WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
JANUARY 18–25, 2017

PRAYER / WORSHIP: An Ecumenical Celebration of the Word of God
RECONCILIATION - The Love Of Christ Compels Us
(2 CORINTHIANS 5:14-20)

2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

View in Spanish

“L” refers to the leader(s) of worship and is chosen from those churches present at worship.
“A” refers to the assembly gathered for worship.

PROCESSIONAL HYMN

OPENING

L: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. A: Amen
L: Grace and peace from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ, be with you all.
A: And also with you.

WORDS OF WELCOME

L: Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this year many Christians and churches will be commemorating the anniversary of the Reformation. Saint Paul reminds us that God has reconciled us through Jesus Christ and that the love of Christ compels us to be ministers of reconciliation. Let us worship and praise God together in the unity of the Holy Spirit!

DIVIDED BY OUR SINS (CONFESSION)

INVITATION TO CONFESSION

L: In the course of history, there have been many renewal movements in the Church, which are always in need of deeper conversion to her head Jesus Christ. Sometimes these movements have led to unintended di-visions. Let us confess our sins and pray for forgiveness and healing for the wounds which have resulted from our divisions. We bring before you now the stones with which we erect our walls and pray for your forgiveness and healing.
A: Amen.

L: One stone in our wall is “lack of love.”
Reader: Gracious God, the love of Christ
compels us to ask forgiveness for whenever we have failed to love. We humbly pray:
A: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

L: One stone in our wall is “hate and contempt.”
Reader: Gracious God, the love of Christ compels us to ask forgiveness for our hate and contempt for one another. We humbly pray:
A: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

L: One stone in our wall is “false accusation.”
Reader: Gracious God, the love of Christ compels us to ask forgiveness for denouncing and falsely accusing one another. We humbly pray:
A: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

L: One stone in our wall is “discrimination.”
Reader: Gracious God, the love of Christ compels us to ask forgiveness for all forms of prejudice and discrimination against one an-other. We humbly pray:
A: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

SUNG RESPONSE:

L: One stone in our wall is “persecution.”
Reader: Gracious God, the love of Christ compels us to ask forgiveness for persecuting and torturing one another. We humbly pray:
A: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

L: One stone in our wall is “broken communion.”
Reader: Gracious God, the love of Christ compels us to ask forgiveness for perpetuating broken communion among our churches. We humbly pray:
A: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

L: One stone in our wall is “intolerance.”
Reader: Gracious God, the love of Christ compels us to ask forgiveness for banishing our brothers and sisters from our common homeland in the past and for acts of religious intolerance today. We humbly pray:
A: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

L: One stone in our wall is “religious wars.”
Reader: Gracious God, the love of Christ compels us to ask forgiveness for all wars that we have waged against one another in his name. We humbly pray:
A: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

SUNG RESPONSE:

L: One stone in our wall is “division.”
Reader: Gracious God, the love of Christ compels us to ask forgiveness for living our Christian lives divided from one another and astray from our common calling for the healing of all creation. We humbly pray:
A: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

L: One stone in our wall is “abuse of power.”
Reader: Gracious God, the love of Christ compels us to ask forgiveness for our abuse of power. We humbly pray:
A: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

L: One stone in our wall is “isolation.”
Reader: Gracious God, the love of Christ compels us to ask forgiveness for the times when we have isolated ourselves from our Christian sisters and brothers and from the communities in which we live. We humbly pray:
A: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

L: One stone in our wall is “pride.”
Reader: Gracious God, the love of Christ compels us to ask forgiveness for our pride.
We humbly pray:
A: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

SUNG RESPONSE:

L: Let us pray: Lord, our God, look upon this wall that we have built, which separates us from you and from one another. Forgive us our sins. Heal us. Help us to overcome all walls of division and make us one in you.
A: Amen.

SUNG RESPONSE:

BE RECONCILED TO GOD– HEAR GOD'S WORD

FIRST READING: EZEKIEL36: 25-27

RESPONSORIAL PSALM:

SECOND READING: 2 CORINTHIANS 5:14-20

ALLELUIA: GOSPEL: Luke 15:11-24

SERMON:

RESPOND IN FAITH – LIVE RECONCILED

(As the wall is dismantled and the stones are laid in the form of a cross, a song of recon-ciliation or a hymn of the glory of the cross is sung.) L: Let us pray: Gracious God and Father in Heaven, we have heard your word that you have reconciled us to yourself through your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord. By the power of the Holy Spirit transform our hearts of stone. Help us to become ministers of reconciliation and heal our churches’ divisions so that we may better serve the works of your peace in the world.
A: Amen.

THE PEACE

L: The peace of the Lord be with you always.
Let us give one another a sign of peace.

 

HYMN/SONG
RESPOND IN FAITH -PROCLAIM RECONCILIATION
CREED
INTERCESSORY PRAYERS

(After each petition, three people light their candles from a central source of light (for example a Paschal candle) and remain standing until the section headed “Christ’s commission.”)

L: Almighty God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to reconcile the world to yourself. May your Spirit awaken in every community a hunger and thirst for unity in you. Let us pray to the Lord:
A: Lord, hear our prayer.

L: Gracious God, where faith is corrupted, purify it; where people go astray, redirect them; where they fail to proclaim your Gospel, reform them; where they witness to what is right, strengthen them; where they are in need, provide for them; and where they are divided, reunite them. Let us pray to the Lord:
A: Lord, hear our prayer.
L: Creator God, look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arro-gance and hatred that infect our hearts; breakdown the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love so that every people and nation may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne. Let us pray to the Lord:
A: Lord, hear our prayer.

L: Holy Spirit, Giver of Life, awaken in each of us your compassion and love. Give us strength and courage to work for justice in our neighborhoods, to create peace within our families, to comfort the sick and the dying, and to share all we have with those who are in need. For the transformation of every human heart, let us pray to the Lord:
A: Lord, hear our prayer.
The Love
THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.

AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST-MINISTERS OF RECONCILIATION

CHRIST’S COMMISSION

L: A lighted candle symbolizes Christ, the light of the world. As ambassadors for Christ we will carry this light into the world, into the dark places where fighting, discord and division impede our united witness. May Christ’s light effect reconciliation in our present thoughts, words and deeds.

BLESSING AND SENDING

L: Take the Light of Christ and carry it into the dark places of our world! Be ministers of reconciliation! Be ambassadors for Christ! And may the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit come upon you and remain with you forever.
A: Amen.

L: Go in God’s Peace.
A: Thanks be to God.

HYMN/SONG: