Christians called to glorify God with one voice

Jesuit Father James Martin (far left) joined some residents of The Lay Centre at the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls for Vespers with Pope Francis, 25 January.

Jesuit Father James Martin (far left) joined some residents of The Lay Centre at the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls for Vespers with Pope Francis, 25 January. (Photo: Selva Yildirim)

By Sebastian Harries

For the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, The Lay Centre co-organised a talk by the biblical scholar and Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright and a service of ecumenical evening prayer. The event took place at the Centro Pro Unione and was attended by members from different Christian denominations in Rome, including Archbishop David Moxon from the Anglican Centre, Rev. Tim Macquiban, director or the Methodist Ecumenical Office in Rome. The service was led by Dom Anthony Currer from the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. Residents of The Lay Centre helped with the service and sang in the choir.

Bishop N.T. Wright’s talk was entitled “The Church as the People of God.”  His vision for the church is that of the “New Temple,” where heaven and Earth come together and the human race is renewed. He encouraged Christians to hold ecumenical Bible study groups, where instead of just remembering passages of Scripture, Christians truly enter the narrative themselves.

Drawing on St Paul’s Letter to the Romans, in which Paul addresses Christians of Rome struggling to overcome their differences, Bishop N.T. Wright said different church groups heed Paul’s call to worship together and not to judge one another; Christians must have one voice to glorify God.

Here is video from the Centro Pro Unione, with excerpts from the service and photos of the talk.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity concluded with Vespers, led by Pope Francis at the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls.  A group from The Lay Centre attended the prayer at the tomb of St Paul. They were joined by Jesuit Father James Martin, an author and editor of the America Magazine.

As a sign of Christian unity, Pope Francis entered the basilica through the holy door with the Orthodox Metropolitan Gennadios and Anglican Archbishop David Moxon. The pope gave a moving homily, stating that “by walking and working together, we realise that we are already united in the name of the Lord.” In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, he also called for the healing of past divisions saying that “God’s mercy will renew our relationships.”

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One Response to Christians called to glorify God with one voice

  1. r.frampton7@gmail.com says:

    How I wish I had been there to join my prayers with yours. I very much enjoyed the video! I have just returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We were a group of curates from Exeter diocese led by +Robert and +Sarah. We visited Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Bethany, Nazareth and Galilee, following the life of Jesus in his place. We also saw the realities of life in the West Bank and the candles of hope lit by the Palestinian Rehabilitation Centre, the Palestinian Centre for Reconciliation (Wi’am), the Jeel al Amal School and the Mar Elias College. You are always in my prayers. Love Ruth

    >

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