18/01/2012 9:50 am
18-25 January 2012
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally celebrated in the northern hemisphere from 18-25 January - the octave (eighth-day feast) of St. Peter and St. Paul. However, in the southern hemisphere, some observe the week at Pentecost or at some other time. It brings together Christian parishes and congregations from different confessional families all over the world to meet and pray together in special ecumenical celebrations.
Change is at the heart of our Christian faith. Saint Paul said that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation, and we are called to live as children in the light.
This year's theme is, "We will all be changed by the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ" and comes to us from the churches in Poland, who have reflected upon their own experience as a nation, and in particular how, as a nation, they have been changed and transformed by the many upheavals of their history, and sustained by their faith.
The theme comes from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians which promises the transformation of human life - with all its apparent dimensions of 'triumph' and 'defeat' - through the victory of Christ's resurrection.
Shortly before Christian Unity Week 2012, Pope Benedict XVI invited the faithful, "as individuals and in communities, to participate spiritually, and where possible practically in the Week of Prayer, to ask God for the gift of full unity among the disciples of Christ".
Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
A page of resources prepared and published by The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, The Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland offers resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.