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The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - 18-25 January, 2021

Dear Friends,

I write to you concerning the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which begins on January 18th and ends on January 25th. This annual letter is a reminder and an encouragement to all of us to participate in the Week of Prayer in some appropriate way. Clearly the current restrictions on gathering and meeting owing to Covid-19 will lead us to mark Unity Week in a different way this year.

The theme for the 2021 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is “Abide in My Love……..You Shall Bear Much Fruit". It was chosen by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland and finds its origins in the Gospel of John 15:5-9.

Set up in the Reformed Church in Grandchamp in the canton of Neuchatel in the 1930s, this monastic community has close ties to the Community of Taize. Today the community has 50 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.

In choosing this year's theme, the Grandchamp Community 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'. 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 annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity offers us a particular opportunity to recall all that we have in common, to express regret for the pain caused by our divisions and to ask the Lord to deepen in us the hope that we will all be one someday in the future.

I offer some suggestions as to how we can participate in the Week. You will, of course, have ideas of your own based on your own experience and context.

• Remember the intentions of the Week in personal and communal prayer.
• Use some part of the order of service in the resources in the link sent along with this letter 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.

May the Spirit of Unity continue to be active in our midst. We give thanks for the growth in unity which we have seen in the years since the Edinburgh Conference (1910) and the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). We ask the Lord’s blessing on the work that still needs to be done.

If I can be of any further assistance to you, please feel free to contact me at tnlayden@jesuit.ie or by phone at 00 44 74 7991 3293.

Your brother in the Lord,

Tom Layden, SJ
Irish Jesuit Province Coordinator of Ecumenism

Booklet of Prayers

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