Before the new month begins,
it can be helpful to take stock
of upcoming holidays/holydays,
so we’re ready to approach them
with more intentionality.
Here’s a partial list of major observances* in APRIL 2022:
Wed. 3/2/22 – Thu. 4/14/22: Continuation of Lent – Christian observance of Jesus’ fasting and resistance to temptation for 40 days in the desert before beginning his ministry
Sun. 3/13/22 – Fri. 4/15/22: Continuation of Deaf History Month
Tue. 4/2/22 – Mon. 5/2/22: Ramadan – Muslim celebration of Muhammad's initial scriptural revelation, observed via fasting, prayer, charity, and community gatherings
Sun. 4/10/22: Ram Navami – Hindu celebration of the birthday of Rama (avatar of the god Vishnu) and the victory of good over evil, observed via storytelling, prayer, music, ceremony, fasting, and charity
Sun. 4/10/22 – 4/16/22: Christian Holy Week – Christian celebration of Jesus’ entry into and ministry in Jerusalem, Last Supper with his disciples, Passion, Crucifixion, and descent to Hell
Fri. 4/15/22 – Sat. 4/23/22: Passover – Jewish celebration of the beginning of the Jews’ exodus from slavery in Egypt, observed via fasting, prayer, and ceremony
Sun. 4/17/22: Easter – Christian celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection from death, revealing the mystery of Christ (God’s immanent, loving presence in all reality)
Fri. 4/22/22: Earth Day, global day of support for environmental protection
Fri. 4/29/22: Arbor Day, global day of tree planting
Fri. 4/29/22: Laylat ay-Qadr – Muslim celebration God revealing the beginning of the Qur’an to Muhammad
It can also be helpful to look at
common themes and reflection and conversation prompts,
to provide more of a center for our spiritual experience.
May we learn to hold these questions in our hearts,
not just this month, but all year long.
For APRIL one theme might be REVELATION
With Spring now in full swing, we find new life all around us. After enduring months of relative cold and darkness –able to do little more than just faithfully nurture our inner warmth and light – it sure feels like we earned this reprieve! And we have: we’ve passed through great trials and tribulations to get to this crescendo of sacredness.
Yet at the same time, this new life feels like such a gift, the magnitude of its beauty truly un-earned and even unforeseen. This is a reminder that the Divine has a will for freedom and creation beyond what we’ll ever understand.
Still, there are times when – if just for a moment – we are more intimately aware of this will (if we allow ourselves to be). Revelation pierces through; truth is revealed, unveiled in our coconsciousness. Then we really feel the overwhelming joy for this gift of Life. Then… well, there’s nothing to do but share the news, share the gift, preserve the gift! And celebrate.
I offer some reflection questions and conversation starters:
What wisdom have you left unheeded, or what struggles are uncompleted, from the previous season?
What great trials and tribulations still lie ahead of you?
What do you sense the Divine is unveiling for you?
What do you feel is being born, reborn, or liberated in your life?
Where are you noticing freedom, creation, and the triumph of life over death?
Where are you still having trouble receiving the gift of life?
What do you feel called to celebrate, preserve, and share the gift, especially in Nature?
May we remember REVELATION in our lives!
*In this series, A Holyear of Holydays, I focus only on major religious and civic holidays/holydays that are not named after any one person. This is for the sake of cross-cultural relevance and avoiding unwieldiness.