TAIZÉ Prayer services are held on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m.
Taize services will be on hiatus this summer. Our next first-Tuesday Taize service will be Septeber 6 at 7 p.m. in Monteith Hall. Join us for these services of song, scripture, prayer, silence, meditation, and candles.
What is a Taizé Service?
This style of worship was developed at Taizé, a monastic community located in Taizé, France, founded in the 1940’s by a Swiss named Roger Louis Schütz-Marsauche or Brother Roger. The “brothers” of the community have taken a vow of celibacy and are committed to a lifetime of simplicity, service, and community. There is an ecumenical emphasis at Taizé, which says the community “wants its life to be a sign of reconciliation between divided Christians and between separated peoples.”
A Taizé worship service involves sung and chanted prayers, meditation, a period of silence, liturgical readings, and icons. There is no preaching. The style of prayer practiced at Taizé has attracted many worshipers from around the globe and from many different denominations. The prayers consist of “short chants, repeated again and again,” according to an introduction in a Taizé songbook. “The words are sung over many times.”
Taizé is a tiny village hidden away in the hills of Burgundy, in the eastern part of France, not far from the town of Cluny. Since 1940, it has been the home of an ecumenical community of brothers whose prayer, three times each day, is at the center of their life.
Today, Taizé is a place to which visitors of all ages and backgrounds come on pilgrimage, to participate in international meetings of prayer and reflection.
Taizé’s vocation is to strive for communion among all. From its beginnings, the community has worked for reconciliation among Christians split apart into different denominations. But, the brothers do not view reconciliation among Christians as the end in itself; it concerns all of humanity, since it makes the Church a place of communion for all.
Song is one of the most essential elements of Taizé worship. Short songs, repeated again and again, give it a meditative character. Using just a few words, they express a basic reality of faith, quickly grasped by the mind. As the words are sung over many times, this reality gradually penetrates the whole being. And these simple songs then enable us to keep on praying when we are alone, by day, by night, and sometimes in the silence of our hearts when we are at work. To find your favorite song, or find a new one, click here for a listing of the songs in alphabetical order.
Icons contribute to the beauty of worship. They are like windows open on the realities of the kingdom of God, making them present in our prayer on earth. Although icons are images, they are not simply illustrations or decorations. They are symbols of the incarnation, a presence which offers to the eyes the spiritual message that the Word addresses to the ears. By the faith it expresses, by its beauty and its depth, an icon can create a space of peace and sustain an expectant waiting. It invites us to welcome salvation even in the flesh and in creation.
Soli Deo Gloria: To God alone be the Glory.