Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Octave of Prayer for Church Unity

January 18 is the Feast of the Confession of Peter ("Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God" Matthew 16:16). January 25 is the Feast of the Conversion of Paul (Acts 9). Many Christians observe the eight days from January 18 to January 25 inclusive as a time of special prayer that all Christians may be one with their Lord and with one another, joined in faith and love.

I invite all of you to join in offering such prayers, always but especially during these eight days.

O GOD, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Saviour, the Prince of Peace; Give us grace seriously to lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions. Take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatsoever else may hinder us from godly union and concord: that as there is but one Body and one Spirit, and one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may be all of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O gracious Father, we humbly beseech thee for thy holy Catholic church; that thou wouldst be pleased to fill it with all truth, in all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, establish it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of him who died and rose again, and ever liveth to make intercession for us, Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

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