Ecumenical all night vigil in Warsaw

Karina Michaluk

“Only with mutual understanding and respect, by mutual enrichment, without forcing the partner to no longer represent their views (…) only the way of understanding and tolerance leads to a community and being together.” – So about the conditions of ecumenism said head of Orthodox Church in Poland , Metropolitan Sawa during all night vigil in St. Mary Magdalene cathedral in Warsaw. The service had an ecumenical character and was incorporated into this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The church was visited by representatives of other Christian confessions, Roman Catholic Archbishop Henryk Hoser (Bishop of Warsaw-Prague), as well as heads and representatives of churches belonging to the Polish Ecumenical Council. The service was celebrated by the clergy of the Warsaw parishes and the rector of the Warsaw Seminary, father Jerzy Tofiluk. Common prayer embellished with beautiful singing of Orthodox polyphony also gathered many believers of other churches.

“Is it not possible to defend own views as Christ did it? He did not insulate from those who thought otherwise. On the contrary He went out to meet them, looked for them and preached them. Let’s consider then if since the times of apostles we have gone forward or made a step backwards. Or maybe we just stand still? “- father Doroteusz Sawicki of St. Mary Magdalene cathedral was asking during the all night vigil. After the service all invited guests and representatives of Christian churches met at a common agape, hosted by the Metropolitan of Warsaw and the whole Poland Sawa.

Week of Prayer will last until January 25th. Theme of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity are the words, “They lasted in the apostles teaching and in community, in the breaking of bread and in the prayers” (Acts 2, 42). The materials for ecumenical prayers have been prepared by the Christians from Jerusalem. Week already has over a hundred years of tradition, it was initiated in 1908 by father Paul Wattson, founder of the Franciscan Community of Reconciliation.