Ecumenical Celebration of the Word of God — Week of Prayer for Christian Unity                                                                                                                                   2011

Guía Diario de Escritura y Oración


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2011
One in the Apostles' Teaching, Fellowship, Breaking of Bread and Prayer (cf. Acts 2:42)

A gong or bell is sounded three times to indicate the beginning of the service followed by a moment of silence. The worship leaders enter together with those participants carrying the Bible, a simple cross and possibly symbols inspired by the text of Acts 2:42.


L: In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
A: Amen.
L: From all Christians in Jerusalem to the faithful of this gathering, in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace! (1 Thessalonians 1:1)
A: Thanks be to God.

The worship leader or the pastor of the host congregation welcomes the assembly and briefly introduces the 2011 celebration, placing it within the framework of the chosen theme.

L: Compassionate and loving God, you created us in your likeness.
A: For this we praise and thank you.
L: We gather in your name, to ask you to restore the unity of all those who confess your Son Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of all.
A: O God, hear us and have compassion on us all.
L: Help us in our weakness and strengthen us with your Holy Spirit.
A: Send forth your Spirit and make us one.
L: Gracious God, you have promised through your prophets that Jerusalem will be home to many peoples, mother to many nations. Hear our prayers that Jerusalem, the city of your visitation, may be for all a place to dwell with you and to encounter one another in peace. We pray to the Lord.
A: Lord have mercy.
L: Merciful God, may your life-giving Spirit move in every human heart, that the barriers that divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease, and that, with divisions healed, your people might live in justice and peace. We pray to the Lord.
A: Lord have mercy.
L: Open now our ears and hearts to hear your Word proclaimed and aid us to live it more faithfully in all that we do and say, to the glory of your name and the spreading of your kingdom, most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
A: Amen.

Proclamation of the Word of God

Lector: Isaiah 58:6-10
Psalm 96:1-13: O sing the Lord a new song and bless his holy name.
(Or another hymn based on Psalm 96. If the psalm is not sung, it may be recited antiphonally.)

O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples.

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples, give to the Lord glory and strength.
Give to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, 'The Lord is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity.' Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; Let the field exult, and everything in it.

Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.

Lector: Acts 2:42-47

Alleluia: (Sung)
Leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:24)

L: The Gospel is proclaimed. Matthew 5:21-26

It is customary to invite a guest to preach in the host church's pulpit.

L: Recalling that the believers devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, we confess our failure of faithfulness and fellowship. We pray to the Lord.
A: Lord have mercy.
L: Recalling that awe came upon them and they saw many wonders and signs, we confess a lack of vision that prevents us from seeing the glory of your work in our midst. We pray to the Lord.
A: Lord have mercy.
L: Recalling that all who believed held things in common and supported those in need,
we confess that we hold on to possessions at the expense of the poor. We pray to the Lord.
A: Lord have mercy.
L: Recalling that the believers spent much time in prayer and breaking bread at home with glad and generous hearts, we confess our failure of love and generosity. We pray to the Lord.
A: Lord have mercy.


L: This is what was spoken through the prophet Joel, "in the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

As we wait for the coming of the Lord we are also assured that in Christ we are forgiven, renewed and made whole again.

The host leader of worship designates the recipient of the offering and invites all to participate in giving. A hymn or musical selection maybe sung during the collection.

L: Christ is our peace. He has reconciled us to God in one body on the cross; we meet in His name and share His peace. The peace of the Lord be always with you.
A: And also with you.

At the conclusion of the peace candles are distributed. They are lighted after each intention in the Litany of Christian Unity. Participants are encouraged to take home the candles they received and to light them each night during the week of prayer and, if appropriate, place them in their windows as a continuation of this prayer vigil and a remembrance of Christians throughout the world who suffer because of their faith.


L: In Christ, God reconciled the world to himself and entrusted the message of reconciliation to us. As ambassadors for Christ's reconciliation, we present our petitions to God. (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:19f)

Lector 1: When we open the Bible together, no matter our Christian tradition, when we pray together in spite of our different sensibilities:
A: Everything becomes new again and makes visible our unity.
Lector 2: When we help build good relations among Jews, Christians and Muslims, when we tear down the wall of indifference and hatred:
A: Everything becomes new again and makes visible our unity.
Lector 1: When we work for justice and solidarity, when we move from fear to confidence:
A: Everything becomes new again and makes visible our unity.
Lector 2: When we are attentive to the needs of the bereaved families, of the poor, the hopeless and all who suffer in the name of our Lord:
A: Everything becomes new again and makes visible our unity.
Lector 1: When our churches witness to a future of building closer ties to each other in the service of the Gospel in the world:
A: Everything becomes new again and makes visible our unity.
Lector 2: We share much in common, the Word of God, the teaching of the Apostles, and one baptism. We still cannot share in the one Eucharist. When your Spirit leads us to full visible communion:
A: Everything becomes new again and makes visible our unity.

L: Let us pray together, each in his or her own language, in the words Jesus gave us:
A: Our Father…

L: May the Father, who is faithful to his promises and unfailing in his help, sustain you as you go forth to strive for justice and seek an end to division.
A: Amen.
L: May the Son, who sanctified the Holy Land by his birth, ministry, death and resurrection, bring you redemption, reconciliation and peace.
A: Amen.
L: May the Spirit, who gathered the first believers together as one, unite you in faithfulness to the teaching and fellowship, the breaking of the bread and prayers, and inspire you to preach and live the Gospel.
A: Amen
L: May the One God, Father, Son and Spirit, bless you and keep you as you go forth to proclaim his Good News to the world.
A: Amen.

A: May the blessing of the God of peace and justice be with us;
May the blessing of the Son who has conquered suffering and death be with us;
And may the blessing of the Spirit who inspires us to reconciliation and hope be with us from now into eternity.
A: Amen.


                                                                   Copyright © 2010 Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute