Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 6:00 PM
Taizé worship comes from a monastic community that has become an incredibly popular pilgrimage destination for young and old alike, Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox. Taizé, is located in southern France.
In 1940, Brother Roger, the founder of the Taizé community, left his home in Switzerland on a bicycle to pursue the vision of establishing a community where God would be glorified and the Gospel lived out through an ethos of simplicity, hospitality and reconciliation. The Holy Spirit led Brother Roger to the simple village of Taizé where a few villagers welcomed him and showed him warm hospitality. Tensions were building in Europe as Hitler sought to advance his empire. When WWII broke out, Brother Roger offered assistance to refugees fleeing from the war. Among the refugees helped by the Taizé community were Jews who were being sought after for deportation to concentration camps. After the war Taizé became known as a place of peace – peace on earth and peace with God.
By the early 1960’s, larger and larger groups of young people between the ages of 16 and 26 began to flock to Taizé. Currently young people come year round to spend a week entering into the rhythm of prayer, solitude, and the pursuit of God’s Presence at the Taizé community. During the warmer weather months as many as 5,000 to 6,000 young people per week go to Taizé.
More than a hundred brothers have come to live at Taizé from two dozen countries. They come from a variety of Protestant and Catholic backgrounds and have pledged themselves to a life of prayer, worship, simplicity, reconciliation and justice.
The rhythm of Taizé revolves around three one hour prayer times per day when the entire community comes together to pray, sing beautiful contemplative melodic scripture songs, sit for long periods of silence, and listen to scripture readings. Everyone in this community helps with such things as cleaning, preparing meals, and washing dishes. During the afternoons there are group meetings on specific topics to allow the young people to explore such issues as “Is forgiveness possible?” “How do we respond to God’s call?” “How do we live for God in a pluralistic world?”
The brothers of Taizé work to create space where thousands of young people are able to listen to the Holy Spirit, be exposed to Scripture, Beauty, Pray, and encounter the Presence of God.
Taizé prayer is a quiet simple way of prayer in a meditative environment that includes short, yet beautiful phrases of scripture and praise sung repeatedly; interspersed with silence; and prayers of praise and intercession.