A fragment of the Berlin wall, in the shape of a cross, is being used as a symbol of the need for reconciliation during the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which begins today Wednesday 18 January and runs until Wednesday 25 January.
The international theme for this year is ‘Reconciliation: The Love of Christ Compels Us’. The 2017 resource material was prepared for worldwide use by the churches in Germany and is based around the verses 2 Corinthians 5:14-20. The text from 2 Corinthians announces that God has, in Christ, reconciled the world to himself. The love of Christ compels us to be ambassadors of this reconciliation, which is enacted by dismantling walls.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally observed from the 18 to 25 January – the octave of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The local theme chosen for use in Ireland and the UK is ‘Crossing Barriers’.
This year’s resources include an order of service, daily reflections and background information. Some of the resources are available in the Irish language. The resources can be downloaded from catholicbishops.ie. The social media hashtag #WPCU2017 is being used for sharing news and information about events for Christian Unity Week.
The annual celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will conclude in Rome with Vespers, presided over by Pope Francis, in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls on Wednesday 25 January.