Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2023 (Unity Octave)
Theme: Do good; seek justice’ (Isaiah 1:17)
Unity Octave (Week of Prayer for Christian Unity) is a joint global initiative of the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. In India, NCCI joins with all Episcopal and Confessional traditions in coming together to observe the Unity Octave and to pray for Christian Unity. Policy, Governance and Public Witness department of NCCI is coordinating the Unity Octave observance this year.
The days between the feast of St Peter (18 Jan) and St Paul (25 Jan) cover the Unity Octave / Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The week-long prayers are envisaged as part of this observance and hence Pulpit exchange, cottage meetings, public ecumenical gatherings, youth concerts, symposiums, etc. can be planned. These prayer meetings are meant to foster togetherness among us especially in the grass root level with an intention to encourage each other to renew our commitment to God and to the entire creation. It should also be a time to express ourselves as part of the body of Christ through which we work together for bringing healing in the midst of brokenness.
The theme for this year’s Unity Octave is ‘Do good; seek justice’ (Isaiah 1:17)
Worship this year has been prepared by the Minnesota Council of Churches, USA. The theme is shaped in the context of the history of mistreatment of communities of colour in the United States which has created longstanding inequities and relational rifts between communities. More recently Minnesota has been in the attention of the world due to the murder of George Floyd, a young African American, at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. The theme ‘Do good; seek justice’ reminds us that only by being good to others and only by maintaining justice in our relationships a better world can be expected. This theme has much relevance in caste driven and religiously polarised Indian context.
The Sunday which falls during the Unity Octave is observed as NCCI Sunday. Therefore, we request you to observe 22 January 2023 as NCCI Sunday. While remembering NCCI and its activities on this Sunday, NCCI encourages you, wherever possible, to send the offertory of the day to the NCCI office for the use of NCCI ministries. Cheques/Demand Draft can be drawn in favour of the National Council of Churches in India.
Click here to download the liturgy You can contextualize this liturgy considering the needs of your local context. We strongly encourage all our constituents to observe unity octave along with members of other Christian denominations and be part of the World Christian Community initiative to have ecumenical expressions through worship.
Rev Dr Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary, NCCI