Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Tuesday, January 20 2009

(CCCB)…The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is celebrated in Canada from January 18 to 25, 2009.

Inaugurated in 1908 at the initiative of Rev. Paul Wattson, an Episcopalian priest of the United States who would later join the Catholic Church, the event is celebrated all around the world.

An Ecumenical Committee, coordinated by the Commission on Faith and Witness of the Canadian Council of Churches has prepared a resource for celebrating this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity that includes readings and prayers for each of the eight days inspired by the universal theme, "One in My Hand” and adapted to the Canadian socio-cultural realities.

This year’s theme, chosen by an international Joint Committee of the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity “is rooted in the experience of the churches in Korea. In their context of national division the churches have turned for inspiration to the prophet Ezekiel, who also lived in a tragically divided nation and longed for the unity of his people.”

During the Week of Christian Unity and throughout the year, the faithful of the Church in Canada and around the world are asked to pray for unity among Christians. “The hope inspiring this prayer,” instructs the resource guide for this year’s celebrations, “is that all people in the world will become God’s people; God will be their God; and people will be given the happiness of joy and prosperity when confrontation, conflict, and division are surmounted and unity is achieved.”

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is a member of the Canadian Council of Churches.

Useful Links

Pontifical Council for promoting Christian Unity

World Council of Churches

Canadian Council of Churches

Pray without ceasing: The importance of prayer for Christian Unity

History of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity