Image by Christine ™ (Formerly with the red wall.) via FlickrOne of the topics that came up for discussion at the recent meeting of National Ecumenical Officers was prayer for unity.
The Catholic Church has introduced a moment of prayer for unity, once a month. So, it may be worth exploring whether this could be broadened into an ecumenical observance. This might be a prayer to be said during services. Some places might observe this through a monthly special service, especially where a suitable service already exists.
The aim would be to remind ourselves once a month of the continuing call to unity. In the light of talk of an ecumenical winter, such a shared prayer might help us remember, desire for unity is still very much with us.
If such a prayer were possible, there is the possibility of linking it with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The annual theme could be picked up through the monthly prayers.
There is another possibility, as some churches are starting to celebrate mid-week festivals on the preceding Sundays. It seems Catholic Churches in England and Wales were asked to celebrate Epiphany on 2 January this year and this may be a trend in the Church of England too. Methodists have done this for many years.
So, if there is a trend to do this, how about developing mid-week festivals, such as Epiphany and Ascension, as opportunities for ecumenical prayer and celebration?
So, what do you think? Is this something your church, Churches Together group or other group of local churches might welcome? Is it already happening anywhere? How would you set about it locally? What resources would you need? Are there any prayers you would recommend?
Oh yes! One suggestion for a short monthly prayer was the Pilgrim Prayer:
Lord God we thank you
For calling us into the company
Of those who trust in Christ
And seek to obey his will.
May your Spirit guide and strengthen us
In mission and service to your world;
For we are strangers no longer
But pilgrims together on the way to your Kingdom.