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International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

 

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity January 18-25, 2017

The theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is "Reconciliation-The Love of Christ Compels Us." (cf. 2 Cor 5:14-20). According to Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (GEII), "it was in the context of the Reformation Anniversary that the Council of Churches in Germany took up the work of creating the resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017. It quickly became clear that the materials for this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity would need to have two accents: on the one hand, there should be a celebration of God's love and grace, the 'justification of humanity through grace alone', reflecting the main concern of the churches marked by Martin Luther's Reformation. On the other hand, the materials should also recognize the pain of the subsequent deep divisions which afflicted the Church, openly name the guilt, and offer an opportunity to take steps toward reconciliation." To purchase materials for your worship community for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, check out GEII on the web!

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has a history of over 100 years , in which Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity.  By annually observing the WPCU, Christians move toward the fulfillment of Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper "that they all may be one."  (cf. John 17:21)

In preparation for the WPCU, ecumenical partners in a particular region were asked to prepare a basic text on a biblical theme. Then an international group organized through the World Council of Churches (WCC) and The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity edited this text i which was jointly published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and WCC, through their Commission on Faith and Order.  The WCC accompanied the entire production process of the text. The final material was sent to member churches and Roman Catholic dioceses, and they were invited to translate the text and contextualize it for their own use.

Further promotional and preparatory materials for the 2017 WPCU can be found through the World Council of Churches and the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute websites, including:

  • Suggestions for observing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
  • Thematic poster art, music, and prayer cards (English/Spanish)
  • Scripture readings, commentaries and questions for reflection
  • Ecumenical prayer service model
  • Historical and contextual information


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