What is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity?
Every year, between January 18 (the Feast of the Confession of Saint Peter) and January 25 (the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul), Christians around the world are invited to celebrate a week of prayer for the unity of all Christians, to reflect on scripture together, to participate in jointly-organized ecumenical services, and to share fellowship.
Since the founding of the World Council of Churches in 1948, many other Christian denominations around the world have come to celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and since 1968, the Faith and Order Commission of the WCC and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity have collaborated to produce materials for use over this eight-day period.
This year’s resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by an ecumenical team in Germany, representing various churches and religious organizations. They have chosen as their theme “Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us,” inspired by 2 Corinthians 5:14-20. They invite Christians around the world to celebrate God’s reconciling grace, call us to recognize the pain of the deep divisions which afflict the Church, and urge us to become ambassadors of Christ’s message of reconciliation.
The Theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017
Pope Francis’ use of the quote “The Love of Christ Compels Us” (2 Cor 5:14) in his 2013 Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”, Paragraph 9) provided the theme for this year. With this scripture, taken in its fuller context, the committee formulated the 2017 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
This biblical text emphasizes that reconciliation is a gift from God, intended for the entire creation. As a result of God´s action, those who have been reconciled in Christ are called, in turn, to proclaim this reconciliation in word and deed, living no longer for themselves, but for Christ who died for all.
Compelled to Witness
The love of Christ compels us to pray, but also to move beyond our prayers for unity among Christians. Congregations and churches need the gift of God´s reconciliation as a wellspring of life. Above all, they need it for their common witness to the world. May the wellspring of God´s gracious reconciliation overflow in this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, so that many people may find peace, and so that bridges may be built. May people and churches be compelled by the love of Christ to live reconciled lives and to break down the walls that divide!
So be a part of praying during week of prayer. Join other Christians from around the world praying for Christian Unity in all your activities, attending Sunday and Week Day Masses here at Holy Family, and attending:
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Kick Off on January 22nd, 2017 at 3:00PM St. Cecilia Church 5020 7th Avenue Regina with Archbishop Donald Bolen.
Holy Family Parish