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Edmonton : From Conflict to Communion

Lutheran-Catholic Common Prayer for the Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017

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October 30, 2017 Sister Mary Clare and Sister Catherine participated in the great Ecumenical prayer for the commemoration of the 500 years since the Reformation.

This prayer took place at All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral in Edmonton. The bishop of the Anglican Synod of Alberta and the Yukon is Jane Alexander. An ecumenical fifty voice choir, accompanied by a skilled organist on the Cathedral pipe organ, empowered all present to raise their voices in song.

The prayer was time to request forgiveness, and also an opportunity to share the Sign of Peace before the Gospel reading from St John 15:1-15 :


« Jesus said : ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you.
Abide in me, as I abide in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.»

The Lutheran bishop, Larry Kochendorfer and the Catholic Archbishop, Richard Smith, gave commentaries about the Gospel. After that, the three bishops engaged on the five commitments given by the Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017.


• Catholics and Lutherans should always begin from the perspective of unity and not from the point of view of division in order to strengthen what is held in common even though the differences are more easily seen and experienced.
• Lutherans and Catholics must let themselves continuously be transformed by the encounter with the other and by the mutual witness of faith.
• Catholics and Lutherans should again commit themselves to seek visible unity, to elaborate together what this means in concrete steps, and to strive repeatedly toward this goal.
• Lutherans and Catholics should jointly rediscover the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ for our time.
• The Lutheran bishop, Larry Kochendorfer and the Catholic Archbishop, Richard Smith, gave commentaries about the Gospel. After that, the three bishops engaged on the five commitments given by the Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017.

The intercessory Prayer implored the Holy Spirit that each community would be enlivened by the hunger and the thirst of unity everywhere they are and that they be active in the defense of human dignity.

Before giving the final blessing three bishops affixed their signature to the imperatives so marking their desire to move forward in their commitments.

After this time of common prayer, refreshments and little cakes were awaiting those who wanted to get acquainted and to meet brothers and sisters from the other denominations represented.