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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.
January 1: New Year's Day
Spiritually literate New Year's resolutions, based on 11 practices from our alphabet of practices.
January 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.
January 2: St. Seraphim of Sarov Day
Taking the advice of the Russian Orthodox saint who taught that the best acquisition is the Holy Spirit.
January 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.
January 5: George Washington Carver Day
Acknowledging the accomplishments and wisdom of the African-American agricultural researcher.
January 6: Epiphany
Admiring the stars and adoring God in commemoration of the Three Magis' visit to the baby Jesus.
January 11: Feast Day of Brother Lawrence
A day to practice everyday spirituality and entertain ourselves with God.
January 13: George Fox Day
Acknowledging the legacy of the founder of the Quaker movement.
January 14: Birthday of Albert Schweitzer
Paying tribute to Albert Schweitzer, an extraordinary humanitarian and practitioner of reverence for life.
January 19: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day
American holiday to remember the words and actions of the civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
January 24: Birthday of Henri J. M. Nouwen
Contemplating the spiritual teachings of the prolific Christian writer, theologian, and pastor.
January 27: Birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Celebrating Mozart's birthday by watching and discussing Amadeus or listening to his music as a prayer.
January 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.
January 31: Birthday of Thomas Merton
A tribute to the Trappist monk, social activist, pioneer in interreligious dialogue, and bestselling author.
February 1: World Interfaith Harmony Week
Ways to observe this new annual event with activities, a reading list, and a DVD recommendation.
February 1: Superbowl Sunday
Michael Dwinell's "God and the NFL," a spiritual way to look at the annual football extravaganza.
February 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.
February 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.
February 8: Birthday of Martin Buber
In honor of the Jewish philosopher, a reverence practice for your encounters with people, places, or things.
February 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."
February 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.
February 18: Ash Wednesday
Two ways to mark the beginning of Lent, from creative Christian writer Edward Hays.
February 18: Birthday of Sri Ramakrisna
Observing the birthday of India's Hindu saint Sri Ramakrishna by diving deep in the quest for the Divine.
February 18: Birthday of Nikos Kazantzakis
Celebrating the birthday of this passionate Greek author.
March 2: Birthday of Dr. Seuss
Hats off to Dr. Seuss whose keen sense of play charms children and adults alike.
March 4-5: Purim
A celebration with cookies, a biblical story, noisemakers, and a chance to laugh at our enemies and ourselves.
March 5: Birthday of Karl Rahner
Quotations to ponder and practice from the Catholic theologian and mystic.
March 6: Jean-Pierre de Caussade Day
Honoring the French Jesuit by acknowledging the velocities of God's grace in the present moment.
March 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.
March 17: St. Patrick's Day
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a prayer, a green spirit, and joy in your heart.
March 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.
March 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.
March 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.
March 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.
March 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.
March 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?"
March 27: Meister Eckhart
Soul-stretching quotes from the fourteenth century Catholic mystic on God, transformation, and work are remarkably nourishing today.
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 3: 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 5: Easter
An alphabet of spiritual practices reminds us that we can practice resurrection in our daily lives.
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 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 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.
May 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.
May 11: Mother's Day
Ten spiritual practices to honor all our mothers: human mothers, Mother Earth, Mother God, and everyone who raises things.
May 24: Pentecost
Celebrating the gifts of the Holy Spirit with rituals, special meals, and lots of red things.
May 25: Birthday of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Observe the transcendentalist's birthday by building up your being in the present moment.
May 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.
May 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 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.
June 3: Saint John XXIII Day
Inspiring quotes from the Catholic Pope who opened the door to the renewal of the church.
June 10: Anniversary of the Founding of Alcoholics Anonymous
Reflections and practices to pay tribute to the practical spirituality of AA.
June 12: Birthday of Anne Frank
Remembering the voice that has outlasted the shouts of the murderers and soared above the voices of time.
June 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.
June 15: Birthday of Issa
Haiku to read in honor of the Japanese poet who wrote hundreds of poems about bugs.
June 15: Father's Day
Coming to terms with our feelings for our fathers with a DVD film festival on the father-child bond.
June 17: John Wesley's Birthday
Celebrate the birthday of John Wesley, the co-founder of Methodism, with prayer, thrift, and singing.
June 18: Start of Ramadan
The significance of this month in the Islamic calendar when Muslims fast during the day and intensify their spiritual practices.
June 20: World Refugee Day
Ways to remember and honor the courage, the struggles, and the contributions of refugees.
June 21: Summer Solstice
A Summer Solstice (Coming of Summer) celebration with prayer and ritual by Edward Hays.
June 27: Birthday of Helen Keller
Using films and quotes to celebrate a woman whose zest for life is a model for us all.
July 4: Interdependence Day
A day to reflect upon freedom and interdependence. We depend upon people. Lots of people.
July 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.
July 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.
July 14: Birthday of Woody Guthrie
Saluting Woody Guthrie's vagabond spirit and love of the underdog with his music and a film biography.
July 17: Birthday of Abraham Joshua Heschel
Quotes that illustrate the wisdom of the great Jewish teacher, theologian, and social activist.
July 28: Birthday of Gerard Manley Hopkins
How to follow the poet's example and find signs of the Divine all around you.
August 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.
August 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.
August 5: Isaac Luria Day
Helping to repair the world by raising divine sparks as recommended by the Jewish mystic Rabbi Isaac Luria.
August 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.
August 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.
August 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.
August 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.
August 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 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.
September 4: E. F. Schumacher Day
Recognizing the contributions of an economist with a spiritual message about limits, simplicity, and peace.
September 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.
September 7: National Grandparent's Day
Movies that reflect the vital connection between grandparents and grandchildren.
September 8: Birthday of Mary, the Mother of Jesus
Inspirational readings and spiritual practices for the woman revered by Christians and Muslims.
September 12: Steven Biko Day
A day to pay tribute to this freedom fighter who struggled against the terrors of South African apartheid.
September 13 - 15: Rosh Hashanah
The meaning of the Jewish New Year's festival with links to articles, symbols, and rituals.
September 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.
September 17: Feast Day of Hildegard of Bingen
A sampling of the incredible creativity of the medieval Benedictine abbess and visionary.
September 18: Dag Hammarskjold Day
Remember and reflect on the life and writings of this former Secretary General of the United Nations.
September 21: Birthday of Leonard Cohen
A celebration of this singer/songwiter's birthday with two documentaries about him and a book by him.
September 21: International Day of Peace
A worldwide movement to create a global ceasefire and a day of peace and nonviolence.
September 22: Autumn Equinox
Reflections and suggested practices for the season of balancing light and dark, letting go, and accepting the impermanence of things.
September 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.
September 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.
September 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.
October 1: Feast Day of St. Therese of Lisieux
A tribute to the teacher of "the Little Way" with an excerpt and a practice.
October 2: Guardian Angels Day
A special day to give thanks to guardian angels for being in our lives and watching over us.
October 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.
October 11: Birthday of Thich Nhat Hanh
Celebrating the work of this Buddhist master with some of his mindfulness verses for everyday actions.
October 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.
October 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.
October 16: World Food Day
Important facts about world hunger and what you can do about it today.
October 29: National Cat Day
A celebration of our feline friends and all they bring to our lives.
October 31: Halloween
A meditation on Halloween as an important ritual that gives children the freedom to explore the dark.
November 1: All Saints Day
A teaching story, quotes, recommended resources, and a special litany for your observances of the saints among us.
November 7: Diwali
The Hindu holiday known as the festival of lights as a time to celebrate our inner light and cultivate spiritual wealth.
November 7: Birthday of Albert Camus
Two philosophical gems to ponder from the French writer.
November 8: Dylan Thomas Day
A day to celebrate the Welsh writer's love of poetry and language.
November 14: Birthday of Claude Monet
Observing the birthday of the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet with your own experience of dawn light.
November 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.
November 27: Thanksgiving
A lesson from a Sufi master, quotes about gratitude, and ways to practice thanks-giving.
November 29: Birthday of Louisa May Alcott
Read quotes from this American writer and celebrate family solidarity and the values you stand for.
November 30 - 24: Advent
Observing the Advent Season with practices that honor the art of waiting.
December 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.
December 6 - 14: Hanukkah
Ways to celebrate Hanukkah and the sacred importance of light.
December 10: Human Rights Day
Observing the anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights by reading up on a cause and viewing documentaries.
December 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.
December 14: Feast Day of St. John of the Cross
Honoring the life and work of this great Christian mystic and poet.
December 16: Birthday of Jane Austen
Watching movie versions of the classic novels of the beloved English writer.
December 17: Birthday of Bede Griffiths
Affirming the interspiritual vision of the Benedictine monk with a reading, a screening, and a mantra.
December 18: Birthday of Paul Klee
Frolicking with the playful paintings of the French artist.
December 21: Winter Solstice
Getting in touch with the deeper meanings of the Winter Solstice through readings, practices, poems, and prayers.
December 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.
December 29: Birthday of Pablo Casals
Taking to heart Pablo Casals' thoughts about practice, being present, caring, cherishing your uniqueness, and reframing love of country.
December 30: John Main Day
A day to try the Christian meditation practice of Benedictine John Main.
• 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
• 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
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