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For the first time in 30 years, this Friday is a shared sacred holiday for Christians, Jews, and Muslims

For the first time in 30 years, this Friday is a shared holy day for Christians, Jews, and Muslims 02:34

CHICAGO (CBS) -- In a holy coincidence, Christians, Jews, and Muslims are all honoring a sacred holiday this weekend for the first time in three decades.

As CBS 2's Marissa Perlman reported Friday night, faith leaders are using the occasion as a way to connect our communities.

At St. Clement Parish, at 642 W. Deming Pl. in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, somber music rang clear in the sanctuary during Good Friday service. Parishioners spend time praying and being together.

"I think for everybody – no matter your faith, just to know that God loves you, no matter what," said Greg Wilk of St. Clement Parish.

At the same time, in the South Loop at the home of Salman Azam, his family is getting ready to break fast in the middle of Ramadan – the Muslim holy month.

"Muslims are giving up food and drink from sunup to sundown," said Azam, an executive board member of the Downtown Islamic Center, 231 S. State St.

Azam's newborn son, Deen, was born on the first day of Ramadan. Azam is now teaching his kids about how they can honor the holiday.

"Ramadan brings us back, you know?" he said. "It brings us back to our base and closer to God."

Also this night, millions of Jewish people sat down for the first Passover Seder – one of the most widely-celebrated Jewish holidays.

"This is a holiday where we mark the bitter with the sweet," said Rabbi Shoshanah Conover of Temple Sholom of Chicago, at 3480 N. Lake Shore Dr. in East Lakeview.

A Seder plate tells the story of the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt – a celebration of freedom.

"This is then, this holiday of being able to see how, in our past, we've gone from narrow places to the expanse of freedom," said Rabbi Conover.

It is a rare occurrence that the three faiths celebrate holy days on this Friday. It is so rare, in fact, because the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic calendars all operate on different systems.

Thus, the holiday overlap took three decades to happen again.

"When God sometimes brings them all together at the same time, it's a very special feeling," Azam said.

It is a coincidence that some faith leaders say should remind us of what we all have in common, rather than what's different.

"Here we are as a world community where we are spending more time with our attention toward the holy," said Rabbi Conover.

"If we can focus on all those commonalities, hopefully, we can make for a better world," added Azam.

There are also Buddhist, Jain, Hindu, and Orthodox Christian holidays being celebrated this month.

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