Week of Prayer for Christian Unity January 18-25
By USCCB and World Council of Churches
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has a history of over 100 years, in which Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity. By annually observing it, Christians move toward the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper “that they all may be one.” (cf. John 17:21)
At least once a year, Christians are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (see John 17.21). Hearts are touched and Christians come together to pray for their unity. Congregations and parishes all over the world exchange preachers or arrange special ecumenical celebrations and prayer services. The event that touches off this special experience is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
This year 2021, it was prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp. The theme that was chosen, “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”, is based on John 15:1-17 and expresses Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the church and the human family:
Though we, as Christians, abide in the love of Christ, we also live in a creation that groans as it waits to be set free (Romans 8). In the world we witness the evils of suffering and conflict. Through solidarity with those who suffer we allow the love of Christ to flow through us. The paschal mystery bears fruit in us when we offer love to our brothers and sisters and nurture hope in the world.
Spirituality and solidarity are inseparably linked. Abiding in Christ, we receive the strength and wisdom to act against structures of injustice and oppression, to fully recognize ourselves as brothers and sisters in humanity, and to be creators of a new way of living, with respect for and communion with all of creation.
Thus, for the eight days of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2021, herewith the propose journey of prayer, reflecting and meditating each day with the following scripture passages:
Day 1: Called by God: “You did not choose me but I chose you” (Jn 15:16a)
Day 2: Maturing internally: “Abide in me as I abide in you” (Jn 15:4a)
Day 3: Forming one body: “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12b)
Day 4: Praying together: “I do not call you servants any longer … but I have called you friends” (Jn 15:15)
Day 5: Letting oneself be transformed by the Word: “You have already been pruned by the word…” (Jn 15:3)
Day 6: Welcoming others: “Go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (Jn 15:16b)
Day 7: Growing in unity: “I am the vine, you are the branches” (Jn 15:5a)
Day 8: Reconciling with all of creation: “So that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (Jn 15:11)