2019 Calendar of Jewish and Muslim Holy Days
A project of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Committee of the Diocese of New York and the Episcopal Church’s Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all trace our religious traditions to the one God’s promises to Abraham. Despite very real differences of belief and practice, we have a significant common spiritual history. Today, we share commitments to peaceful coexistence and to the care of creation. Like much of the world today, the Episcopal Diocese of New York is a place in which our religious communities live closely together as neighbors, coworkers, and friends.
This liturgical material is offered for use in congregations in order to raise awareness of our neighbors’ holy days on the Sundays closest to the weeks in which they begin. It can be used as an addition to the Prayers of the People. May it help us to be kind to those who are fasting, to rejoice with those who rejoice, and to be patient with changes in parking and traffic or workplace schedules arising from religious observance.
This calendar is a project of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Committee of the Diocese of New York and the Episcopal Church’s Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations.
Sunday, 17 March, 2019
On March 20-21 Jews celebrate the festival of Purim, which commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from a plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.”
O God, we ask your blessing on our Jewish neighbors who celebrate the festival of Purim this week. Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from a plot to destroy them. May we come to see all your people of every faith as precious in your sight.
Sunday, 14 April, 2019
During the period of April 19-27, the Jews celebrate the eight-day festival of Passover, which commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.
Gracious God, we thank you for our Jewish neighbors who will celebrate the festival of Passover in this coming week; let it remind us that your will for us is always freedom from any form of slavery.
Sunday, 5 May, 2019
Today our neighbors the Muslims will celebrate the start of Ramadan, which is the Muslim month of fasting.
O God of abundance, help us to join our spirits with our Muslim sisters and brothers as they begin Ramadan, the month of fasting, that we, too, may realize that life is not measured by what we receive, but by what we give.
Sunday, 26 May, 2019
On May 31, our Muslim neighbors will celebrate Laylat al-Qadr, the Night of Power, which marks the night in which the Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
On June 3-4, Muslims celebrate Eid Al Fitr, the end of Ramadan, the end of fasting, when they thank God for God’s help with their month-long act of self-control.
Ever-gracious God, we thank you for our Muslim sisters and brothers who will celebrate Laylat al-Qadr, remembering the night in which you revealed the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad. We also share their joy in the feast of Eid Al Fitr, marking the end of their month of fasting.
Sunday, 2 June, 2019
June 8-10 marks God’s gift of the Torah to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai more than 3300 years ago. Every year on the holiday of Shavuot Jews renew their acceptance of God’s gift, and God “re-gives” the Torah. The giving of the Torah touched the Jewish soul for all time. Sages have compared it to a wedding between God and the Jewish people. Shavuot means “oaths,” for on this day God swore eternal devotion to them, and they in turn pledged everlasting loyalty to him.
God ever-faithful, we thank you for our roots in the Jewish faith and for the gift of your Commandments, which is being celebrated even now by Jews throughout the world in the festival of Shavuot.
Sunday, 4 August, 2019
This week Muslims will celebrate Eid Al Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, on August 10 and 11. This festival commemorates Ibrahim’s (Abraham) willingness to sacrifice his son to God. This festival also marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
Bless, O God, our Muslim neighbors as they commemorate Eid Al Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice this week, and remember Abraham’s willingness to return all he had to God.
Sunday, 25 August, 2019
August 30-31 marks the Islamic New Year, and commemorates the migration of the Prophet Mohammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina.
We give thanks to you, O God, for your faithful servants, the Muslims, who will celebrate the beginning of a New Year this Wednesday. Help us to remember that in you all people find newness of life.
Sunday, 29 September, 2019
Our Jewish neighbors will celebrate Rosh Hashanah on Sunday-Tuesday, September 29-October 1. The festival of Rosh Hashanah, meaning, Head of the Year, is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve. It emphasizes the special relationship between God and humanity: our dependence upon God as our creator and sustainer, and God’s dependence upon us as the ones who make his presence known and felt in his world.
O Lord, bless our Jewish neighbors as they celebrate the festival of Rosh Hashanah, their New Year, this week. Let their festival remind us, as it does them, of the special relationship between God and humankind.
Sunday 6 October, 2019
The Jews will celebrate Yom Kippur on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, October 8 and 9. It is the holiest day of the Jewish year, the day Jews are closest to God and to the quintessence of their own souls. It is the Day of Atonement, for as it says in Leviticus, “For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before God.”
We thank you, gracious God, for the faith of the Jews. Bless them this week as they celebrate Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement; and instill in our hearts also true repentance and amendment of life that we, too, may know your unfailing mercy.
Sunday, 2 November, 2019
On November 9-10, Muslims celebrate the Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, Maulid Nabi.
Bless, O God, our Muslim neighbors as they celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad today.
Sunday, 22 December, 2019
Today marks the beginning of the eight-day festival of Chanukah, the festival of lights that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness. It commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors defeated the occupying Greek armies.
Bless, O Lord, our neighbors the Jews this week as they celebrate Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, the triumph of light over darkness. May we all find inspiration in their faith.
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