From the World Council of Churches:
Inspired by the witness of churches from a divided country, Christians throughout the world will be praying “that they may become one in God’s hand” during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2009.Â
The materials for the week of prayer 2009 are rooted in the experience of the churches in Korea. In their context of national division they have turned for inspiration to the prophet Ezekiel, who also lived in a tragically divided nation and longed for the unity of his people.Â
Traditionally celebrated between 18 and 25 January (in the northern hemisphere) or at Pentecost (in the southern hemisphere), the week of prayer mobilizes countless congregations and parishes around the world. During that week, Christians from different confessional families get together and – at least on that occasion – pray together in special ecumenical celebrations.Â
The production of the liturgical and biblical material for the week of prayer is jointly coordinated since 1968 by the World Council of Churches (Faith and Order Commission) and the Roman Catholic Church (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity).
For this year’s week of prayer, a group of representatives from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea and the National Council of Churches in Korea chose as the basis the vision of Ezekiel (Ezek. 37:15-28) that depicts two pieces of wood, symbolizing the two kingdoms into which Israel had been divided. They found it offered some compelling parallels to their own situation within a divided country and to a divided Christendom.
Resources for the week include an introduction to the theme; a suggested ecumenical celebration which local churches are encouraged to adapt for their own particular liturgical, social and cultural contexts; biblical reflections and prayers for the “eight days”; and additional prayers from, and an overview of, the ecumenical situation in Korea.Â
More information on the Week of prayer for Christian unity
Brochure with liturgical material for 2009 in pdf format (279 KB)