During the Easter Vigil, the Catholic Church will chant (sing) the traditional Easter Proclamation hymn of the Exsultet.

The Exsultet expresses the Church's belief that this is the same night in which the ancient Jews were liberated from their bondage under the Egyptians.

Hæc nox est,
   in qua primum patres nostros, fílios Israel
   edúctos de Ægypto,
   Mare Rubrum sicco vestígio transíre fecísti.

Hæc ígitur nox est,
   quæ peccatórum ténebras colúmnæ illuminatióne purgávit.

Hæc nox est,
   quæ hódie per univérsum mundum in Christo credéntes,
   a vítiis sæculi et calígine peccatórum segregátos,
   reddit grátiæ, sóciat sanctitáti.

The reading of the Exsultet has brought a question in our Church, that I hope someone can answer.

Has any Church Father(s) ever expressed their belief that the Second Coming of Christ would be on the day of the Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Easter Sunday)?

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    I doubt it, because of Matt. 24:36: " But of that day and hour nobody knoweth, neither the Angels of heaven, but the Father alone."
    – Geremia
    Mar 18 '16 at 21:48
  • Resurrection day, aka Easter, is always on Firstfruits, always after the first day of Unleavened Bread. Firstfruits always fell on Sunday as far as I know, although I think some make it always the second day. Some Christians (only Protestants as far as I know) think Jesus will return on one of the fall festivals.
    – Bit Chaser
    Jun 16 '16 at 4:52
  • I am almost sure that at least two Church Fathers actually mentioned that Easter could be at possible date of Christ's return.
    – Ken Graham
    Mar 6 '18 at 14:56

Interesting Question:

The actual introduction of Easter-Sunday appears to have occurred somewhere around AD 132-135 in Palestine after Emperor Hadrian ruthlessly crushed the Barkokeba revolt.

Virtually all Christian sects today celebrate Easter-Sunday, BUT this was not always the case. In fact, virtually all Christians celebrated the Passover. Although most who profess Christianity now celebrate it, Easter-Sunday was not observed by the second century Christians in Asia Minor. They observed Passover.

In fact Easter Sunday itself was not an annual tradition until made so at the Council of Nicea (325). It was then ruled that Easter Sunday would be celebrated on the Sunday immediately following that full moon which came after the vernal equinox. At the same time the Council decided that the vernal equinox would be March 21 in the Julian calendar (Eusebius, Vit. Const. 3.18).

No where in scripture however does the Bible mention that the Resurrection is to be celebrated as some type of Holiday. Jesus specifically mentioned that Christians were to observe the Passover as He did (Luke 22:14-20).

In fact many argue today that Easter Sunday itself is simply a remembrance of the Passover.

I do not know of any of the Church Fathers believing they could determine the date Christ would return specifically as to coinciding with Easter Sunday itself.

Interesting Question - putting me to a bit of research

  • Thank you for your answer. I am not interested in the fact that the Church Fathers were able to determine that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ would be on Easter Sunday, but if any of the Church Fathers held a pious belief that such a coincidence could happen. I remember (I believe) reading that at lest two of the Church Fathers wrote something about this, but can not trace it down.
    – Ken Graham
    Apr 8 '17 at 17:27
  • @Glenn I feel like you believe Nicea was the start of the Tradition rather than the confirmation of it. Granted they decided on a time to celebrate Easter at the council, but the practice was most like done on the Jewish Calendar up until that point.
    – Marc
    Mar 6 '18 at 4:11

The earliest reference I find to trying to time the second coming of Christ is from Gregory the Great about 600 CE and it is in regards to Christmas. This period is known as advent and here. It is a four-week preparation time, similar to Lent.

He preached this on the first Sunday.

I. As our adorable Saviour will expect at His coming to find us ready, Hewarns us of the terrors that will accompany the latter days in order to wean us from the love of this world; and He foretells the misery which will be the prelude to this inevitable time, so that, if we neglect in the quietness of this life to fear a God of compassion, the fearful spectacle of the approaching last judgment may impress us with a wholesome dread.

The idea is Christ was born at Christmas and would return at Christmas.

After Gregory the Great the four Sundays before Christmas began to be devoted to the preparation for the coming of our Lord in the flesh and for his second coming to the final judgment. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc3.iii.x.iv.html

As to Passover mentioned in the Exsultet, it would refer to being set free from bondage. But not particularly to Christ's second coming.

  • I am almost sure that at least two Church Fathers actually mentioned that Easter would be at possible date of Christ's return.
    – Ken Graham
    Mar 6 '18 at 12:06

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