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. During this week-long celebration, Christians are invited to gather with their Christian neighbors to join in prayer for Christian unity.
The 2023 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is “Do Good; Seek Justice.” (cf. Isaiah 1:17) The entire scriptural passage for the theme is Isaiah 1:12-18, lamenting a lack of justice among the People of God. Yet, it also promises redemption by encouraging acts of justice. It was developed with the assistance of a group of Christians in Minnesota, USA, convened by the Minnesota Council of Churches. Minneapolis, MN became a flashpoint for calls for racial justice and equity during the responses of communities to the George Floyd murder. This received world-wide attention.
- 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)