From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
(for wfn) WCC on common celebration of Easter
"WCC Media" <Media@wcc-coe.org>
Thu, 01 Apr 2004 15:35:00 +0200
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 01/04/2004 - nf-04-02
Common celebration of Easter a gift, WCC work towards universal date will
In an Easter message to member churches, World Council of Churches (WCC)
general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia expresses his hope that "Christians
throughout the world will join in prayer and celebration" as they
celebrate Easter on the same date this year, an occurrence he considers a
"real gift and blessing".
Though the churches had been involved in ongoing dialogue on this subject,
the fact that the calendars used to calculate the date of Easter are part
of the liturgical traditions of each church has delayed the discussion in
recent years. Kobia "humbly confesses the failure of our efforts" towards
a common celebration, but speaks of the hope and strength found in the
resurrection, renewing the promise that "the WCC will continue to invite
churches to work together" on this issue.
Kobia believes that this year's common date " a coincidence that will
occur five times over the next ten years " "will encourage churches and
Christians to revive and accelerate their efforts towards agreeing for a
permanent common day" and a renewed "commitment to the unity of the Body
of Christ, the Church".
Full text of the general secretary's letter:
More information on WCC work towards a common date and theological
reflections on this topic are available:
For more information contact:
Media Relations Office
tel: (+41 22) 791 64 21 / (+41 22) 791 61 53
The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches, now 342, in
more than 120 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian
traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works
cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the assembly,
which meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally
inaugurated in 1948 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its staff is headed by
general secretary Samuel Kobia from the Methodist church in Kenya.
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