GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Celebrations for Easter, Ramadan and Passover will be happening at the same time this weekend in a rare occurrence, only overlapping every few decades.
People gathered at the Basilica of St. Adalbert Friday afternoon in Grand Rapids to commemorate Good Friday and the start of the Holy Weekend.
“We don’t have a mass, but we celebrate a service in which we recount Jesus’s great act of being willing to die for us on the cross for salvation’s sake,” Father Ron Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson says the interfaith community in the area shares similar core values.
“All have a great belief that the desire of God is for peace that God desires us to live in a place that’s filled with justice and love and peace,” Hutchinson said.
Masjid At-Tawheed Imam Kip Curnutt agrees that there are similarities between the three Abrahamic religions which have a common history.
“We have to acknowledge there’s differences in our faiths and our religions but don’t let that make us forget as well the things that we have in common. Especially when it comes to ethics, values and morals. We all have a shared heritage,” Curnutt said.
Ramadan is very significant for Muslims here in West Michigan because “it’s the month in which the Quran began to be revealed to the Prophet Muhammed.”
“And it’s a month where we do extra acts of worship in that month and so we fast from food and drink, even water every day from the dawn until the sunset and then we do extra prayers every night,” Curnutt added.
For the Jewish community, preparations are underway to celebrate Passover, which commemorates the Israelites’ freedom from slavery in Egypt.
“We believe that God made us to be free people. We try as best we can to celebrate that idea and work toward it and every year during Passover we ask ourselves how can we help others who might be living without freedom in fact gain that freedom,” Rabbi Michael Schadick of Temple Emmanuel said.
Easter is on Sunday, Ramadan has been going on throughout the month and Passover begins Friday at sundown.