Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

          (29 May-5 June 2022)
Biblical Text for 2022: “We saw his star in the East, and we came to worship him”. (Matthew 2:2)

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is celebrated in the Southern Hemisphere between Ascension Sunday and Pentecost Sunday.

The preparation of the resources for the Week of Prayer is overseen jointly by the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

This year the Middle East Council of Churches based in Beirut, Lebanon, was entrusted with the task of choosing the theme and preparing texts for the Week of Prayer 2022. They chose the theme, “We have seen his star in the East and have come to pay homage to him” (Matthew 2:2).

The NCCA’s Faith and Unity Commission have graciously adapted the following resources for Australian use:

  • 2022 WoPCU Poster (PDF)
  • 2022 WoPCU Prayer card (PDF)
  • 2022 Order of Service (word) – adapted by VCC Faith & Order Commission
  • 2022 WoPCU Reflections for the Eight Days (PDF)
  • Sermon Notes
  • Hymns International 
  • WoPCU Background

You will find these on the Faith and Unity page of the NCCA website. 

The resources are intended for congregations, parishes, schools, and any group which may be able to make use of them. The Eight Days of Prayer is particularly suitable for use by individuals.

The chosen theme for this Week of Prayer, “We saw his star in the East, and we came to worship him,” is based on Matthew 2:2. The Christians of the Middle East meeting in Beirut chose the theme of the star that rose in the east for a number of reasons. While many Western Christians celebrate Christmas, the more ancient feast, and still the principal feast of many Eastern Christians, is the epiphany when God’s salvation is revealed to the nations in Bethlehem and at the Jordan. This focus on the theophany (the manifestation) is, in a sense, a treasure which Christians of the Middle East can offer to their brothers and sisters around the world.

According to the Book of Acts in the New Testament, the Ascension of Jesus occurred 40 days after Easter on a Thursday (and ten days before Pentecost) but some religious celebrate it on Sunday in the sixth week following Easter Sunday. The Feast of the Ascension is one of the great ecumenical feasts of Christian churches, ranking with the feasts of the Passion, of Easter, and Pentecost.

Ascension Day is Thursday May 26th in 2022.

Please note that the Homily from Pope Francis is dated January. This is because the Week is celebrated in January in the Northern Hemisphere.