fact, when the church established itself here, several hundred years ago, it did not do so without a certain amount of martyrdom and contempt from both governmental authority and the surrounding populace. Like a replay of the story of Pilate and the crowd.

I didn’t take communion, because I respect it enough to feel that I was not coming with a “clean heart”, and I haven’t quite made a confession to a religious figure in now what must amount to a couple decades. I have some concerns about the kind and amount of claims that the Bishop of Rome makes, (and that’s not even considering the recent troubling headlines. He runs a big, and imperfect church.)

But this is not the small community of worshippers along the Yamate Street. They seem to have made a wonderful Christian community among themselves, and I hope they grow and grow.

When you leave the Mass there on Easter, you are given a small gift, a hard-boiled egg, which is a symbol of birth and also one of the circle of life.

I thought about the community that let me in today, as I ate the egg.

One thought on “Happy Easter to you! 復活の主日

  1. The (*) above is to point out that it sometimes might not be Greek Orthodox Easter, because the Orthodox use the Julian calendar and not the Gregorian (Pope Gregory) calendar.

    As it turns out, this year and last, it is also Easter among the Greek Orthodox.

    http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/250704

    I know that the Greek church developed a calendar that is actually more accurate than Pope Gregory’s. The problem is that Earth’s year is 365.2422 days, not 365.25, so the leap year, even when skipped in years like 1900 or 2100, does not fix the calendar. Pope Gregory’s makes 365.2425 days in year, over 400 years. Apparently, the Greeks developed one that is even closer to the 365.2422 days in a year over long periods. But it is not as accurate as the Gregorian calendar at keeping the start of Spring at March 21. Something to do with “mean tropical years”.

    The one the Greeks made (“Revised Julian”) and the Gregorian one match until the year 2799, so there is probably some time to work it out. I still think the Greeks carry an error about the start of Spring from the days of Julius Caesar. Which is why they sometimes have Easter in May . . .

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