Ecumenical Vigil of Prayer

An Ecumenical Vigil of Prayer will take place on Saturday, 30 September 2023 in St Peter's Square between 5-7pm

‘Together – Gathering of the People of God’

“We are here before you, Holy Spirit, come to us, dwell in our hearts”.

An Ecumenical Vigil of Prayer will take place on Saturday, 30 September 2023 in St Peter’s Square between 5-7pm. The overarching aims of the Ecumenical Vigil of Prayer are the following:

  • To underline the centrality of prayer in the synodal process, which is in essence a spiritual process.
  • To underline the key theme, which is commitment to unity and peace in this world torn apart by so many divisions.
  • To give a strong sign of the importance of prayer for the unity of the baptised in Christ.

All participants in the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will attend the vigil as a time of preparation for the Assembly.

The Decoration of St Peter’s Square

Two key elements will characterise the setting up of St Peter’s Square for the Ecumenical Prayer Vigil. These are the San Damiano crucifix (dear to St Francis of Assisi) and the floral and shrub decoration, symbolising creation and the respect due to it.

Together in the world

Not everyone will be able to travel to Rome for the Together gathering. Therefore, in different parts of the world, prayer vigils, large and small, in towns and villages, will be organised on or around September 30 as a sign of communion with those gathered in Rome and to pray for the XVI General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. A world map with a list of the various initiatives planned so far is available on the Together 2023 website.

The Programme

Open to all the People of God, this common prayer will include listening to the Word of God, praise and intercession, Taizé songs and silence – a strong sign of fraternity, unity and peace.

14:30Arrival of people from Rome in St. Peter’s Square. All will be welcomed in “Piazza aperta”. Songs from different continents welcome participants to the square in a joyful and prayerful atmosphere, alternating between a Ukrainian choir, a Congolese choir, a
Nigerian choir, a Serbian choir and a Latin American choir.
16:00Coming from Saint John Lateran, the participants of “Together” will join two
reserved areas (reparti).
16:30Around forty young people from different continents, life situations, and
different church traditions carrying a Bible with representatives of the local Roman
churches together with the various “Together” partners gather around the obelisk. They
ascend in procession to the sacrato.
16:40The procession moves into the sacrato. Church leaders, young people and
people living in precarious conditions sit to the right and left, facing the San Damiano
cross in the sacrato, with a Bible and an icon of the Virgin Mary beside them. A garden
with flowers is set up on the steps. Trees and shrubs are in front of the façade of the
17:00Pre-Vigil – Four expressions of thanksgiving, interspersed with songs, for
the gifts God gives us and the responsibility that follows. After each talk, testimonies are
18:00Ecumenical Prayer Vigil

For more information on the Ecumenical Vigil of Prayer, download the document below or visit the Together 2023 website or download the Vigil information booklet below.