Passover and Good Friday coincide this year -2015

Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt to freedom
The Jewish Feast of the first evening of Passover and the Christian celebration of Good Friday will coincide on the same date this year--Friday, April 3

-How the Passover Seder meal will be celebrated by Jews on Good Friday this year
By: Glenn Dallaire
Good Friday and the first evening of Passover 2015--The great religious celebrations of Passover and Easter will be even more special this year from a Christian perspective because the first evening of Passover is set to coincide with the Christian celebration of Good Friday this year. What this essentially means for Christians is that the celebration of the Paschal Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) will be closely aligned with the Jewish Passover feast, very similar to how it actually occurred at the time of Jesus's death on (or around)  the year 33 A.D.

This years near confluence of the celebration of the Passover Seder and the Last Supper
What this means is that this year the Jewish celebration of the Passover Seder--which was the event that was occurring the night that Jesus celebrated the Last Supper--- will occur on the night of Good Friday this year, which is exactly one day later than when Jesus celebrated it on Holy Thursday, that is, the night before his holy death. 

Jewish law does not allow for the first evening of Passover to fall on a Thursday, so it is currently not possible for the two great Feasts to align precisely as they did at the time of Jesus, and so this year's dates are aligned as close as they can get to what actually occurred during Jesus passion and death.

Passover--The blood of a lamb is spread onto a doorpost
What is Passover an how is it celebrated?
Passover, or Pesach is the major Jewish festival that commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, that begins with the recalling of how the Isrealites were instructed by God to kill a lamb and spread its blood on the doorposts of their homes, so that the first born male Jewish children would be "passed over" (hence the name 'Passover'), while the first born male children of the Egyptians were killed by the Angel of God as a punishment for the forced captivity of the Israelites. It always begins on the evening before the 15th day of Nisan (Jewish Calendar) and it is celebrated for 8 days. It is the most significant and most celebrated of all the Jewish holidays, and it begins with the celebration of the Seder meal.

In 2015, Passover begins on the evening of Friday, April 3, 2015 at nightfall, with the first full day of Passover being Saturday April 4th (Nisan 15), and the 8 day celebration ends after nightfall on the evening of Saturday, April 11, 2015. Accordingly, the first Seder 2015 will begin on Friday night (Shabbat), April 3, 2015. 

What is the Passover Seder and how does it relate to Holy Thursday?
The Seder is a festive holiday ritual meal that is always celebrated on the first evening of Passover. It is normally performed in Jewish homes with all generations participating, and it consists of a retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt, as related in the Book of Exodus (Shemot) in the Hebrew Bible. The word Seder literally means "order", and it is called this because the meal itself is done in a certain specific order that signifies the release of the ancient Jews from slavery into freedom.

Catholic tradition holds that on the evening of Holy Thursday, Jesus gathered together with His apostles to celebrate the Seder. However, on this very special night, He willed that the celebration would be much more than a commemoration of the liberation of the Israelites from earthly slavery to freedom, when the blood of lambs was spread onto doorposts so that the first born children of the Jews would be "passed over" (hence the word 'Passover') for it was on this very night that He celebrated the holy sacrifice of the first Mass by instituting the Holy Eucharist, transforming ordinary bread and wine into His most precious Body and Blood, saying to them: "Do this in memory of Me." 

On that first night of Passover HE HIMSELF was the lamb of God whose precious Blood was to be offered to take away the sins of the world, freeing us from the slavery of sin.

Jesus offers Himself as the Passover Lamb, to take away the sins of the world
First night of Passover and the full moon, which this year will also be a "blood moon"
Passover itself is considered by Jews to be the “Holiday of Redemption”, so its alignment this year with Good Friday is thus very appropriate when viewed from a Christian perspective. As stated above, Passover starts every year on the 15th day of Nissan, and since the Hebrew months are based on a lunar (moon) cycle, the first night of Passover when Jews sit down to their Passover Seder is always on the day of the full moon.

This year, much attention is being paid to Passover’s full moon since it will be the third in a series of four “Blood Moons” taking place over the Jewish festivals. This series of four Blood Moons, known as a “tetrad”, falls during the three Jewish festivals of Sukkot, commonly called the feast of Tabernacles, and also one during this upcoming Passover. Looking back in history, the tetrad of Blood Moons has often served as a harbinger of major events in Jewish history, for example n 1967 when Israel won the Six Day War, and also in 1949 when the Israeli War of Independence ended after the founding of the State of Israel the year before.

And so it is that this year we have a special confluence of the two great feasts--that of the first day of Passover and also Good Friday, along with a "blood moon" all on the same day. May God's blessing be upon Christians, Jews and upon all people of good will!
I would just like to add the following interesting info from and email a reader kindly sent to me:
"Not only is this Holy Week special because [the first full day of] Passover Nisan 15 is on Saturday April 4th, as it was when Jesus died, but if you check the Jewish Calendar Jesus died on April 3rd of the year 33, which is also the date of Good Friday this year!  And the last time the Roman calendar, the Jewish calendar and the Western Liturgical coincided was in 1863! "


Anonymous said...

It is interesting that these two major celebrations coincide together this year. Thanks for the info!

Diane Woods said...

Thank you for your wonderful website. The information is outstanding. I find it helps my spiritual life!!! Their seem to be many things "aligning" as of late. The full solar eclipse next week, falls at a particular time between Jewish High Holidays, and blood moons...that they say has not occurred in 2000 years.

Glenn Dallaire said...

A kind reader named Desiree emailed me the following info:
Hi there,

I just read your article about Passover and Good Friday coinciding this year and I wanted to mention that I have found another coincidence, I've been reading 'The Dolores Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ' by Anne Catherine Emmerich and she mentions that it was also a blood moon the night of Passover that Jesus celebrated before his death. I'm pretty sure as I remember reading recently that there was a tetrad of blood moons around 33-34 AD. (Which I'm going to check out again now.) This is all very interesting and almost feels more than purely coincidental as they are surely adding up!

Thanks for your website. I really love reading about all the mystics and I'm so happy that you have introduced me to St Gemma!

God bless!

From Desiree in Australia.

Thanks Desiree for the interesting information!
May God bless you and your loved ones!
-Glenn Dallaire

Glenn Dallaire said...

I just went ahead and looked it up in "The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ" and here is Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich's vision of Holy Thursday night:

"The sky looked dark, gloomy, and threatening—the moon was red, and covered with livid spots; it appeared as if dreading to reach its full, because its Creator was then to die." (Chapter 5, page 144)

So, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich definitely saw the moon as being red on the night of Jesus Passion.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe these are signs from God. Israel state started in 1948 and their were tetrads that coincided with Jewish holidays before thus and nothing big happened. God would not give such signs for the jewish people. They are the ones who betrayed Jesus Christ and are the ones who still defy our Lord. They attack us christians and mock the lord. They walk by our churches and spit on the ground as a sign of hate. They use hollywood the media which they control to mock our lord and his teachings. By their own choice, they are no longer Gods chosen people as they have fulfilled their purpose and betrayed christ. and we should not look at them for signs or guidance. We should not be like the Protestants in America who treat jews as If their kings. Jews can not be saved without accepting and following Jesus Christ. I love jewish people and they deserve and love and respect. but let's not say things that are untrue. Their is no signs with moons concerning Jewish people. God does give signs out but these are not one.

Glenn Dallaire said...

In regards to the comment above, I would say that it would be good to keep in mind that the Isrealites where the chosen people, and the forefathers of the Christian faith.

They are the people of God's covenant, and the Father always keeps His promises.

For, as the Mass reading of today states (First reasing for March 16):
"I create Jerusalem to be a joy
and its people to be a delight;
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and exult in my people."

Finally we should keep in mind that Jesus Himself was a devout and faithful Jew who fulfilled all of the presriptions of the Mosaic law. And the Father was well pleased with Him.

Yes, the Jews as a whole chose to reject Jesus as being the promised Messiah, but many individual Jews believed and accepted Him, including the apostles who, like Jesus, were all originally Jewish, as were the vast majority of the disciples, our forefathers in the Catholic faith.

Yes, the Catholic church is the One Church that Jesus founded upon the Apostles, but I believe also what I stated above should be kept in mind when viewing the Jewish faith from a Christian perspective, for they too, like all of humanity, are people infinitely loved by God.

May God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

hernan Zampar said...

Glen dallaire
According to the chronology of the synoptic gospels Jesus and the apostles celebrated Passover Seder on Thursday night 33 AD. Afterward on Friday Jesus died on the cross apparently on the feast of Passover, although it is no clearly stated in the text.
On the other hand on john's gospel the last supper takes place on Thursday night but the actual Passover Seder is referred to be on Friday night (john18,28)
What to think about this discrepancies? In his book Jesus of Nazareth, Benedict XVI states, giving credit to author John Meier, that the most accurate description of the chronology is the one expressed in the book of john.
Benedict claims that Jesus, knowing that he would not be able to eat the Seder Passover on Friday night decided to had a last supper with his friends the night before, on Thursday night, having this dinner no direct connection with any Jewish festivity.
Now in the "The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ" the Synoptics and John are proved both right. The Passover Seder was on Friday night, the beginning of Nisan 15 and the corresponding sabbath. The slaying of the lambs took place during the day on that Friday (Nisan 14)The last supper was the night before that, Thursday night (the beginning of Friday for the Jews, Nisan 14), but it was celebrated as a Passover Seder by Jesus according an ancient law that allowed a special permission to galileans to slay the lambs on the temple at Jerusalem on Thursday those years in which Passover was to be celebrated on Saturday, from fear that, given the arrival of great numbers of visitors there would be no sufficient time to complete the slaying of the lambs in time for the beginning of the sabbath.
In conclusion, according to this and if your information is right then the sequence this year would be identical to that at the year 33.
What do you think?

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi hernan Zampar,
Thanks so much for your interesting comments.

I myself am no expert in these matters, but I have spent a good deal of time reading what certain biblical scholars and historical researchers have concluded, and what I personally have found absolutely striking is that many researchers and biblical scholars have come to the conclusion that Jesus very likely died on April 3, 33 (note also the number 333, which as you probably know is a numerical representation of each Person of the Holy Trinity, 3 persons in one God= Father 3, Son 3 and Holy Spirit 3, hence 333).

And so if April 3, 33 is in fact the correct one, as many historians and scholars believe, this of course then would make this year's Good Friday on April 3rd all the more significant and noteworthy, since it would align perfectly with BOTH THE EXACT CALENDAR DATE OF JESUS DEATH, AND ALSO THE JEWISH FEAST OF PASSOVER which also occurred on that date in the year 33. It is all really remarkable, to say the least. Then to top it all off there was also a Blood Moon on that date also.

Those interested in this subject really might be very interested to read this incredible piece entitled "Dating the Crucifixion"

In it the author even refers to the Blood Moon and also the solar eclipse on Good Friday afternoon that is referred to in the Gospels---absolutely fascinating for sure!

Thanks again hernan Zampar for your comments.

May God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

Daniel said...

I am celebrating an extra special Easter Sunday this year. For the first time in my life since being born on Easter, the two have coincided. It also is my oldest son's birthday (his birth date was not on Easter) and my best birthday present ever. God willing, I might have two more shots at it but the one this year is exciting with all the coinciding events. I can't believe Easter this year is a fortuitous occurrence. Also, don’t forget that this is the Chinese Year of The Sheep. At the very least, it is a message from God to pay attention to His words and His Son. My birthday has pretty much always been around the Holy Week events and it is what helps to keep me adhered to and grounded to Jesus' word, life and church.

Anonymous said...

Glenn, by pure incident I'm on your website reading about Good Friday, Passover and bloody moon concurring not only on the same day this year but also being parallel to our Lord's actual Passion as it is believed to take place then. It also happens that April 3 is my birthday and for the first time ever in my lifetime falls on Good Friday. I'm so humbled by such a great reminder of what Jesus suffered for me, for us, for all humankind. I'm endlessly grateful to Lord for this grace.

Anonymous said...

I have a question----Was Jesus crucified on the day BEFORE Passover, or the day OF Passover, or the day AFTER Passover?

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Anonymus,
To reply to your question, as you know the Jewish "days" begin at sundown (not at midnight, like we do). Jesus was crucified on the first full DAY of Passover, and this is why He and the apostles celebrated the Seder (Last Supper) the evening before (the first evening of Passover). The is stated in all 3 synoptic Gospels.
Now John's Gospel mentions in passing that Jesus was crucified on "the day of preparation", because he was referring to the Passover as celebrated by the Sadducees, who celebrated it "on the Sabbath" which was Saturday, so their Seder would be on Friday night. The Pharisees and the majority of the Hebrews considered the first full day of Passover to be Friday, and this is why Jesus and His apostles celebrated the Seder on Thursday night. So the short answer is that Jesus died on the Passover as celebrated by the majority of the Israelites.

May God bless you and your loves ones,
Glenn Dallaire

susan DeGuiseppi said...

Jesus died on a Wednesday. He was placed in the tomb and 3 days passed before he rose on Sunday. We only celebrate on a Friday.

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