It seems this question has been making the rounds. Folks are noticing that there will be a Taizé (pronounced “teh-ZAY”) Prayer Service this Sunday evening (February 17 at 5:00pm in the Chapel) and aren’t familiar with the term or why we would have such a service. This service is part of a larger movement this year at River Road to enjoy different forms of contemplative worship in the Chapel.
So what is Taizé? Taizé refers first and foremost to a Christian ecumenical monastic community in Taizé, France. Begun shortly after WWII by now-deceased Frère Roger, Taizé quickly grew to encompass brothers dedicated to charity, mission work, and simple, self-sustained living. Today, many visit the community for retreats and spiritual rejuvenation.
In the community, three times a day everything on the hill of Taizé stops: the work, the Bible studies, the discussions. The bells call everyone to church for prayer. Hundreds or even thousands of mainly young people from all over the world pray and sing together with the brothers of the community. Scripture is read in several languages. In the middle of each common prayer, there is a long period of silence, a unique moment for meeting with God.
And so a Taizé service is a beautiful, simple form of contemplative worship that is marked by deep quiet, candles, meditative singing, shared silence, and few spoken words. Taizé has become extremely popular throughout the world and Christians from all denominations are stepping back from the regular rush of everyday life, and finding rest in a deeper rhythm.
Come to River Road this Sunday evening and experience a taste of what Taizé offers as a way of deepening your prayer life here near the beginning of Lent.
“The desire for communion with God has been set within the human heart since the dawn of time. The mystery of that communion touches what is most intimate in us, reaching down to the very depths of our being.”
~ To the wellsprings of joy: Letter for 2004