A moment of prayer for Christian unity

This moment of prayer was held in coordination with the Archdiocese and other Christian churches.

As reported by the Church in Malta website:
Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna led a congregation of Christians from different Churches and Traditions at an Ecumenical Service during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This was held on Thursday, 19th January 2017, at St Augustine’s Parish Church, Valletta.

This Ecumenical Service, organized by the Diocesan Ecumenical Commission in collaboration with Christians Together in Malta (Malta Ecumenical Council), was part of the local Commemoration of the Fifth Centenary of the Reformation (1517-2017), as well as part of the year-long programme of the Bicentenary of the Maltese Augustinian Province (1817-2017). Fr Hector Scerri, President of the Diocesan Ecumenical Commission and Chairman of Christians Together in Malta coordinated the preparation for the Service as well as the proceedings.

The theme of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is Reconciliation: The Love of Christ Compels Us (cfr 2 Corinthians 5:14-20). The biblical reflection during the Ecumenical Service was delivered by Pastor Manfred Treutler of the Evangelical Lutheran community in Malta (Andreasgemeinde). Treutler dwelt upon the significance of being “sisters and brothers in Christ” in the context of the mentioned text by St Paul to the Corinthians.

A moving gesture during the Service was when representatives from different Churches read out prayers of forgiveness for sins committed by Christians in the last centuries, whereby walls of division were set up. A symbolic wall was built with “stones” bearing reference to the sins of hate and contempt, false accusations, discrimination, persecution, intolerance, religious wars, abuse of power, isolation, pride and lack of love. For each of these sins, the congregation asked God for pardon. Later, in the Service, while a hymn of reconciliation was sung, the symbolic wall was dismantled and made to form a Cross because Christ is the source of authentic reconciliation.

A poignant hymn which was sung – and which conveyed the message behind this year’s theme – was specially written and put to music by Joe C. Aquilina. The congregation enthusiastically participated in the refrain, “Caritas Christi urget nos, the love of Christ compels us all”.

Photos: Communications Office, Curia



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