At least once a year, Christians are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (see John 17.21). Hearts are touched and Christians come together to pray for their unity. Congregations and parishes all over the world exchange preachers or arrange special ecumenical celebrations and prayer services. The event that touches off this special experience is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
WHEN: Traditionally the week of prayer is celebrated between 18-25 January, between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul. In the southern hemisphere, where January is a vacation time, churches often find other days to celebrate it, for example around Pentecost, which is also a symbolic date for unity.
The text is jointly published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches, through the World Council of Churches’s Commission on Faith and Order, which also accompanies the entire production process of the text. The final material is sent to World Council of Churches member churches and Roman Catholic episcopal conferences, and they are invited to translate the text and contextualize or adapt it for their own use.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2021 was prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp. The theme that was chosen, “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”, is based on John 15:1-17 and expresses Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the church and the human family.
Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit (cf. Jn 15:5-9)
An Annual brochure (pdf) is jointly prepared and published by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches. You may download the Annual Brochure