Beginning of a week of Prayer for Christian Unity.


VATICAN CITY, 18 JAN 2011 (VIS) – The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity,
traditionally celebrated every year from 18 to 25 January, begins today.

The theme chosen for 2011 is: “One in the apostles’ teaching, fellowship,
breaking of bread and prayer” (cf. Acts 2:42).

The materials for the week of prayer and for the rest of 2011 have been
jointly prepared by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and
the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.

Each day of the Week will have a different theme:

18 January: The Church in Jerusalem.

19 January: Many Members in One Body.

20 January: Devotion to the Apostles’ Teaching Unites Us.

21 January: Sharing, an Expression of Our Unity.

22 January: Breaking the Bread in Hope.

23 January: Empowered to Action in Prayer.

24 January: Living in Resurrection Faith.

25 January: Called for the Service of Reconciliation.

Although the traditional period for celebrating this week of prayer is the
month of January, in the southern hemisphere this coincides with the
holidays so Churches sometimes seek other periods such as, for example,
around the time of Pentecost, which is also a symbolically significant date
for the unity of the Church, and was suggested by the Faith and Order
movement in 1926.

In the basilica of St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls at 5.30 p.m. on Tuesday 25
January, Feast of the Conversion of the Apostle Paul, Benedict XVI will
preside at the celebration of Vespers to mark the close of the Week of
Prayer for Christian Unity.

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9 Responses to Beginning of a week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

  1. Gertrude says:

    I seem to remember reading that ‘when there is peace in Jerusalem there will be peace in the world’. I don’t know if this has anything to do with the theme ‘Church of Jerusalem’, but praying ‘for our seperated brethren to return to the one true Church’ was certainly something we prayed regularly at Mass in my youth. We also prayed for the conversion of England – Mary’s Dowry – but I haven’t heard those prayers for some years. Perhaps this is something more we have lost?


  2. mmvc says:

    Is Cardinal Wiseman’s Prayer for England one of the prayers of your youth, Gertrude?
    It’s a beautiful prayer which we’ve recently started using regularly in our prayer group. Somehow it seems more relevant than ever:

    O BLESSED Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England thy “Dowry” and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus our Saviour and our hope was given unto the world; and He has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother. Intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the supreme Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith, fruitful in good works, we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee, in our heavenly home. Amen.


  3. Gertrude says:

    That’s exactly the prayer Maryla. How lovely to know it is still being said. I haven’t heard it said for many years. It certainly does have great relevance now and one I think I will use again in my devotions. Thank you – I have to admit to having forgotten it was Cardinal Wiseman’s prayer – a great Prince of the Church.


  4. annem040359 says:

    I think also the words “Church in Jerusalem” could also mean not only the home base where the Church all began, but also for the beleagued Christian communities of the Middle East that have because of recent violent attacks have been in the news who are in bigtime need for prayer. Just a thought.


  5. Brother Burrito says:

    It is a lovely prayer, and one that I recited often at Benediction as a sixth-former.

    What cheers me in my deepest doldrums is the fact that I live in Mary’s Dowry (extended to include the whole UK!)

    Truly, though most of us live in times of material plenty, we also live in times of spiritual famine.

    I pray to God that the people of Britain are enkindled by the Holy Spirit, and once more become Her Wedding Gift.


  6. toadspittle says:

    “I seem to remember reading that ‘when there is peace in Jerusalem there will be peace in the world’.

    Says Gertrude. Toad agrees with that and interprets it as meaning, “That is to say, never.”


  7. Gertrude says:

    “……. so that no mere human being can invent a concept to make the world a better place.” Gosh Teresa, I do hope you’re wrong. I agree that probably ‘no concept’ can be invented, but …. each journey begins with a small step, and surely we have our parts to play? Perhaps you mean temporal rather than spiritual peace, and in that I agree that it is an ideal that seems remote.. but as Tennyson wrote “more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of”.


  8. toadspittle says:

    “……. so that no mere human being can invent a concept to make the world a better place.”

    Opines Teresa. Well, there’s anesthetics, CP&S, Gin and tonic, and even -for some -Mel Gibson movies.

    Matter of taste, though, Toad would agree.


  9. Gertrude says:

    Well Teresa, it didn’t work in England when John Stuart-Mills and Bentham tried itin the 19thc! 😉


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