It’s beginning to look a lot like. . . Winter Ordinary Time, or the Season after Epiphany, or call it what you will. And many of us who labor in the fields of pastoral liturgy are too exhausted right now to think of doing anything until early next month.
But let’s not forget the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 18-25). Falling between the Feast of the Confession of St Peter (Anglican and Lutheran Calendars), and the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul (well… I think everybody observes this one), the week affords a fine opportunity for Christians of many denominations to gather and pray for the healing of the sad divisions that have fractured the church and continue to compromise the integrity of Christian witness in the world.
Worship materials for the Week of Prayer are published jointly by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches. This year’s materials are available on-line in .pdf format from the WCC and in an .html webpage from the Holy See. A model ecumenical service (essentially a Liturgy of the Word) is provided, as well as scripture readings, biblical reflections and prayers for each of the eight days of the Week of Prayer. For those who know that they ought to do something, but just don’t have the time or energy during this gap between Epiphany and Lent, the jointly published worship resource is invaluable!
Let us pray for—and with—one another.