First and foremost, besides being a very profound approach to Christian prayer and worship, Taize is a little hamlet village roughly 40 miles north of Lyons in France.
Since the 1950s it has been a place of increasing numbers of pilgrims, travelling from all over the world. During the summer months, many thousands of people journey to Taize to explore, pray and find themselves.
Over the last thirty years, it has also been the practice of the taize community to hold European city meetings -usually between Christmas and New Year. Upwards of 70,00 young people often attend, and are accommodated by local churches.
More information about the community can be gained from www.taize.fr
The international dimension of the community provides some explanation to why the characteristic songs are in different language, and that there is no formal liturgy as such.
Besides the singing of Taize chants, which are often sentences from scripture, there is a bible reading. Probably the most challenging aspect of Taize Prayer is the silence. My experience attending Taize itself, is that the silences start at 5 minutes at the beginning of the week, and by the end of the week are often 10 minutes long. By that stage, one has begun to embrace silence as gift from God.
Come and See
- Taize prayer is offered throughout the year at St Mary's Chickerell.
- Contact the Parish Priest for more details.