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July 25, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
The Taizé Community in Central France is home to 100 men from every part of the world who live together as monastics. Their community is joined year round by nuns, priests and visitors, mostly young adults who come and share the life of the Brothers, oriented by prayer and simple physical labor. There are as many as 100,000 visitors every year, and sometimes as many as 6,000 young adults praying in the “Church of Reconciliation” joining the three daily prayer services the Brothers of Taizé have as part of their daily rule of life. The Services of the Taizé Brothers are a liturgy they have created over the years inspired both by Early Christianity and by their many guests.
The prayer services that Taizé offers are a form of worship to God that incorporates the vision of a united Church, as in the earliest years of Christianity long before there were the divisions between Protestants and Catholics and the many denominations and disagreements of later history. However, the prayer services are also meant to be simple enough that all guests of the community, including those with no exposure to faith traditions of any kind may feel a welcoming space to experience holiness and peace.
The two major parts of a Taizé prayer which distinguish it from other worship services are the songs and silence. The Taizé songs are extremely short and are repeated many times. Unlike the Hymns we usually sing on Sunday where we praise God in many verses, the Taizé songs use repetition to allow one simple reality or hope to enter deeply into our hearts. For example “The Lord is my light, my light and salvation, in God I trust.” At the heart of any Taizé prayer however is Silence. Silence lasts a long time, almost as long as a sermon, and is offered again to allow space for all people to experience a collective quiet, whether one sits in total stillness, offers quiet intercessions or even journals a few thoughts.