Pope Francis will preside over Vespers at 5:30 pm on Friday, January 18, 2019, in the Roman Papal Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls, to open the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, announced the Holy See,
The liturgy will be that of Vespers of the First Week of Ordinary Time.
Traditionally, Popes have presided over Vespers for the closing (on January 25) not the opening, of this Week of Prayer in Rome, in the presence of representatives of the different Christian denominations.
However, Pope Francis will be in Panama for the World Youth Day from Wednesday, January 23 to Monday, January 28; hence the change in the Roman and ecumenical customs.
The theme chosen by the churches of Indonesia for this great Week of Prayer, which will be held from January 18-25, 2019, is “Justice and only Justice You Shall Follow” (See Deuteronomy 16:18-20).
The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Faith and Constitution Commission of the World Council of Churches prepare jointly the theme and biblical texts for this important Week.