January 18, 2019

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on the feast day called the Confession of Saint Peter (January 18) every year, and ends on the feast day of the Conversion of Saint Paul (January 25). The theme this year is Exodus 15:6.

The most well-known unity hymn in my tradition is a song called In Christ There Is No East or West, which is sung to a variety of tunes, depending on the hymnal. The Chalice Hymnal uses a tune called Saint Peter (see below), and since today is a feast of Saint Peter, I'll use both the tune and the words from that hymnal, which is a publication of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The words were written by John Oxenham in 1908, and the music by Alexander Reinagle in 1836.
  1. In Christ there is no east or west,
    in him no south or north,
    but one community of love
    throughout the whole wide earth.

  2. In Christ shall true hearts ev'rywhere
    their high communion find;
    his service is the golden cord,
    close binding humankind.

  3. Join hands, disciples of the faith,
    whate'er your race may be;
    all children of the living God
    are surely kin to me.

  4. In Christ now meet both east and west,
    in him meet south and north:
    all loving hearts are one in him
    throughout the whole wide earth.

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