When Benedict XVI visited the United Kingdom in 2010, he spoke of the "spiritual riches" of other religions. Prayer can help us to explore and appreciate these riches in our tradition and those of others.
A series of A4 downloads offering suggestions for bidding prayers that can be used to mark the major festivals of non-Christian religions. We also provide short explanatory text for parish newsletters as well as useful background information on the religions.
In acknowledging these festivals, and praying for those who celebrate them, Catholics can express their connectedness to all people of faith, as well as the respect which the Church holds for their spiritual wealth.
The Bahá’í festival of Ridván is celebrated from sunset to sunset. Ridván means ‘Paradise’ in Arabic. It is the most important of the Bahá’í holy days and, according to Bahá’í teaching, is the day on which Bahá’u’lláh declared his mission as a Manifestation of God.
The Buddhist festival of Vesakh is usually celebrated on the May full moon, though this varies in different traditions.
The Hindu festival of Diwali is celebrated during a five-day period. It is one of the most important festivals of the year for Hindus, but is also celebrated, for different reasons, by the Jain, Sikh and Buddhist communities.
The Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr marks the completion of the month of Ramadan, in which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.
The Jain festival of Mahavir Jayanti is a celebration of the life of the most recent teacher of Jainism, Mahavira.
High Holy Days
The Jewish High Holy Days are a period beginning with the celebration of ‘Rosh HaShana’, the New Year, and culminating in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (the tenth day of the seventh month in the Jewish calendar).
Guru Nanak Gurpurab
The Sikh festival of Guru Nanak Gurpurab is the day on which Sikhs celebrate the Parkash Divas (birth anniversary) of Guru Nanak, the first Guru and founder of the Sikh faith.
The Zoroastrian festival of Jamsheedi Nowruz celebrates spring, and the Persian New Year. Nowruz begins at the spring equinox, when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are equal length.