Skip to main content

Religious observances on campus this spring

The Stanford community represents a wide range of faith traditions and worldviews. Tiffany Steinwert, dean for religious and spiritual life, highlights the resources her office offers to help students, faculty and staff anticipate and support observances during holy days this quarter.

Dear Stanford community,

Each spring, and especially this spring, we find ourselves ready for a restart and for reconnecting. In the coming weeks, many of our Christian, Jewish and Muslim classmates and colleagues will be gathering to do just that in celebration of the coming holy days. This year, in an unusual and possibly serendipitous coincidence, Easter, Passover and Ramadan will overlap in April.

For Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians, Holy Week begins on Sunday, April 10, and concludes on Easter Monday, April 18. For Orthodox Christians, Holy Week begins the week after Lazarus Saturday on the evening of Palm Sunday, April 17, and Easter Sunday falls on April 24.

Passover begins this year on the evening of Friday, April 15, and concludes on Saturday, April 23. On-campus Seders will be held on Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16.

This year Ramadan will begin on Friday, April 1, at sunset and end on Sunday, May 1, at sunset. The beginning and end dates may vary by a day depending on different schools of thought within the Islamic tradition. Fasting includes refraining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset, and ends with a daily communal iftar at sunset, which this year will be held in Old Union Courtyard. Ramadan-specific taraweeh prayers will be held following the iftars in the CIRCLE, on the third floor of Old Union.

Please see the Office for Religious & Spiritual Life website for more about Holy Week, Passover and Ramadan at Stanford.

We encourage our community to be mindful of their colleagues and friends who will be observing. Reflecting the diverse backgrounds and traditions represented at Stanford, individual practices and observances – from prayers to dietary restrictions – will vary widely, even within a particular faith group.

While we are mindful of these three significant observances, we know many other religious observances await our community this spring. Those observed by the Stanford Associated Religions are listed on this Office for Religious & Spiritual Life calendar. This downloadable calendar includes an even broader list.

We hope community members will use these calendars and other ORSL resources to support classmates and colleagues in their faith journeys. Perhaps as students, faculty and staff work to move beyond challenges and struggles of late, this awareness will even provide helpful new insights and perspectives.

Tiffany Steinwert
Dean for Religious and Spiritual Life

Students and employees seeking religious accommodations should promptly contact their professors and managers, who in turn may use these calendars and other ORSL resources and staff in order to anticipate and respond appropriately.