Mindful that 2017 marks two significant international commemorations: the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation and the 50th anniversary of international Roman Catholic-Lutheran dialogue, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) appointed a joint working group co-chaired by CCCB Archbishop Richard Gagnon and ELCIC Bishop Susan Johnson.
The working group created a collection of resources called Together in Christ: Lutherans and Catholics Commemorate the Reformation. The resources include a five-session Study Guide which is supported by a set of educational videos and homily helps. The homily resources are designed for use on January 29, 2017, the concluding Sunday of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and the launch date for Together in Christ.
The complete collection of resources is available here: Together in Christ.
This resource is a response to the request from The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity (PCPCU) that joint commemorations around the world would be informed by From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017.
The working group also issued an invitation to communities across Canada for Lutherans and Roman Catholics to engage in intentional prayer together wherever possible. Communities would be invited to take advantage of the resource Common Prayer which was prepared by the LWF and PCPCU for common liturgical commemoration. This is the same resource used on October 31, 2016 when Pope Francis and the LWF’s President Munib Younan and General Secretary Martin Junge led Common Worship at Lund, Sweden. Over a dozen such regional commemorations involving Catholic and Lutheran bishops and ecumenical partners are being planned across Canada for 2017.
At the conclusion of the 2017 commemorative activities, the CCCB-ELCIC working group will meet to evaluate our shared experience and to contemplate future possibilities.