January 18 – 25
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an international Christian ecumenical observance celebrated annually from January 18, the traditional Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, through January 25, the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. With roots going back over 100 years, the dedicated octave of prayers has been jointly commissioned and prepared since 1966, after the Second Vatican Council, by the Roman Catholic Church’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches’ Faith and Order Commission.
Each year Christian churches and communities from a different part of the world develop the theme and materials for the Week of Prayer. The 2022 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him” (Mt 2:2).
During this week-long celebration, Christians are invited to gather with their Christian neighbors to join in prayer for Christian unity. Pentecost is also an appropriate time to plan ecumenical prayer services.
The Middle East Council of Churches, based in Beirut, Lebanon, was the convener of the drafting of Christians from Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022. Their reflections explore how Christians are called to be a sign to the world of God bringing about unity. Drawn from different cultures, races, and languages, Christians share a common commitment to Christ and a desire to worship him.
“We look for the good within ourselves, but so often we are overwhelmed by our weakness that hope fails us,” reads one of the reflections on the WCC resource website. “Our confidence rests in the God we worship.” The resources include an ecumenical opening prayer service, biblical reflections, prayers for eight days, and other elements of worship (adapted from World Council of Churches). Click here for more information.