The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on Monday 18 January. This year's theme is Abiding in Christ. Below we explain what the week is about, how you can get involved and the resources available.
What is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity?
It's an ecumenical Christian event celebrated annually and internationally. It began in 1908 to help strengthen the ecumenical ties between denominations and encourage a sense of mutual support.
Tell me more
Here's a message from Fr Jeremy Bath, our Vicar Episcopal for Ecumenism and Interfaith Dialogue (parish priest at Ss John Cantius & Nicholas, Broxburn).
This year's theme
This year's theme is “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”. It is based on John 15:1-17 and was chosen by the monastic community of Grandchamp. It expresses that community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the church and the human family.
What resources are available?
The main resource is the Abiding in Christ pamphlet, available to download here.
Message from Archbishop Cushley
Archbishop Cushley joined the Moderator of the Church of Scotland to issue this message.
Why should Catholics be involved?
Catholics are involved in ecumenism because we believe that when Christians are divided it is a scandal to the world and it makes the message of Jesus less credible. As Catholics, we seek to know the person of Jesus Christ and bring others to know him too. Christ is always at the centre of the ecumenical endeavour: as we draw closer to the centre, we then draw closer to one another.
Thrice-holy God, we thank you for having created and loved us.
We thank you for your presence in us and in creation.
May we learn to look upon the world as you look upon it, with love.
In the hope of this vision, may we be able to work for a world where justice and peace flourish, for the glory of your name.
From the booklet for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
What else is happening?
While it's not part of the Week of Prayer, you can tune into Reflections at the Quay, an ecumenical prayer service on BBC1 Scotland this Sunday at 11:30am It's presented by the Reverend Jane Denniston, of Campsie Parish Church, and our own Father John Deighan, of St Machan’s, Lennoxtown.
Reflections at the Quay this weekend features Fr John Deighan - @StMachans, Lennoxtown
and Rev Jane Denniston - Campsie Parish Church @churchscotland. Tunes: @rachelhair and @RonJappyMusic)
? BBC1 Scotland: 11:30am Sunday pic.twitter.com/oZHnSHUoTd
— Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh (@archedinburgh) January 15, 2021
Call to prayer
Also on Sunday there is the weekly call to prayer, where Christians of all denominations are invited to come together at 7pm to pray for all those affected by Covid-19. The prayer is signed by Archbishop Leo Cushley. Read it here.
Online event (I)
The Bishops' Conference of Scotland and the Ahl Al-Bait Scotland Society host an online conference on Monday 01 February, 5-7pm. It's titled Human Fraternity for Peace and Living Together*. The event marks the signing of the document on Human Fraternity by Pope Francis and Sheikh Al Azhar. Keynote speakers are Dr Mohammad Ali Shomali and Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald. To register, click here.
*This is not part of the Week of Prayer but will be of interest to those interested in interfaith relations.
Online event (II)
The Moderator of the Church of Scotland hosts an online presentation and discussion for the ecumenical charity Grasping the Nettle on Wednesday 20 January at 7.30 pm. It's titled Neuroscience Meets the God of the Letter to the Colossians. Register and find out more here.
Ecumenism: Fr Jeremy Bath recommends this book for the Week of prayer for Christian Unity: Tomorrow's Christian, by Fr Adrian B Smith, a priest who has worked in the Vatican Secretariat for Christian Unity. More here
Interfaith: Christology is one of the most contentious subjects in Christian-Muslim relations, but Fr Robert Afayori, parish priest at St Mary's in Stirling tackles the subject head on in his book Christology in Christian-Muslim Dialogue. Find out more here.
Find out more about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity here.