Home > Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2016 > Prayer and Worship: Ecumenical Celebration of the Word of God

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
JANUARY 18–25, 2016

PRAYER / WORSHIP: An Ecumenical Celebration of the Word of God
Called to Proclaim the Mighty Acts of the Lord
(cf. 1 Peter 2:9)

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“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

GATHERING
Those leading the celebration enter and may carry a Bible, light, and salt.

WORDS OF WELCOME

L: Dear friends in Christ, as we gather together in this service of prayer for unity, we thank God for our Christian dignity and vocation, described in the words of St. Peter: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” May we may grow in our communion with our Lord Jesus Christ and with all our brothers and sisters aspiring to unity (cf. 1 Peter 2:9).

PRAYERS FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT

L: Holy Spirit, gift of the Father through his Son Jesus Christ, dwell in us all, open our hearts and help us to listen to your voice.
A: Holy Spirit, come upon us.

L: Holy Spirit, Divine Love, source of unity and holiness, show us the love of the Father.
A: Holy Spirit, come upon us.

L: Holy Spirit, Fire of Love, purify us, removing all the divisions in our hearts, in our communities and in the world, and so make us one in Jesus’ name.
A: Holy Spirit, come upon us.

L: Holy Spirit, strengthen our faith in Jesus, truly divine and truly human, who carried our sins of division to the Cross and brought us to communion in his Resurrection.
A: Holy Spirit, come upon us.

L: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, dwell in us so that we may become a communion of love and holiness. Make us one in you, who lives and reigns forever and ever.
A: Amen.

SONG OF PRAISE

PRAYERS OF RECONCILIATION

L: God invites us to reconciliation and holiness. Let us turn our minds, hearts and bodies to receive the grace of reconciliation on the way to holiness.

L: Lord, you created us in your own image. Forgive us when we do not respect our nature and the world that you gave us. Kyrie eleison.
A: Kyrie eleison.

L: Jesus, you invite us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. Forgive us when we fail to be holy, to be people of integrity and to respect human rights and dignity. Christe eleison.
A: Christe eleison.

L: Lord of life, of peace and of justice, forgive us when we transmit the culture of death, of war and of injustice, and fail to build a civilization of love. Kyrie eleison.
A: Kyrie eleison.

L: Merciful God, fill us with your grace and holiness. Make us apostles of love wherever we go. This we pray through Christ, our Lord.
A: Amen.

PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD OF GOD

LECTOR 1: The Word of God that we will hear is an explosion of love in our lives. Listen and you will live.
A: Thanks be to God.
LECTOR 1: Isaiah 55:1-3

L: Listen and you will live. (Psalm 145:8-9, 15-16, 17-18)
A: Thanks be to God.

L: I will bless your name forever and ever.
A: I will bless your name forever and ever.

L: The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.
A: I will bless your name forever and ever.

L: The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.
A: I will bless your name forever and ever.

L: The Lord is just in all his ways and kind in all his doings.
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
A: I will bless your name forever and ever.

Lector 2: Listen and you will live.
A: Thanks be to God.
Lector 2: 1 Peter 2:9-10

L: Listen and you will live.
A: Thanks be to God.
L: Matthew 5:1-16

THE SERMON

A GESTURE OF COMMITMENT TO BE SALT AND LIGHT

L: We have listened to the Scriptures which we honor and treasure, and we have been nourished together at one table of the Word. We will carry this holy Word out into the world with us, for we are joined in one mission, to be Salt of the Earth, to be Light to the World, and to proclaim the Mighty Acts of the Lord.

As a sign of this mission in which we share, we invite those who wish to come forward, and taste a small pinch of this salt and to light an individual candle from this one flame.

PRAYERS OF HOPE

L: As God’s children, aware of our dignity and mission, let us raise our prayers and affirm our desire to be a holy people of God.

L: Loving Father, transform our hearts, our families, our communities and our society.
A: Make all your people holy and one in Christ.

L: Water of life, quench the thirst that exists in our society, the thirst for dignity, for love, for communion and holiness.
A: Make all your people holy and one in Christ.

L: Holy Spirit, Spirit of joy and peace, heal the divisions caused by our misuse of power and money, and reconcile us across different cultures and languages. Unite us as God’s children.
A: Make all your people holy and one in Christ.

L: Trinity of love, lead us out of darkness into your marvelous light.
A: Make all your people holy and one in Christ.

L: Lord Jesus Christ, we are made one with you in baptism and therefore we unite our prayers to yours in the words you taught us.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

A: Our Father…

SHARING OF THE PEACE

L: Jesus says: You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Be salt of the earth. Be light to the world.

L: The peace of the Lord be with you always.
A: And with your spirit.
L: Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

BLESSING AND DISMISSAL

L: Blessed be the poor in spirit. Blest be those who mourn. Blest be the meek. Blessed be the merciful. Blessed be the pure in heart. Blest be the peace-makers. Blest be the persecuted. Blest be you by God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
A: Amen.

L: Go in the peace of Christ.
A: Amen.