The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally observed from the 18th to the 25th January – the octave of St. Peter and St. Paul.
During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Christians from many different traditions and confessions around the world gather to pray for the unity of all baptized. This year’s materials and worship service have been prepared by the Middle East Council of Churches.
The selection of scripture and liturgical texts is inspired by the visit of the Magi to the new-born King, as described in Matthew 2:1-12, particularly verse 2: “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him.”
The story of the Magi visiting the Holy Family in Bethlehem is one very familiar to us. The Magi have sometimes been seen as a symbol of the world’s diversity – different religions and cultures – that comes to pay homage to the Christ-child. The story might therefore represent the unity of all created that God desires.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2022 has been prepared by the churches of the Middle East, the history of which was, and still is, characterised by conflict and strife, tainted with blood and darkened by injustice and oppression. The Christians of the Middle East offer these resources conscious that the world shares many of the travails and much of the difficulties that it experiences, and yearns for a light to lead the way to the Saviour who is the light that overcomes darkness.
Serving the Gospel today requires a commitment to the human being, especially the poorest, the weakest and those marginalised. It requires from the churches transparency and accountability in dealing with the world, and with each other. This means churches need to cooperate to provide relief to the afflicted, to welcome the displaced, to relieve the burdened, and to build a just and honest society. This is a call for churches to work together so that young people can build a good future according to God’s heart, a future in which all human beings can experience life, peace, justice, and love.
See materials prepared by the Middle East Council of Churches:
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022