In advance of the first assembly of the Universal Synod, an ecumenical prayer vigil is taking place in Rome on 30 September to unite all Christians in praise and worship. In extending this invitation to Together | Gathering of the People of God, Pope Francis reminded us that ‘the path to Christian unity and the path of synodal conversion of the Church are linked’. In a special way, young people from across the world, from all Church backgrounds, have been invited to Rome to journey together as the People of God to pray for the work of the Synod and the prayer of Our Lord that one day we would all be one (John 17:21).
Earlier last month, the Irish Synodal Pathway encouraged parishes and dioceses to pray in communion with those in Saint Peter’s Square on 30 September. The General Secretary of the Synodal Pathway, Ms Julieann Moran, is encouraging local prayer groups to come together to pray with the Holy Father and pilgrims on the same evening here in Ireland. As this prayer moment is taking place during the Season of Creation, Ms Moran is inviting parishes and groups to use the River Ritual prayer resource, prepared with the Laudato Si Working Group, or to download the hymnbook prepared by the Taizé community especially for the Vigil.
Taizé’s relationship with the ecumenical prayer vigil began in October 2021, when Brother Alois (prior to Taizé) was invited to address the opening of the Bishops’ Synod on Synodality in Rome. Addressing the Synodal Fathers and Pope Francis, he said, “Holy Father, since you invite us to dream, I would like to share a dream. Would it be possible that one day, in the course of the synodal process, not only delegates but the people of God, not only Catholics but believers from the various Churches to be invited to a large ecumenical gathering? For through baptism we are brothers and sisters in Christ, united in a communion that is still imperfect but real, even when theological questions remain unanswered. Such a gathering, here in Rome and at the same time elsewhere in the world, would have at its heart a simple celebration of listening to the Word of God, with a long moment of silence and intercession for peace. Could young people be the facilitators? Could such a celebration be extended into exchanges between the denominations? We would discover that we can become peacemakers by being united in Christ.”
An evening of praise and worship has been organised in Christchurch Cathedral, Wood Quay, Dublin at 7pm on 30 September.