Loading
Holy Land Christians prepare for Church unity week
Jerusalem. Credit: Marianne Medlin/CNA.
Jerusalem. Credit: Marianne Medlin/CNA.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Christians of varying Churches and ecclesial communities in Palestine and Israel will gather for ecumenical prayer services at the churches of various communities.

The Holy Land observes a novena for Christian unity from Jan. 25-Feb. 2, following the traditional octave held Jan. 18-25.

The theme of this year's week of prayer for Christian unity is “has Christ been divided”, St. Paul's affirmation of unity in the face of divisions in the early Christian community at Corinth.

The novena held in Jerusalem will include services at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is shared among Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox; the city's Anglican cathedral; the city's Armenian Apostolic cathedral; a Lutheran church; a Syrian Orthodox church; the Cenacle; a church of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem; an Ethiopian Orthodox church; and a Greek Catholic church.

In addition, a prayer service will be held at the Chapel for Unity in Nazareth on Jan. 25.

The Octave of Christian Unity was originated by Fr. Lewis Wattson in 1899, who at the time was an Anglican priest. The previous year, he had co-founded an Anglican Franciscan religious community, the Society of the Atonement.

The Octave is traditionally observed between Jan. 18, the feast of Chair of St. Peter at Rome, and Jan. 25, the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.

The Society of the Atonement sought to join the Catholic Church, and in 1909 its members were corporately received into the Church.

Fr. Wattson's church unity octave was indulgenced by both Benedict XV and Pius XII.

Under Bl. John XXIII, the Church became more concerned with ecumenical issues; in 1960, the Pope established the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Anticipating this year's octave, Pope Francis met with a delegation of Finnish Lutherans on Jan. 17, who make an annual pilgrimage to Rome for the feast of St. Henry, Finland's patron.

“In the face of those who no longer see the full, visible unity of the Church as an achievable goal, we are invited not to give up our ecumenical efforts, faithful to that which the Lord Jesus asked of the Father, ‘that they may be one,’” the Pope told them.

“Ecumenism is in fact a spiritual process, that is realized in faithful obedience to the Father, in fulfillment of the will of Christ and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”

“It is necessary that our testimony focuses on the center of our faith, on the announcement of the love of God that is manifested in Christ his Son,” said Pope Francis.

Tags: Octave of Christian Unity, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
21

Liturgical Calendar

October 21, 2014

Tuesday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:35-38

Gospel
Date
10/21/14
10/20/14
10/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 2: 12-22
Gospel:: Lk 12: 35-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/21/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:35-38

Homily
Date
10/21/14
10/20/14
10/19/14