From the Worldwide Faith News archives

(for wfn) WCC on common celebration of Easter

From "WCC Media" <>
Date Thu, 01 Apr 2004 15:35:00 +0200

		  World Council of Churches 7 News flash
		  Contact: Juan Michel, Media relations officer
		  Office: +41 22 791 6153 - Mobile: +41 79 507 6363 7 

 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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