Frequently Asked Questions
How are the countries and themes chosen?
Every four years an International Meeting is held. Each National Committee is given the opportunity to submit a theme, along with suitable bible passages, and may offer to write a service. During the meeting a small group considers the various suggestions for themes and the offers to write the service and chooses themes and countries for the next four years. A writing country does not choose its own theme; this is given to them by the International Executive Committee. The decision is then announced to the delegates at the International Meeting.
Who chooses the hymns?
The National Committee of each country is asked to choose hymns that fit the theme of the service. In our countries, the initial selection is made during the November residential meeting. Every effort is made to use one or two hymns submitted by the writing country. The committee chooses a mixture of old and newer hymns with something to suit varying tastes.
The movement is called simply World Day of Prayer in many countries. Why have you retained the word ‘women’ in the title in England, Wales and Northern Ireland?
Every ten years or so a vote is taken on this subject by the members of the National Committee. At the area conferences leading up to the vote a straw poll is taken to assess the feelings of the supporters of the movement in our countries. Most people choose to leave the title as it stands. They feel that although the name has rather an old-fashioned ring in a society where equality of the sexes is encouraged, it enables women to have a voice in countries where they are considered second class citizens. As it gives women the opportunity to prepare and take a leading role in worship, it is invaluable for those who belong to denominations where women are not on an equal footing with men.
How are National Committee members chosen?
When a vacancy arises on the committee, the head of the relevant denomination is approached with a request that they will elect a suitable candidate.
Why can’t we photocopy the order of service if we haven’t ordered enough copies?
The words of the order of service itself may be copied, but many of the hymns are copyright. Women’s World Day of Prayer pays the necessary fee for the use of the words of these hymns. The fee only covers the number of service booklets printed and so to make extra copies of the order of service would be in breach of copyright.