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 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.
 

Resources

Please read a letter from Cardinal Cupich on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2021. (PDF)

Click here for resources to plan and participate in the 2022 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 2022 Ecumenical Prayer Services Online/In-Person

Please note that in-person services may pivot online for safety reasons. Please check ahead to confirm.

Wednesday, January 19 – 11 a.m. CST
Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute

Please join the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute, and the Interchurch Center Committee on Ecumenical, Interfaith, and Community Concerns, for a live-streamed Ecumenical Service of the Word in observation of the 2022 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Online via Facebook: Join Here
Free and open to the public. The service will remain available online for later viewing.
Graymoor website: https://geii.org/learn_more/events/upcoming_events.html

Thursday, January 20 – 7 p.m. CST
Gary United Methodist Church
224 N Main St, Wheaton, IL  60187

Immanuel Lutheran Church
1500 West Elmdale Ave., Chicago, IL 60660

Saturday, January 22  7 p.m. CST
University Bible Fellowship
5407 Hyde Park Blvd., Chicago 60615

This prayer service will be livestreamed: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82910721276

Sunday, January 23  10:30 a.m. CST
St. Nicolai Church, United Church of Christ
3000 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60618