This year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, 18-25 January, has as its theme ‘Abiding in Christ’. The World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity invited the sisters of the ecumenical Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland to select the theme and prepare material around it. They chose a passage in St John’s Gospel (15:1-17), specifically Christ saying “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”, which expresses their own community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the Church and the human family.
Tom Layden SJ is the Province Coordinator of Ecumenism in Ireland. He has written to his fellow-Jesuits and friends to remind and encourage them to participate in the Week of Prayer. “The Grandchamp Community,” he notes, “desired to share the experience and wisdom of their contemplative life abiding in the love of God and keeping the commandment ‘of loving one another as He has loved us’.” He adds: “They remind Christians worldwide of the importance of praying for the fruits of closer communion with our sisters and brothers in Christ and of greater solidarity with the whole of creation.”
The Grandchamp Community was set up in the Reformed Church in Grandchamp, in the canton of Neuchatel, Switzerland, in the 1930s. It has close ties to the Community of Taizé. Today there are fifty sisters from different generations, churches, countries and continents who are called to a life of prayer for reconciliation and unity in the Church, the human family and the whole of creation. The community chapel is pictured above.
In his letter, Fr Layden offers suggestions for how to participate in this Week of Prayer.
- Remember the intentions of the Week in personal and communal prayer
- Use some part of the order of service in the resources [see link below] in either personal or communal prayer
- Use the prayers from a Votive Mass for the Unity of Christians at Mass
- Use one of the Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation from the Missal
- Watch online a Sunday service from a church of another tradition
- Write a letter of greeting to a person from another Christian tradition whom you know either through work or personal contact
Resources for the week can be found here »