What is Taizé?

A "parable of community"
By Dr. Brian Kirby

On August 20, 1940 Roger Schutz, a Swiss Protestant, moved to the village of Taizé, in the region of Burgundy, France. In 1949 he was joined by six others and together they made a life commitment to a common life together. Today, the Taizé Community is made up of about hundred brothers, Catholics and others from various Protestant backgrounds, coming from around thirty nations. By its very existence, the community is a "parable of community" that wants its life to be a sign of reconciliation between divided Christians and between separated peoples. Over the years, more and more people have been coming to Taizé to take part in weekly meetings. Taizé receives, on an average, about 100,000 visitors yearly, serving about a million meals for them.

Worship at Taizé, called "Taizé Prayer", is composed of three essential elements: song, scripture and silence. The songs are simple chants that are repeated over and over, giving them a meditative quality, which penetrates the whole person. In their simple repetition they become a way of listening to God. The scripture is allowed to stand alone without sermon or explanation, allowing the Holy Spirit instead to teach the mind and soul through these words. The silence is a time of clearing away external and internal noises to create space to hear God's voice clearly in one's spirit.

Learn more about the Taizé community: www.taize.fr/en

(SOURCE: http://www.taize.fr/en_article6525.html as well as email from Br. Jean-Marie to Rev. Kirby)