Friday, January 18, 2008
VATICAN CITY, 15 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, traditionally celebrated every year from January 18 to 25, begins on Friday.
The theme chosen for this year's initiative, taken from the First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians, is: "Pray without ceasing". The texts for reflection and prayer have been prepared by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.
Each day of the Week will have a different theme:
18 January: Pray always. "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5, 17).
19 January: Pray always, trusting God alone. "Give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5, 18).
20 January: Pray without ceasing for the conversion of hearts. "Admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted" (1 Thessalonians 5, 14).
21 January: Pray always for justice. "See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all" (1 Thessalonians 5, 15).
22 January: Pray constantly with a patient heart. "Be patient with all of them" (1 Thessalonians 5, 14).
23 January: Pray always for grace to work with God. "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5, 16).
24 January: Pray for what we need. "... help the weak" (1 Thessalonians 5, 14).
25 January: Pray always that they all may be one. "Be at peace" (1 Thessalonians 5, 13b)
Although the traditional period for celebrating this week of prayer is in the month of January, in the southern hemisphere Churches sometimes seek other periods such as, for example, around the time of Pentecost, which is also a symbolically significant date for the unity of the Church, and was suggested by the Faith and Order movement in 1926.
In the basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls at 5.30 p.m. on Friday, 25 January, Feast of the Conversion of the Apostle Paul, Benedict XVI will preside at the celebration of Vespers to mark the close of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
.../PRAYER WEEK CHRISTIAN UNITY/... VIS 080115 (350)