Ecumenical Relations

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

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 Dicastery 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. During this week-long celebration, Christians are invited to gather with their Christian neighbors to join in prayer for Christian unity.

The 2024 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is  “You shall love the Lord your God… and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27).  

This year’s theme comes through the combined efforts of the Pontifical Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, the World Council of Churches and the Christian churches of Burkina Faso. Much of the coordination of this ecumenical project was done by the community of Chemin Neuf, a French Catholic and ecumenical community of vowed and lay people, particularly through their local community in Burkina Faso, a country in the Sahel region of West Africa.

- from Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute

The resources on the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute website 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.

  • Preparation: Observing the Week of Prayer (Link)
  • Daily Scripture and Prayer Guide (Link)
  • Ecumenical Prayer Service Outlines (Link)


Please read a letter from Cardinal Cupich on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2024. (PDF)

Click here for resources to plan and participate in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Click here for a sample prayer service for 2021 using materials provided by the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Unity, produced in this form by Ecumenism Metro Chicago, a group of representatives from Chicago-based Christian churches and organizations.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2024 Ecumenical Prayer Services

Saturday, January 20, 2024, 7 p.m.
St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic Church
2132 E. 72nd St., Chicago, IL  60649
Focolare - Church unity partners on the southside will join us for this service.

Sunday, January 21, 2024, 10:30 a.m.
St. Nicolai United Church of Christ
3000 N. Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60618
English and Spanish, potluck luncheon following.

Thursday, January 25, 2024, 7 p.m.
Oak Lawn Prayer Service for Christian Unity
Christ Centered Church Ministries
9701 49th Avenue, Oak Lawn, IL  60453