October 3, 2011

Time for Taize

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“Since my youth, I think that I have never lost the intuition that community life could be a sign that God is love, and love alone. Gradually the conviction took shape in me that it was essential to create a community with men determined to give their whole life and who would always try to understand one another and be reconciled, a community where kindness of heart and simplicity would be at the centre of everything.”

Brother Roger: “God is love alone”

In a small town on the border of France sits a once sleepy town called Taizé. The home of an ecumencial Christian community dedicated to simple prayer and song, the word Taizé has also come to represent a way of being with God in community that has attracted hundreds of thousands of pilgrims (most of them under the age of 30) over more than 70 years.

Taizé is a way of prayer that finds its foundation in meditative prayer and song. Taizé music is simple; usually no more than four phrases long, with sparse, easily memorized melodies. The point of Taizé is not to get to the end of the song or prayer, but for the song or prayer to get to the end of you. It is a method of moving the truths of the prayers from the head down to the heart.

Every few weeks or so, I find myself craving some Taizé music. So, I find a quiet place, center myself on God and let the musical prayers wash over me. Sometimes I sing, sometimes I sit and let the songs sing me.

If you've never experienced Taizé, I encourage you to find some of their music (also on iTunes), and explore their website. If there's a Taizé service somewhere in your town (and there may well be*), I encourage  you to make an effort to experience what it is like to practice silence, Scripture and song in community. I know that it will refresh your soul.


*If you live in Colorado Springs, Colorado College runs a Taizé service once a block at Shove Chapel. The next Taizé service with be on Monday, October 10 at 9 pm at Shove.