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. 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)


Please read a letter from Cardinal Cupich on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2023. (PDF)

Click here for resources to plan and participate in the 2023 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 2023 Ecumenical Prayer Services Online/In-Person

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

Oak Lawn Ecumenical Prayer Service for Christian Unity
Thursday, January 19 at 7 p.m.
St. Catherine of Alexandria
10621 S. Kedvale,
Oak Lawn, IL

Focolare Movement and The Initiative
Saturday, January 21 at 5:30 p.m.
Augustana Lutheran Church
5500 S. Woodlawn Ave.,
Chicago, IL

Livestreamed at Facebook:

Sunday, January 22
10:30 a.m. – St. Nikolai United Church of Christ (3000 N. Kedzie, Chicago, IL)

  • Service in English and Spanish followed by a potluck luncheon

6 p.m. – Lutheran Church of the Master (580 Kuhn Road, Carol Stream, IL)