Holy Father to close Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with the celebration of Vespers

21 January 2022

The Holy Father will preside at the celebration of Second Vespers on Tuesday, 25 January, at the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The celebration will take place at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls on the Solemnity of the Conversion of Saint Paul with the participation of representatives of the other Christian communities in Rome and Italy.

During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, — held annually on 18-25 January — Churches and Christians from many different traditions and confessions around the world gather to pray for the unity of the Church. This year’s materials and worship service have been prepared by the Middle East Council of Churches. The theme for 2022 was also chosen by the Middle East Council of Churches, in conjunction with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The selection of scripture and liturgical texts was inspired by the visit of the Magi to the new-born King, as described in Matthew 2:2: “We saw  the star  in the East,  and we came  to worship him.”

As Christians come together to mark the annual ecumenical Week of Prayer, the Secretary of the pcpcu, Bishop Brian Farrell, explained that the theme is “an invitation to all Christians to return to our origins and our origins are in Christ”.

Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, expressed the need for a “common vision” to avoid running the risk of growing further apart if we do not aim towards a common goal. “If we have conflicting views of this goal, we shall, if we are consistent, move in opposite directions”.

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