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Free E-Newsletter Our e-newsletter alerts you to special days and ways to celebrate, along with other new posts on the site.

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Naming the Days




Join us as we meditate upon the meaning of our days and "name" them through rituals, spiritual practices, and special activities — everything from household rituals to DVD viewing to community service projects.

 

April
April 1: April Fool's Day

A day that began with a mixup about the schedule is an opportunity to turn playtime into spiritual time.

April 5: Golden Rule Day

A time to dethrone ourselves, put others first, and live in unity with all beings on the planet."

April 6: Birthday of Ram Dass

Celebrate the life and work of the man who taught us all how to "be here now."

April 9: Birthday of Paul Robeson

Remembering the multitalented African-American artist who took stands against racism and for black liberation.

April 10: Teilhard de Chardin Day

Quotations to ponder and a mantra to try from the French visionary who pioneered a holistic, earth-cherishing, and mystical spirituality.

April 18: Good Friday

"Patience" and "passion" both come from the Latin word meaning to suffer or endure. These are just two of the gifts of this day.

April 20: Easter

An alphabet of spiritual practices reminds us that we can practice resurrection in our daily lives.

April 22: Earth Day

For this celebration of the Earth and rededication to her care, we suggest nature projects, a DVD to watch, an art book to check out, and a vow.

 

May
May 1: Beltane - May Day

The start of the bright half of the year. One of four main festivals of Celtic spirituality, it's a time to make merry.

May 3: Birthday of Pete Seeger

An overview of the life and legacy of Pete Seeger, a remarkable folk singer and social justice activist.

May 4 - 10: Be Kind to Animals Week

What to do and what to think abouat during the American Humane Society-sponsored annual celebration of the role of animals in our lives.

Daniel BerriganMay 9: Daniel Berrigan's Birthday

Celebrate the extraordinary life and ministry of Daniel Berrigan who has walked his talk as one of the foremost peace activists of our time.

Mother's DayMay 11: Mother's Day

Ten spiritual practices to honor all our mothers: human mothers, Mother Earth, Mother God, and everyone who raises things.

Ralph Waldo EmersonMay 25: Birthday of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Observe the transcendentalist's birthday by building up your being in the present moment.

Memorial DayMay 26: Memorial Day

Prayers of remembrance for those who died in many wars and for reconciliation with those who also try to keep the peace in their own ways.

G.K. ChestertonMay 29: Birthday of G. K. Chesterton

Wit and wisdom to take to heart from one of the most jovial and brilliant apologists for the Christian faith.


 

June
Anthony de MelloJune 2: Anthony de Mello Day

Remembering the extraordinary life of Father Anthony de Mello, an Indian Jesuit spiritual director and retreat leader, who died on June 2, 1987.

Pope John XXIIIJune 3: Pope John XXIII Day

Inspiring quotes from the Catholic Pope who opened the door to the renewal of the church.

PentecostJune 8: Pentecost

Celebrating the gifts of the Holy Spirit with rituals, special meals, and lots of red things.

The Big Book of AAJune 10: Anniversary of the Founding of Alcoholics Anonymous

Reflections and practices to pay tribute to the practical spirituality of AA.

Anne FrankJune 12: Birthday of Anne Frank

Remembering the voice that has outlasted the shouts of the murderers and soared above the voices of time.

St. Anthony of PaduaJune 13: Feast Day of St. Anthony of Padua

A brief profile of St. Anthony of Padua, known as the patron saint of finding lost objects, along with a practice to honor him.

Don't Worry, SpiderJune 15: Birthday of Issa

Haiku to read in honor of the Japanese poet who wrote hundreds of poems about bugs.

Father's DayJune 15: Father's Day

Coming to terms with our feelings for our fathers with a DVD film festival on the father-child bond.

John WesleyJune 17: John Wesley's Birthday

Celebrate the birthday of John Wesley, the co-founder of Methodism, with prayer, thrift, and singing.

World Refugee DayJune 20: World Refugee Day

Ways to remember and honor the courage, the struggles, and the contributions of refugees.

SunJune 21: Summer Solstice

A Summer Solstice (Coming of Summer) celebration with prayer and ritual by Edward Hays.

Helen KellerJune 27: Birthday of Helen Keller

Using films and quotes to celebrate a woman whose zest for life is a model for us all.

Ramadan MubarakJune 28: Start of Ramadan

The significance of this month in the Islamic calendar when Muslims fast during the day and intensify their spiritual practices.


 

July
4th of July FireworksJuly 4: Interdependence Day

A day to reflect upon freedom and interdependence. We depend upon people. Lots of people.

Hazrat Inayat KhanJuly 5: Birthday of Hazrat Inayat Khan

Celebrating the birthday of the man who brought Sufism with its emphasis on courtesy and kindness to the West.

Stuart LittleJuly 11: Birthday of E. B. White

Reading essays, watching stories for children, and contemplating quotes in honor of the writer who excelled in all these genres.

Woody GuthrieJuly 14: Birthday of Woody Guthrie

Saluting Woody Guthrie's vagabond spirit and love of the underdog with his music and a film biography.

Abraham Joshua HeschelJuly 17: Birthday of Abraham Joshua Heschel

Quotes that illustrate the wisdom of the great Jewish teacher, theologian, and social activist.

Gerard Manley HopkinsJuly 28: Birthday of Gerard Manley Hopkins

How to follow the poet's example and find signs of the Divine all around you.


 

August
Maggie KuhnAugust 3: Birthday of Maggie Kuhn

Celebrating the pioneering work and accomplishments of the founder of the Gray Panthers (1972), a network of older people dedicated to fighting ageism.

Raoul WallenbergAugust 4: Birthday of Raoul Wallenberg

Honoring the risky, selfless courage of Raoul Wallenberg who saved the lives of more than 100,000 Jews during the Nazi occupation of Hungary.

Isaac LuriaAugust 5: Isaac Luria Day

Helping to repair the world by raising divine sparks as recommended by the Jewish mystic Rabbi Isaac Luria.

Louis ArmstrongAugust 6: Birthday of Louis Armstrong

Celebrating the life and exuberance of Louis Armstrong who transcended his impoverished upbringing to become one of the most recognized talents in entertainment.

Nagasaki BombAugust 6 and 9: Anniversaries of the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Remembering with a DVD, prayers, and an e-card about just how many nuclear weapons the United States currently has.

St. Clare of AssisiAugust 11: Feast Day of St. Clare

Connecting to the spiritual stamina, joy, and the pleasures of humble service of others modeled by the saint from Assisi.

Blessed Mother Teresa of CalcuttaAugust 26: Birthday of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Words of wisdom to carry in honor of the servant of Calcutta's poor, an exemplar of peace, kindness, and compassion.

National Dog DayAugust 26: National Dog Day

A tribute to best friends and spiritual companions: quotes, teaching stories, book recommendations, and 25 DVDs about dogs with soul.


 

September
Labor DaySeptember 1: Labor Day

Honoring workers and the meaning in our work through reflections, e-course practices, prayer, and talking about images of work in the movies.

E. F. SchumacherSeptember 4: E. F. Schumacher Day

Recognizing the contributions of an economist with a spiritual message about limits, simplicity, and peace.

John CageSeptember 5: Birthday of John Cage

A spiritual practice to cure boredom from the composer who challenged us to be more hospitable and alert to the music going on all around us.

National Grandparent's DaySeptember 7: National Grandparent's Day

Movies that reflect the vital connection between grandparents and grandchildren.

Labor DaySeptember 8: Birthday of Mary, the Mother of Jesus

Inspirational readings and spiritual practices for the woman revered by Christians and Muslims.

Steven BikoSeptember 12: Steven Biko Day

A day to pay tribute to this freedom fighter who struggled against the terrors of South African apartheid.

Isadora DuncanSeptember 14: Isadora Duncan Day

Explore and reflect on this pioneer of modern dance by watching her on film and by pondering the place and importance of dance in your life.

Hildegard of BingenSeptember 17: Feast Day of Hildegard of Bingen

A sampling of the incredible creativity of the medieval Benedictine abbess and visionary.

Dag HammarskjoldSeptember 18: Dag Hammarskjold Day

Remember and reflect on the life and writings of this former Secretary General of the United Nations.

Leonard CohenSeptember 21: Birthday of Leonard Cohen

A celebration of this singer/songwiter's birthday with two documentaries about him and a book by him.

International Day of PeaceSeptember 21: International Day of Peace

A worldwide movement to create a global ceasefire and a day of peace and nonviolence.

AutumnSeptember 22: Autumn Equinox

Reflections and suggested practices for the season of balancing light and dark, letting go, and accepting the impermanence of things.

F. Scott FitzgeraldSeptember 24: Birthday of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Recognizing the contributions of one of America's greatest writers and his views of the rich and the powerful.

Rosh HashanahSeptember 25 - 26: Rosh Hashanah

The meaning of the Jewish New Year's festival with links to articles, symbols, and rituals.

The Goddess SarasvatiSeptember 25 - October 3: Navaratri

A Hindu holiday honoring Shakti or the Divine Feminine; observe it with nine nights of meditation and a day of gratitude.

Rumi, Icon by Robert LentzSeptember 30: Birthday of Jelaluddin Rumi

Ways to celebrate the birthday of the great Persian mystic poet, including readings about him and video meditations with his poetry.

Elie WieselSeptember 30: Birthday of Elie Wiesel

Honoring the life and writings of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Holocaust survivor.

 

October
St. Therese of LisieuxOctober 1: Feast Day of St. Therese of Lisieux

A tribute to the teacher of "the Little Way" with an excerpt and a practice.

Michael by Perry Arthur KroegerOctober 2: Guardian Angels Day

A special day to give thanks to guardian angels for being in our lives and watching over us.

St. Francis of AssisiOctober 4: Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi

Practices, a life overview, a film clip, a movie, and many books and excerpts to paint a multifaceted picture of the popular Christian saint.

Thich Nhat HanhOctober 11: Birthday of Thich Nhat Hanh

Celebrating the work of this Buddhist master with some of his mindfulness verses for everyday actions.

Eleanor RooseveltOctober 11: Birthday of Eleanor Roosevelt

A celebration of the birthday of Eleanor Roosevelt who set a high standard of leadership and activism as First Lady of the United States.

St. Teresa of AvilaOctober 15: Feast Day of St. Teresa of Avila

A tribute to the spiritual ardor and zeal of the sixteenth century Carmelite mystic, religious reformer, and foundress of 17 convents.

World Food DayOctober 16: World Food Day

Important facts about world hunger and what you can do about it today.

DiwaliOctober 23: Diwali

The Hindu holiday known as the festival of lights as a time to celebrate our inner light and cultivate spiritual wealth.

HalloweenOctober 31: Halloween

A meditation on Halloween as an important ritual that gives children the freedom to explore the dark.

 

November
Julian of NorwichNovember 1: All Saints Day

A teaching story, quotes, recommended resources, and a special litany for your observances of the saints among us.

Albert CamusNovember 7: Birthday of Albert Camus

Two philosophical gems to ponder from the French writer.

Dylan ThomasNovember 8: Dylan Thomas Day

A day to celebrate the Welsh writer's love of poetry and language.

Claude MonetNovember 14: Birthday of Claude Monet

Observing the birthday of the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet with your own experience of dawn light.

Isaac Bashevis SingerNovember 21: Birthday of Isaac Bashevis Singer

Celebrating the birthday the Nobel Prize for Literature winner by dipping into his short stories on life's mysteries.

ThanksgivingNovember 27: Thanksgiving

A lesson from a Sufi master plus good web connections for exploring the spiritual practice of gratitude.

Louisa May AlcottNovember 29: Birthday of Louisa May Alcott

Read quotes from this American writer and celebrate family solidarity and the values you stand for.


 

December
World Aids DayDecember 1: World AIDS Day

Websites with information on the global epidemic, DVDs that remind us of the human cost, and things to do to raise awareness.

Advent calendarDecember 2 - 24: Advent

Observing the Advent Season with practices that honor the art of waiting.

Human Rights DayDecember 10: Human Rights Day

Observing the anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights by reading up on a cause and viewing documentaries.

Our Lady of GuadalupeDecember 12: Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Marking the appearance of the Virgin Mary in Mexico in 1531 and her significance to the poor of the world.

St John of the CrossDecember 14: Feast Day of St. John of the Cross

Honoring the life and work of this great Christian mystic and poet.

Jane AustenDecember 16: Birthday of Jane Austen

Watching movie versions of the classic novels of the beloved English writer.

Bede GriffithsDecember 17: Birthday of Bede Griffiths

Affirming the interspiritual vision of the Benedictine monk with a reading, a screening, and a mantra.

HanukkahDecember 17 - 24: Hanukkah

Ways to celebrate Hanukkah and the sacred importance of light.

Paul KleeDecember 18: Birthday of Paul Klee

Frolicking with the playful paintings of the French artist.

Winter SolsticeDecember 21: Winter Solstice

Getting in touch with the deeper meanings of the Winter Solstice through readings, practices, poems, and prayers.

Madonna and ChildDecember 25: Christmas

Four readings for Christmas Day by Howard Thurman about hope, Madonna and Child, and the challenge of carrying on the work of this religious holiday.

Pablo CasalsDecember 29: Birthday of Pablo Casals

Taking to heart Pablo Casals' thoughts about practice, being present, caring, cherishing your uniqueness, and reframing love of country.

John MainDecember 30: John Main Day

A day to try the Christian meditation practice of Benedictine John Main.


 

January
New Year's DayJanuary 1: New Year's Day

Spiritually literate New Year's resolutions, based on 11 practices from our alphabet of practices.

E. M. ForsterJanuary 1: Birthday of E. M. Forster

Remembering the British writer who advised that we "only connect" by savoring our connections to special people and places.

St. Seraphim of SarovJanuary 2: St. Seraphim of Sarov Day

Taking the advice of the Russian Orthodox saint who taught that the best acquisition is the Holy Spirit.

Mother Elizabeth Ann SetonJanuary 4: Feast Day of Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton

Learning more about Mother Seton, the first native-born American to be canonized as a Catholic saint.

George Washington CarverJanuary 5: George Washington Carver Day

Acknowledging the accomplishments and wisdom of the African-American agricultural researcher.

The Magi at the MangerJanuary 6: Epiphany

Admiring the stars and adoring God in commemoration of the Three Magis' visit to the baby Jesus.

Brother LawrenceJanuary 11: Feast Day of Brother Lawrence

A day to practice everyday spirituality and entertain ourselves with God.

George FoxJanuary 13: George Fox Day

Acknowledging the legacy of the founder of the Quaker movement.

Albert SchweitzerJanuary 14: Birthday of Albert Schweitzer

Paying tribute to Albert Schweitzer, an extraordinary humanitarian and practitioner of reverence for life.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.January 20: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day

American holiday to remember the words and actions of the civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Henri J. M. NouwenJanuary 24: Birthday of Henri J. M. Nouwen

Contemplating the spiritual teachings of the prolific Christian writer, theologian, and pastor.

Wolfgang Amadeus MozartJanuary 27: Birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Celebrating Mozart's birthday by watching and discussing Amadeus or listening to his music as a prayer.

Mahatma GandhiJanuary 30: Mohandas K. Gandhi Day

Recognize Mahatma Gandhi's legacy by reading about his life, savoring some of his one-liners, and watching the Academy Award-winning film.

Thomas MertonJanuary 31: Birthday of Thomas Merton

A tribute to the Trappist monk, social activist, pioneer in interreligious dialogue, and bestselling author.


 

February
World Interfaith Harmony WeekFebruary 1: World Interfaith Harmony Week

Ways to observe this new annual event with activities, a reading list, and a DVD recommendation.

Groundhog DayFebruary 2: Groundhog Day, Candlemas, Imbolc

A day to think about change, or the lack of it, with a Values & Visions Guide to a romantic comedy about transformation.

FootballFebruary 2: Superbowl Sunday

Michael Dwinell's "God and the NFL," a spiritual way to look at the annual football extravaganza.

Dietrich BonhoefferFebruary 4: Birthday of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Following the theologian's advice that we affirm God and give glory in the midst of all of our experiences.

Martin BuberFebruary 8: Birthday of Martin Buber

In honor of the Jewish philosopher, a reverence practice for your encounters with people, places, or things.

A. J. MusteFebruary 11: A. J. Muste Day

Reflecting on the life work of the Christian pacifist who reminded us that "There is no way to peace; peace is the way."

Valentine's DayFebruary 14: Valentine's Day

Eight ways to practice expressing love . . . because love is a spiritual practice, and you can get better at it over time.

Sri RamakrishnaFebruary 18: Birthday of Sri Ramakrisna

Observing the birthday of India's Hindu saint Sri Ramakrishna by diving deep in the quest for the Divine.

Nikos KazantzakisFebruary 18: Birthday of Nikos Kazantzakis

Celebrating the birthday of this passionate Greek author.


 

March
Dr. SuessMarch 2: Birthday of Dr. Seuss

Hats off to Dr. Seuss whose keen sense of play charms children and adults alike.

Ash WednesdayMarch 5: Ash Wednesday

Two ways to mark the beginning of Lent, from creative Christian writer Edward Hays.

Karl RahnerMarch 5: Birthday of Karl Rahner

Quotations to ponder and practice from the Catholic theologian and mystic.

DandelionsMarch 6: Jean-Pierre de Caussade Day

Honoring the French Jesuit by acknowledging the velocities of God's grace in the present moment.

Albert EinsteinMarch 14: Birthday of Albert Einstein

Celebrate the Birthday of Albert Einstein with a practice of X-The Mystery and a perusal of his wisdom quotes.

Purim CookiesMarch 15 - 16: Purim

A celebration with cookies, a biblical story, noisemakers, and a chance to laugh at our enemies and ourselves.

LeprechaunMarch 17: St. Patrick's Day

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a prayer, a green spirit, and joy in your heart.

Sir RIchard BurtonMarch 19: Birthday of Sir Richard Burton

Learning to be open to other cultures and the thrill of the quest with the great British explorer as your mentor.

TulipsMarch 20: First Day of Spring

Spring is a season of renewal and rebirth. As outside, so inside. Here are 12 spiritual exercises to help you begin again.

St. CuthbertMarch 20: Feast Day of St. Cuthbert

Observe this day by being a peacemaker, trying to reconcile those who are on the opposite sides of the fence.

March 22: World Water Day

More than one billion of our fellow human beings have little choice but to use potentially harmful sources of water.

Oscar RomeroMarch 24: Oscar Romero

Honor Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated on this day in 1980m as a great defender of the poor and a seeker of justice.

Flannery O'ConnorMarch 25: Birthday of Flannery O'Connor

Read about and from the writings of the southern Christian writer who conveyed the strange and wild ways salvation crashes life's party.

Walt WhitmanMarch 26: Walt Whitman Day

Celebrate the durability of Walt Whitman, all-American poet and caresser of life, and hear the wonder in "Who Learns My Lesson Complete?"

Meister EckhartMarch 27: Meister Eckhart

Soul-stretching quotes from the fourteenth century Catholic mystic on God, transformation, and work are remarkably nourishing today.


 




Everyday Spirituality

Being Home
by Gunilla Norris

Care of the Soul
by Thomas Moore

The Dirt from Tripp Street
by Daniel Wolk

The Dove in the Stone
by Alice O. Howell

Everyday Sacred
by Sue Bender

Grace's Window
by Alice O. Howell

How to Want What You Have
by Timothy Miller

Listening to Your Life
by Frederick Buechner

A Place Like Any Other
by Molly Wolf

The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life
by Thomas Moore

Simple Abundance
by Ban Breachnach

Spiritual Literacy
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

The Temple in the House
by Anthony Lawlor

A Tree Full of Angels
by Macrina Wiederkehr

Rituals

The Book of Ceremonies
by Gabriel Horn

The Ceremonial Circle
by Sedonia Cahill and Joshua Halpern

The Circle of Life edited
by David Cohen

Feasting with God
by Holly Whitcomb

From Beginning to End
by Robert Fulghum

Great Occasions
edited by Carl Seaburg

The Joy of Family Rituals
by Barbara Biziou

The Magic of Ritual
by Tom Driver

Marrying and Burying
by Ronald Grimes

The Power of Ritual
by Rachel Pollack

Remembering Well
by Sarah York

Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
by Malidoma Patrice Some

Rituals for Our Time
by Evan Imber-Black and Janine Roberts

Making Time Sacred

Addicted to Hurry
by Kirk Byron Jones

Holidays and Holy Nights
by Christopher Hill

Marking Time
by Linda Witte Henke

No Word for Time
by Evan T. Pritchard

The Music of Silence
by Brother David Steindl-Rast

In Praise of Slowness
by Carl Honore

Sabbath
by Wayne Muller

Sabbath Sense
by Donna Schaper

Sabbath Time
by Tilden Edwards

Sacred Time and the Search for Meaning
by Gary Eberle

A Sideways Look at Time
by Jay Griffiths

Time and Soul
by Jacob Needleman

Zen O'Clock
by Scott Shaw

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