Download liturgical resources for the 2011 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which is celebrated from 18th – 25th January.

Resources

A brochure with liturgical texts and background information based on the work of a Scottish ecumenical preparatory group was jointly prepared and published by the (Roman Catholic) Pontifical Council for Christian Unity (PCCU) and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches (WCC)

Click on link to download – PCCU/WCC brochure

Click on link to download Ecumenical Prayer Service for Christian Unity

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

Further resources – again based on the work of the Scottish ecumenical preparatory group – have been prepared by Churches together in Britain and Ireland. They are available in English and Irish.

Click on link to visit Resources page of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland website

Theme for 2011

One in the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer.
Acts 2 : 42 – 47

The 2011 prayers for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by Christians in Jerusalem, who chose as a theme Acts 2:42, ‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.’ This theme is a call back to the origins of the first church in Jerusalem; it is a call for inspiration and renewal, a return to the essentials of the faith; it is a call to remember the time when the church was still one.

Within this theme four elements are presented which were marks of the early Christian community, and which are essential to the life of the Christian Community wherever it exists.

  1. Firstly, the Word was passed on by the apostles.
  2. Secondly, fellowship (koinonia) was an important mark of the early believers whenever they met together.
  3. A third mark of the early Church was the celebration of the Eucharist (the ‘breaking of the bread’), remembering the New Covenant which Jesus has enacted in his suffering, death and resurrection.
  4. The fourth aspect is the offering of constant prayer.

These four elements are the pillars of the life of the church, and of its unity.

The Christian Community in the Holy Land wishes to give prominence to these basic essentials as it raises its prayers to God for the unity and vitality of the church throughout the world. The Christians of Jerusalem invite their sisters and brothers around the world to join them in prayer as they struggle for justice, peace and prosperity for all people of the land.

Prayer

Almighty and Merciful God, with great power you gathered together the first Christians in the city of Jerusalem, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, defying the earthly power of the Roman empire.

Grant that, like this first church in Jerusalem, we may come together to be bold in preaching and living the good news of reconciliation and peace, wherever there is inequality and injustice. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who liberates us from the bondage of sin and death.

Amen.

History

In 1908, the Rev. Paul Wattson, a North American Anglican priest, founded the “Octave for unity”. The Faith and Order movement began publishing “Suggestions for an octave of prayer for Christian unity” in 1926.

1966 The Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity [now known as the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity] begin official joint preparation of the Week of Prayer material.

2004 Agreement reached that resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity be jointly published and produced in the same format by Faith and Order (WCC) and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (Catholic Church).

2008 Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. (Its predecessor, the Church Unity Octave, was first observed in 1908).