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Opening Prayer (Invocation)

Lord our God,
You who are the source of all life
Let us joyfully praise you:
Let us worship you for the gift of Jesus your Son

Who dwelled among us and then ascended,
That before the open heavens
This earth might direct its hopes and plans towards you.

Let us acclaim you for the salvation
that your Son offers to all humanity
Let us honor you for the gift of the Spirit through whom you renew the universe. Let us praise you when our churches, our communities and congregations draw from you the strength to break through the barriers of division.
Let us praise you when our world is able,
through your assembled people,
to find reason still to hope in Christ our Lord. Amen.


Prayer of Illumination (Invocation of the Holy Spirit)

Renew in us the gift of your Spirit
So that we may be purified in the waters of repentance
And with one heart we may glorify your name and proclaim your mercy.
Open our minds to the scriptures
That they may become for us living words
And illumine our hearts.
Let your Spirit fill us with love
To inspire our prayers today for our sisters and brothers, and for the perfect unity of your church.
In the name of Jesus Christ, who reigns with you and with the Holy Spirit,
For ever and ever.

Prayer of Confession
from the Graz worship book

L: Eternal and all-powerful God, you put away nothing of what you have created, and you forget the sins of those who repent. Create and awake in us a new and contrite heart, that we may regret our sins, recognize our wickedness, and receive from you, God of all mercy, full pardon and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.

L: Let us seek the forgiveness of God and of each other for the divisions that have hindered Christian witness: Lord we have sinned against you and against each other.

C: Lord, have mercy.

L: O Christ, our divisions are contrary to your will and have impeded our common witness to you.

C: Christ have mercy.

L: Lord, we have not loved you enough in our brothers and sisters, created in your image, but different from us.

C: Lord, have mercy.

L: Creator God, let us no longer live beside each other as strangers. Satisfy the longings of our hearts, grant our rightful requests, and unite us soon in one holy church through your Son Jesus Christ who with you in the communion of the Holy Spirit lives and reigns eternally.

brief silence followed by the pardon


Prayer of Intercession

L: All-powerful God, you are the fountain of life.
We come before you with the desire to form a human community of reconciliation between young and old, between men and women, and between different cultures.
We seek to overcome disunity among Christians. We place our world and ourselves in your care as we pray:

L: When we see the triumph of violence and hatred degrade men and women, destroy the future of children and young people throughout the world, we dare to pray that your kingdom of justice and peace might come. "Continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your salvation to the upright of heart!" (Ps 36: 10) Uphold the hope of "those who are thrust down, unable to rise".(Ps 36: 12)
C: You are the fountain of life.

L: When the churches and Christians commit themselves to the way of fuller cooperation by an ecumenical charter, the hope of unity becomes stronger. Awaken in us all the spirit of discernment, of concord and the confidence necessary to reach full communion.
C: You are the fountain of life.

L: When, in the last century, churches recognized you at the source of the ecumenical movement, their life was transformed. Revive this ardent desire for unity within the hearts of all Christians in the world.
C: You are the fountain of life.

L: When we lose courage in the face of distress and the problems we meet in our efforts towards the unity of all Christians, help us to turn to your love. When we are enveloped by the darkness of doubt in the face of the opposition of the churches, give us the hope that one day we may reach unity:
C: You are the fountain of life.

L: When we are up against the barriers we have erected between us as a result of our suspicions, send us the strength to overcome them once more, and to recognize the good intentions of those we meet:
C: You are the fountain of life.

L: When we are discouraged by our own anxiety in the face of others, send your light to overcome it and to be able to calm the anguish of others.
C: You are the fountain of life.

Prayers relevant to the local situation

Closing Prayer:

God, our Father, give new courage to your pilgrim people. You bring forth life in the desert and water from the rock. Take our doubts and questions and make them fruitful. May we and our churches support one another as we seek and thirst for you.

Accompany us and show us your loving presence when the way is hard and we falter. Bring us to the unity you desire for your people, through Jesus Christ your Son and our Lord. Amen.