The Blessing of a Rare Confluence of Religious Observances

confluence of religious observances for Abrahamic faiths

As we begin this week, and in reflecting upon the Palm Sunday service our family attended last weekend, I am reminded that we are in a special moment. This year our three Abrahamic families – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – will celebrate, in concurrence, Passover, Easter, and Ramadan. This has not happened in over 30 years, since 1991. The unique nature of this all is not lost on me, and I hope you take hold of it as a blessing and opportunity. 

This week for Christians, called Passion Week (or Holy Week), will involve reflection, fasting, lament, and repentance, all culminating in the surprise and joy of Easter, on Sunday. Easter is why Christians feast and worship each Sunday.

Our Jewish community members will be preparing for the week of Passover, especially first Seder this coming Friday, to celebrate the exodus of Israelite slaves from Egyptian captivity. Passover meals often involve guests, new and familiar, and the length of Passover week is different depending on whether you are in Israel or elsewhere (“the diaspora”).

Our Muslim community members will continue to devote themselves to prayer, fasting, reflection, and community during this month of Ramadan, all culminating in Eid al-Fitr, a time of sweet celebration. The deep connections made during Ramadan, and the shared breaking-of-fast meals each evening at sunset, bring people together in ways that I find tremendously rich (as I wrote about last year).

If these traditions apply to you, I hope they are meaningful, whatever they involve. And even if not, I hope all of you find ways to support and bless each other as we live out our faiths with respect and love, attempting to be a model of peace for our world.

About Hartford International
As a pioneering, interreligious, international university, Hartford International has helped thousands of people find peace within, and many thousands more find peace with each other. At HIU, we engage in robust religious studies, including a Master of Arts in Interreligious Studies, and meaningful interfaith dialogue to deepen our beliefs, respect our differences, and help bring peace to the world.