Office for Christian Unity,
Thursday, January 12th, 2023


Praise in two voices

So God did not want, He was not pleased,
That in the concert there should be but one voice.
It did not suit his wisdom.
Or his delight.
He would not be praised with a single voice. By one chorus
And fought over.
But as in a country church there are many voices
That praise God.
For example men and women. Or men and children.
So in heaven it was pleasing, it was appealing to his wisdom
And to his contentment.
To be praised, to be sung, to be fought over by two voices.
By two languages, by two choirs.
By the righteous elders and former sinners
So that inch by inch Justice would retreat
Before Mercy.
And that Mercy may advance. And that Mercy may win.
For if there were only Justice and if Mercy did not interfere,
Who would be saved?

Charles Péguy
from The Portal of the Mystery of Hope


Prepared by the brothers and sisters from Chartres Studium, France

To be used as appropriate

(Intercessory Chorus)

1/ From 18 to 25 January, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will take place, on the theme “Learn to do good, seek justice” (Isaiah 1:17). Among the many celebrations, there will be an international evening of worship organised by the Chemin Neuf Community on Wednesday 18 January; and in Chartres, the week will be followed by a “Way of Light”, a three-evening journey led by a Baptist pastor in Chartres Cathedral.
Lord, we thank you for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and the opportunity it gives us each year to go further in the relationships between our churches. We entrust to you all the celebrations and meetings that will take place, that they may foster the desire to work together for justice all around us.

(Intercessory Chorus)

2/ “Good intentions do not suffice […] concrete gestures that enter hearts and stir consciences are essential”, declared Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
We thank you, Lord, for his life of service to your word and for his commitment to ecumenical dialogue. We pray for all those who serve your Church: strengthen them in their ministries and renew them in listening to your Spirit of unity. In particular, we entrust to you the Pastor Jerry Pillay, who has just taken over the leadership of the World Council of Churches.

(Intercessory Chorus)

3/   Christians throughout the world have recently celebrated your coming among us.
Lord, we entrust to you all those places that still hope for your peace. At the beginning of this year, console those who suffer because of conflict; strengthen those who work for dialogue and reconciliation; and lead us on paths of life.