For example, in 1962 the astronomical full moon occurred on March 21, UT=7h 55m - about six hours after astronomical equinox.

The ecclesiastical full moon, taken from the tables, however, occurred on March 20, before the ecclesiastical equinox on March 21.

Similarly, in 1954 the first ecclesiastical full moon after March 21 fell on Saturday, April 17. The astronomical equinox also occurred on March 21.

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However, a variety of practices remain among the Eastern Churches.

There are three major differences between the ecclesiastical and the astronomical systems.

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Easter is an annual festival observed throughout the Christian world.

In the astronomical case, this full moon occurred after the equinox, but in the ecclesiastical case, it preceded the equinox.

Following the ecclesiastical rules, Easter was not until the Sunday that followed the next ecclesiastical full moon (Wednesday, April 18) making Easter Sunday, April 22.

The full moon involved is not the astronomical Full Moon but an ecclesiastical moon (determined from tables) that keeps, more or less, in step with the astronomical full Moon.

The ecclesiastical rules are: Easter can never occur before March 22 or later than April 25.

Universal adoption of this Gregorian calendar occurred slowly.

By the 1700's, though, most of western Europe had adopted the Gregorian Calendar.

Thus, the civil date of Easter depends upon which tables - Gregorian or pre-Gregorian - are used.