“In order to unite with one another, we must love one another; in order to love one another, we must know one another; in order to know one another, we must go and meet one another . . . .” These words, known as the “Testament of Cardinal Mercier,” are the impetus for the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The week (actually an octave, eight days) has been celebrated continuously since 1894, though not always in January. In 1894 and 1895, an octave for unity, beginning on Ascension Day and concluding on Pentecost, was observed by the Church of England. In 1895, the Roman Catholic Church joined their Anglican neighbors in this observance in obedience to a worldwide request of Pope Leo XIII. In 1897, in the encyclical “Divinum illud munus,” Leo XIII established this novena “in perpetuity,” but it was not until 1908 that the octave was observed on the January dates with which it is commonly associated, beginning on the former date for the feast of the Confession (or Chair) of St. Peter and ending on the Feast of the Conversion St. Paul.

Because January 18 is a weekday in Ordinary Time, other readings than those assigned to the weekday might appropriately be chosen from the readings for the Unity of Christians (Lectionary #867-871) to begin the week of prayer for Christian unity.

Suggested Psalm for Christian Unity Ps (121) 122 (869-5)

One of the “songs of ascent,” this psalm was prayed by pilgrims as they approach Jerusalem, going up the hill of the Temple Mount. Their prayer was for peace in this city that had known such division (and still does).

Con Qué Alegría/Let Us Go Rejoicing (Cortés)  FYC 263/JS 102
I Rejoiced (Dean)  GP 268
I Rejoiced (Walker)  GP 269
I Rejoiced When I Heard (Batastini/Gelineau)  RS 165
I Rejoiced When I Heard Them Say (O’Carroll)  CH 159
I Rejoiced When I Heard Them Say (Warner)  PMB 170/WC 470
I Was Glad (Haas)  GC 121/RS 166
I Was Glad When They Said to Me (chant)  BFW 12, 270, 406
Let Us Go Rejoicing (Angrisano) SPS 92W
Let Us Go Rejoicing (Englert)  PMB 743, 785
Let Us Go Rejoicing (Guimont)  GC2 993
Let Us Go Rejoicing (Harbor)  LMGM 542
Let Us Go Rejoicing (Hurd)  JS 101
Let Us Go Rejoicing (Joncas)  GC 120/GC2 68/RS 167
Let Us Go Rejoicing (Schaefer)  PMB 554
Qué Alegría Cuando Me Dijeron (Grajeda)  FYC 262
Qué Alegría Cuando Me Dijeron (Manzano)  GP 270
Qué Alegría/I Rejoiced (Cortez)  FYC 261
We Shall Go Up with Joy (Murray/Gelineau) CBW III 588/WOR 67
or Ps (99) 100 (Lect. #869-3)
Another “song of ascent,” this pilgrimage hymn invites all creation to join in the praise of God.

Aclamamos al Señor (Reza) GP 247
Arise, Come to Your God (Gelineau) GC 96/RS 139/WOR 53
Let All the Earth Cry Out (Sommerville) PMB 162/WC 462
Nosotros Somos Su Pueblo/We Are God’s People (Cortez)  FYC 243
Somos Su Pueblo y Ovejas (Montgomery)  FYC 244
Somos Su Pueblo y Ovejas (Sosa)  FYC 245
We Are God’s People (Haas) GC 97/GC2 56/RS 138
We Are God’s People (Harbor) LMGM 536
We Are God’s People (Smith) GP 246
We Are His People (Guimont)  GC2 970
We Are His People (Jordan) LMGM 537
We Are His People (LeBlanc) CH 151
We Are His People (O’Carroll) CH 150
We Are His People (Soper) SPS 84
We Are His People (Walton) SPS 85

Songs for Unity

All Are Welcome (Haugen) GC 753/GC2 741/WC 911/MI-BB 418/WS 760
Anthem (Conry) GC 690/GC2 681/GP 578/JS 614/MI-BB 511
As a Fire Is Meant for Burning (Duck) GC 663/GC2 643/RS 779
As the Grains of Wheat (Haugen) GC 825/BB 331
At That First Eucharist CH 366/GC 852/GC2 840/GP 511/LMGM 134/PMB 292/WC 654/WOR 733/WS 589
Beloved, Let Us Love (Bonar) WOR 601
Bread for the World (Farrell) GC 827/MI-BB 359/SPS 240
Bread of Life, Hope of the World (Farrell) GC 821
Bread of Heaven  SPS 241
Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation CH 540/GC 662/GC2 642/JS 409/PMB 384/RS 778/WC 783758/WOR 617
Christ’s Church Shall Glory (Idle/Luther) CH 487/WOR 616
Companions on the Journey (Landry) GP 566/MI-BB 589
Diverse in Culture, Nation, Race (Duck) GC 739/GC2 729/RS 837
Father, We Thank Thee Who Has Planted CH 374/GC 568/GC2 547/PMB 316/RS 705/WC 656/WOR 558/WS 560
For the Healing of the Nations (Kaan) GC 719/GC2 712/PMB 505/WC 960/WOR 643/WS 798
From East and West (Dufford) GP 567
Gather Us In (Haugen) GC 744/GC2 743/RS 850/WC 909/WOR 665/WS 958/ MI-BB 302
Gather Us Together (Alstott) GP 534/JS 488/MI-BB 316
Gather Your People (Hurd)  JS2 798/JS3 768/MI-BB 314/GP 529/GC2 742/G3 837
I Am the Vine (Hurd) GC 672/WS 694
I Am the Vine (Miffleton)  PMB 436/WC 868
In Christ There Is a Table Set for All (Stamps) GC 749
In Christ There Is No East or West CH 650/GC 738/GC2 726/GP 565/JS 443/LMGM 301/PMB 391/RS 836/WC 782/WOR 659/WS 672/MI-BB 588
In My Name CH 477
Lead Us To Your Table SPS 253
Let Us Break Bread Together GC 832/GC2 832/LMGM 135/PMB 313/RS 911/WC 565/WOR 727/WC 653/MI-BB 338
Let Us Praise God Together CH 569
Lord of All Nations, Grant Me Grace CH 612/GC2 602/WC 805/WOR 602
Lord, You Give the Great Commission CH 639/GC 456/GC2 466/JS 381/PMB 382/RS 607/WC 788/WOR 470/WS 663/MI-BB 375
Make Us One (Marchionda) PMB 392/WC 806/WS 673
O Christ the Great Foundation (Lew/Aurelia) GC2 646/RS 782/WOR 618
O Christ the Great Foundation (Lew/Abreu) RS 781
One Bread, One Body (Foley) GC 830/GC2 813/GP 499/JS 668/LMGM 139/RS 915/WC 687/WS 556/MI-BB 348
One Is the Body (Cooney) GC 846
One Spirit, One Church (Quinlivan/Keil) GP 570/JS 703/BB 421/JS2 778/JS3 745
The Church’s One Foundation CH 489/GC 661/JS 455/PMB 385/WC 789/WS 660/MI-BB 420
There Comes a Time (Jabusch/Kreutz) CH 491
There Is a Prayer (Wright/Kreutz) CH 494
There Is One Lord (Alstott) JS 428/MI-BB 499/WS 555
There Is One Lord (Deiss) PMB 287/WC 638
There Is One Lord (Taizé) GC 809/GC2 796/RS 835/WOR 657
They’ll Know We Are Christians (Scholtes) GC 735/GC2 728/GP 568/JS 580/PMB 390/WC 804/MI-BB 592/WS 671
Trilingual Ubi Caritas  PMB 428
Ubi Caritas (Browning)  GC2 568
Ubi Caritas (Rosania) GP 364/MI-BB 482
Ubi Caritas et Amor (Chant) CH 386/GC 631/GC2 601/PMB 430/RS 752/WC 849/WOR 598/BB 481/WS 713
Ubi Caritas et Amor (Taizé) GC 408/GC2 430/WC 824/WOR 604
We Are Many Parts (Haugen) GC 733/GC2 727RS 840/WC 803/MI-BB 591/WS 674
Where Charity and Love Prevail CH 387/GC 625/GC22 610/GP 644/JS 429/PMB 424, 429/RS 747/WC 850, 858/MI-BB 485/WS 712,719
Where Two or Three Have Gathered (Ridge) GP 587