The 2011 prayers for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by Christians in Jerusalem. They have chosen the following text (Acts 2:42-47):

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Day 1 sets forth the background to the mother church of Jerusalem, making clear its continuity with the church throughout the world today. It reminds us of the courage of the early church as it boldly witnessed to the truth, just as we today need to work for justice in Jerusalem, and in the rest of the world.

Day 2 recalls that the first community united at Pentecost contained within itself many diverse origins, just as the church in Jerusalem today represents a rich diversity of Christian traditions. Our challenge today is to achieve greater visible unity in ways that embrace our differences and traditions.

Day 3 looks at the first essential element of unity; the Word of God delivered through the teaching of the apostles. The church in Jerusalem reminds us that, whatever our divisions, these teachings urge us to devote ourselves in love to each other, and in faithfulness to the one body which is the church.

Day 4 emphasises Sharing as the second expression of unity. Just as the early Christians held all things in common, the Church in Jerusalem calls upon all brothers and sisters in the church to share goods and burdens with glad and generous hearts, so that nobody stays in need.

Day 5 expresses the third element of unity; the Breaking of the Bread, which joins us in hope. Our unity goes beyond Holy Communion; it must include a right attitude towards ethical living, the human person and the whole community. The Jerusalem church urges Christians to unite in “the breaking of bread” today, because a divided church cannot speak out with authority on issues of Justice and Peace.

Day 6 presents the fourth mark of unity; with the church in Jerusalem, we draw strength from spending time in prayer. Specifically, the Lord’s Prayer calls all of us in Jerusalem and throughout the world, the weak and the mighty, to work together for justice, peace and unity that God’s Kingdom may come. 

Day 7 takes us beyond the four elements of unity, as the Jerusalem church joyfully proclaims the Resurrection even while it bears the pain of the Cross. The Resurrection of Jesus is for Christians in Jerusalem today hope and strength that enables them to remain constant in their witness, working for freedom and peace in the City of Peace.

Day 8 concludes the journey with a call from the Jerusalem churches to the wider service of reconciliation. Even if Christians achieve unity among themselves, their work is not done, for they need to reconcile themselves with others. In the Jerusalem context this means Palestinian and Israeli; in other communities, Christians are challenged to seek justice and reconciliation in their own context.

Daniel RossingDaniel Rossing was the founder and director of the Jerusalem Centre for Jewish Christian Relations until his death in November 2010. On a visit to Ireland in 2007 he spoke to Piaras Jackson about his deep love for Jerusalem.


Latest Space is the newsletter of Sacred Space. You can subscribe by adding your email address here. We are not publishing the newsletter as frequently at the moment as all of our energy is in preparing the new system, but we will let you know of developments in our occasional mailings.

Previous editions of the Latest Space newsletter can be browsed here.

God of our fathers,
renew us in the faith which is our life and salvation,
the hope which promises forgiveness and interior renewal,
the charity which purifies and opens our hearts
to love you, and in you, each of our brothers and sisters.

Lord Jesus Christ,
may the Church in Ireland renew her age-old commitment
to the education of our young people in the way of truth and goodness, holiness and generous service to society.

Holy Spirit, comforter, advocate and guide,
inspire a new springtime of holiness and apostolic zeal
for the Church in Ireland.

May our sorrow and our tears,
our sincere effort to redress past wrongs,
and our firm purpose of amendment
bear an abundant harvest of grace
for the deepening of the faith
in our families, parishes, schools and communities,
for the spiritual progress of Irish society,
and the growth of charity, justice, joy and peace
within the whole human family.

To you, Triune God,
confident in the loving protection of Mary,
Queen of Ireland, our Mother,
and of Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and all the saints,
do we entrust ourselves, our children,
and the needs of the Church in Ireland.



From the Pastoral Letter of Pope Benedict XVI to the Catholics of Ireland

Ash Wednesday brings us the invitation, “Repent and believe the Good News”. This day is always a sober reminder that life has two sides to it, the carefree, sunny side and the dark, painful side. We are familiar with these two sides in our own lives.
Lent, which starts today, is not meant to be a time of punishment but a gift from God to me – an opportunity to return to God and, with him, to take a look at both the sunny and the dark sides of my life, my world, and my inner self. To take a look, acknowledge what is there, and accept the fact that it is there. Only when I can look at my whole life in the light of God’s love will I be in a position to tackle its darker side.

Repent, turn round on your road. That means first coming to a halt. I can’t make a U-turn while I’m rushing along. I must pause, perhaps for a few minutes more every day with God, and then, with God, I can look at the way my life is going, who my companions are, what I will leave behind if I turn to a new route, and perhaps too, take an objective look at what my present journey is costing me and whether it is worth it.

We hope that Sacred Space can help you on your Lenten journey in 2010. The Daily prayer will help you to walk with God this Lent. You can use the familiar format or the ‘Beta’ version of the prayer which is at the heart of our current redevelopment of the site. Remember to consult this page during Lent for additional resources. Sign up for our newsletter using the form on the right (or here) and keep informed of developments in Sacred Space. You can also become a fan of Sacred Space on Facebook to make sure that you keep in touch with additions to the site.


The Sacred Space Retreat will be available for use during the Season. If you would a reminder to take a little extra time by giving yourself a few hours of retreat, make sure that your name is on our mailing list. As in previous years, the retreat will be available use online or by printing it.


Send a Sacred Space email card with a Lenten message to encourage a friend.
Send a card…


Living Space is the area of Sacred Space where there are commentaries on the daily Scripture readings. There is an introductory reflection on Lent here.


The Stations of the Cross are a way of journeying with Jesus in Holy Week. Sacred Space presents a Way of the Cross with texts and images offered by Trocaire.


The Sacred Space for Lent books have proven popular since they first became available in 2007. You can find out more about the book and about how to order one here.


Trócaire Lent activities and resources
Trócaire is the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland. The Lent site has comprehensive resources for use by individuals and groups in parishes and in schools. ‘Trócaire’ is how Irish people express ‘mercy.’
<!–Lent Reflections from Saint Elizabeth’s
Saint Elizabeth Church in Melville, New York, USA, offers an annual series of Lenten reflections.
–>Creighton University Online Ministry
A wealth of ideas for choosing and acting Lent.
CatholicIreland Lent
A site to guide you day by day through Lent.


In association with RNN, Sacred Space will host a series of interviews on Lenten themes.

We are always glad to hear from any Sacred Space users. Remember that you can sign up for our Latest Space newsletter (free). You can read our last edition online here or can add your name to the list of recipients by visiting the Jesuit Communication Centre sign-up pages.


We wish all who have visited Sacred Space a very happy Christmas.

Please see our Advent page

You have finished using the Daily prayer Beta.

Thank you for helping us by evaluating our new daily prayer version.

The survey for you to complete is available here. 

When you think you have used the Daily prayer Beta enough to offer your reaction
please click here to begin the survey.

The suvey comprises pages asking your opinion on the elements of the daily prayer and is likely to take about ten minutes to complete.


World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 and has been commemorated in a different city each year with an international exposition through the week of June 5. This year Mexico hosts the events. You are invited to participate in the on this theme. Prayer resources have been developed by members of the USG/UISG Commission for Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation in Rome and are available in many languages .

“To realize these aspirations, we must decide to live with a sense of universal responsibility, identifying ourselves with the whole Earth community as well as our local communities. We are at once citizens of different nations and of one world in which the local and global are linked. Everyone shares responsibility for the present and future well-being of the human family and the larger living world. The spirit of human solidarity and kinship with all life is strengthened when we live with reverence for the mystery of being, gratitude for the gift of life, and humility regarding the human place in nature” (Earth Charter).

All praise to you God for your goodness to us.
Give us hearts of flesh to rejoice in your gifts,
to beg pardon when we err,
and to live justly.
We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus,
who lives and breathes among us. Amen.

Sacred Space Daily online prayer Sacred Heart Novena Podcast feed for Novena