Taizé Prayer is offered monthly on the second Friday of each month at 7:30 p.m., alternating location between St. Francis Xavier and Grace Lutheran Churches. (Grace Lutheran is located one block east of St. Francis Xavier on the north side of Ogden Avenue at Kensington.)
Upcoming Prayer Dates/Locations:
Friday, April 13 - 7:30 p.m. (Grace Lutheran)
Friday, May 11 - 7:30 p.m. (St. Francis Xavier)
Friday, June 8 - 7:30 p.m. (Grace Lutheran)
Friday, July 13 - 7:30 p.m. (St. Francis Xavier)
What is Taizé Prayer?
Everything began in 1940 when, at the age of twenty-five, Brother Roger left Switzerland, the country where he was born, to go and live in France, where his mother came from. For years he had been an invalid, suffering from tuberculosis. During that long illness, the call had taken shape in him to create a community where simplicity and kind-heartedness would be lived out as essential Gospel realities. When the Second World War started, he had the conviction that he should begin at once to offer assistance to people in difficult straits, just as his grandmother had done during the First World War. The small village of Taizé, where he settled, was close to the demarcation line that divided France in half, and so was well situated to be a place of welcome for refugees fleeing the war. Gradually other young men arrived and joined the original group, and on Easter Day 1949, the first brothers committed themselves for their whole life to celibacy, to material and spiritual sharing and to a great simplicity of life.
Today, the Taizé Community is made up of over a hundred brothers, Catholics and from various Protestant backgrounds, coming from more than twenty-five nations. By its very existence, the community is thus a concrete sign of reconciliation between divided Christians and separated peoples. Church leaders also come to Taizé. The community has welcomed Pope John Paul II, three Archbishops of Canterbury, Orthodox metropolitans, the fourteen Lutheran bishops of Sweden, and countless pastors from all over the world. Over the years, the number of visitors to Taizé has continued to grow. They are searching for meaning in their lives, in communion with many others. By going to the wellsprings of trust in God, they set out on an inner pilgrimage that encourages them to build relationships of trust among human beings.
In Taizé, the visitors are welcomed by a community of brothers who, three times each day, gather for prayer, worshipping God together in singing and silence. Time in Taizé is a way of realizing the intimate relationship between an experience of communion with God in prayer and personal reflection on the one hand, and an experience of communion and solidarity among peoples on the other. By meeting other people from throughout the world in a climate of openness and listening, participants discover that roads to unity can be opened up amidst the diversity of cultures and Christian traditions. This provides a solid basis for becoming creators of trust and peace in a world wounded by divisions, violence and isolation. In undertaking a “pilgrimage of trust on earth,” Taizé invites each person to live out in their own situation what they have understood, with greater awareness of the inner life within them, as well as of their bonds with many others who are involved in a similar search for what really matters.
To learn more about Taizé, visit the following website:
http://www.taize.fr/en (Official website of the Taizé Community)