Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Start) in 2024
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The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity seeks to emphasize and deepen the shared commitment to following Jesus. This international movement is rooted in the desire for worldwide Christian unity; a goal that has been pursued for over a century. During this week-long event, churches host ecumenical services, discussions, and shared meals, offering a unique opportunity to strengthen ties both within communities and across borders.
The idea for an annual Week of Prayer dedicated to the unity of Christianity originated in 1908 through the efforts of Paul James Wattson and Spencer Jones, who promoted the concept within their respective Episcopalian and Anglican churches. Canada, being a diverse country with a rich history of immigrants, has been actively involved in commemorations of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity for decades. The celebration presents an unparalleled occasion for Canadian Christians to engage in ecumenical dialogue, explore shared beliefs, and collaborate on initiatives that benefit their communities and the wider public.
In Canada, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is marked by a variety of events and initiatives organized by churches and ecumenical organizations at a local, regional, and national level. The Canadian Council of Churches, along with the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism and the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism, encourages participation through the preparation and distribution of liturgical resources. These materials promote the themes and activities proposed by the international bodies guiding the event, which are the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Canadians observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity during the same international dates, traditionally occurring from January 18 to 25.
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