Understanding Taize Worship

A Community and Worship:
Ecumenical Reconciliation or an Interfaith Delusion?
by Chris Lawson

In the 1940s during World War II, Swiss Protestant Reformed Roger Louis Schütz-Marsauche began reaching out to people, in particular refugees from the war, in Burgundy, France. As a result, Taizé* Community was birthed and has since become an internationally recognized ecumenical monastic brotherhood located in Taizé, France. The Taizé Community website describes Taizé’s beginning:

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, the country his mother came from. For years he had been ill with tuberculosis, and during that long convalescence he had matured within him the call to create a community. (Excerpt from Chris Lawson's book, Taize—A Community and Worship: Ecumenical reconciliation or an interfaith delusion?



Taize
Taize Worshipers
Practicing the silence with icons, candles, incense and prayer stations, this very contemplative community is attracting young people from around the world.


Faithworks Magazine and Taize
"Short chants, repeated again and again, give it a meditative character," the brothers explain in a brief introduction printed in the paperback songbook. "Using just a few words, [the chants] express a basic reality of faith, quickly grasped by the mind. As the words are sung over many times, this reality gradually penetrates the whole being."

Reformed Worship, a publication of Faith Alive Christian Resources CRC (Christian Reformed Church) Publications, carries an article on their website that promotes the practice of Taize' worship. The article, "How to ... Plan in the Style of Taize," says that the students, faculty, and staff of Calvin Theological Seminary spend time together once a week in "contemplative services" in "the manner of the Community of Taize'."

Taize is a form of contemplative worship that incorporates mystical practices and interspiritual beliefs as this article describes:

"Short chants, repeated again and again, give it a meditative character," the brothers explain in a brief introduction printed in the paperback songbook. "Using just a few words, [the chants] express a basic reality of faith, quickly grasped by the mind. As the words are sung over many times, this reality gradually penetrates the whole being."
For those who may wonder if Calvin Theological Seminary's Taize' is the same as the Taize' in France, the article provides a link(to learn more) to Taize' community in France.

This article in Reformed Worship is just another indication that contemplative spirituality is no respecter of denominations. Nearly all are affected and influenced.

 

 

 

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