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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us. 

(cf. 2 Corinthians 5:14-20)

January is a month when Christians around the world pay particular attention to the unity of the church. Specifically, Christians dedicate an entire week during the month to pray for unity among the followers of Jesus and especially to overcome historical and present divisions that exist between church communities.

This year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was celebrated in Canada from January 18-25, 2017

The theme for the week was inspired by St. Paul's reminder that “Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:14-20)

Christians bear witness to God’s mighty acts in a variety of ways: by healing wounds of division, by searching for truth and unity, and through common social and charitable projects that uphold human dignity. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is a privileged moment for prayer, encounter and dialogue. It is an opportunity to recognize the richness and value that are present in the other, the different, and to ask God for the gift of unity.

Worship materials for the 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity were prepared by a working group of ecumenical leaders from Germany and activities for the week are meant to have a distinctly German flavour.

A resource kit that helped people prepare for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is available as a free download from www.councilofchurches.ca. The materials from the kit may be used in various ways. Churches and Christian communities could:

  • observe the week of prayer together through a single common service;
  • incorporate “Week of Prayer” materials into their own services;
  • observe the week of prayer in their worship for each day during the week;
  • engage in Bible studies on the “Week of Prayer” theme.

Those who chose to pray privately may have found the materials helpful for focusing their prayer intentions. They can be mindful that they are in communion with others praying all around the world for the greater visible unity of Christ’s Church.

For more information about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity or for help planning a celebration in your local area, please contact Julien in the Archdiocesan Office of Ecumenical & Interreligious Relations, 780-469-1010, ext. 2133, or email by clicking the Contact Us link and select Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations.