Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan 18 to 25, 2021)
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” (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.
Traditionally the week of prayer is celebrated between 18-25 January, between the Feast of St. Peter's Chair on January 18 and the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul on January 25.
In order to prepare for the annual celebration, ecumenical partners in a particular region are invited to produce a basic liturgical text on a biblical theme. Then an international editorial team of WCC and Roman Catholic Church representatives refines this text to ensure that it can be prayed throughout the world, and to link it with the search for the visible unity of the church.
The text is jointly published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the WCC, through the WCC's Commission on Faith and Order, which also accompanies the entire production process of the text. The final material is sent to WCC member churches and Roman Catholic episcopal conferences, and they are invited to translate the text and contextualize or adapt it for their own use.
Theme for 2021
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2021 has been prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland. 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.
Today the community has fifty sisters, all women from different generations, Church traditions, countries and continents. In their diversity the sisters are a living parable of communion. They remain faithful to a life of prayer, life in community and the welcoming of guests. The sisters share the grace of their monastic life with visitors and volunteers who go to Grandchamp for a time of retreat, silence, healing or in search of meaning.
Booklet for Worship
Below is the Worship and background material for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2021:
Note: This is the international version of the text. Kindly contact your local Bishops’ Conference or Synod of your Church to obtain an adaptation of this text for your local context.