“Learn to do good, seek justice” is the motto of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, held between January 18 and 25, 2023. It is a time when Christians of different denominations around the world gather for ecumenical services, concerts and other events to get to know each other and pray together for unity.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity initiative harks back to the late 19th and early 20th c. As of 1968, the Week has been coordinated by the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. As of 1975, the theme of successive Weeks has been chosen and related reference material submitted by groups of Christians from different countries and continents. The reference documents for the upcoming Week have been drafted by a group of Christians from the USA, convened by the Minnesota Council of Churches.
We can read in the documents: “It is also from deep longing within that as Christians the [members of the writing group] embody God’s gift of unity to address and eradicate the divisions that keep us from understanding and experiencing the reality that we all belong to Christ.” The document contains e.g. guidelines for those who will prepare ecumenical services as well as texts of prayers and biblical reflections for all the days of the Week.
The principal text of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an excerpt from the first chapter of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah: “Learn to do good, seek justice, Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow!” (Is 1:17). The authors of this year reference material point out: “If Churches join their voices to those of the oppressed, their cry for justice and liberation will be amplified.”
The celebrations of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity are preceded by the Day of Judaism, held in Poland on January 17. Immediately following the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, on January 26, the Catholic Church in Poland will celebrate the 23rd Day of Islam.
Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference