“Come and find your quiet centre”
A monthly spirit-filled gathering in the style of ‘Taize’ – candles, communion, silence, sung prayers, a time of refreshment to follow.
If you are missing Sunday service this winter and would welcome an opportunity for worship: for the next two months our Taize service will be on Thursday evenings in the Sanctuary: April 17, 7pm
The purpose of Taize
Brother Roger explains the purpose of a prayer service at Taizé in this way:
“From the depths of the human condition a secret aspiration rises up. Caught in the anonymous rhythms of schedules and timetables, men and women of today are implicitly thirsting for an essential reality, for an inner life. Nothing is more conducive to a communion with the living God than a meditative common prayer with, as its high point, singing that never ends and that continues in the silence of one’s heart when one is alone again.”
A brief history of the Taize service
Taizé is simply the name of a town in France. In 1940, a man known as Brother Roger founded a small community of Christians in Taizé. During this war torn era of France, Brother Roger sought to create a community of healing and refuge. He comments, “‘The defeat of France awoke powerful sympathy. If a house could be found there, of the kind I had dreamed of, it would offer a possible way of assisting some of those most discouraged, those deprived of a livelihood; and it could become a place of silence and work.’” The Taizé community, then, was born out of a vision to create a space for people to find God in the midst of brokenness. Hence, the name of the church in Taizé is the “Church of Reconciliation.”
After the war this community began to grow. Besides the 100 permanent members of the Taizé community, there are currently over 100,000 visitors to Taizé annually. During the peak summer months the small town of Taizé will receive up to 5000 visitors who come for spiritual retreats. The majority of these ‘modern day pilgrims’ are young people in their 20′s. The Taizé community is also ecumenical in nature – meaning that it includes people from a variety of Christian denominations.
The Taizé community has had a major impact in the area of prayer and worship. They have developed a large repertoire of their own music, which is now sung around the world. Taizé music is very contemplative in nature. It usually involves a simple one or two line refrain that is repeated multiple times. As the refrain is repeated over and over, different instrumental and vocal harmonies are brought in. The purpose of this repetitive singing is to help us focus and contemplate on a single aspect of God for an extended period of time.