Doing Taizé in Lent

I first visited the community at Taizé, France in 1973. After a long absence, I have returned four times in the last eight years and plan to visit again this summer and next. I have grown to love the style of contemplative prayer and music for which the community is known. In 2005 I did a short retreat there and saw Brother Roger just before he was murdered.

My wife Nancy and I have been participatiing in the Lenten Taizé services at the local Presbyterian church througout Lent this year. No one there has visited the community, and that affects their ability to imagine and replicate (in a non-identical way) the “real Taizé” experience. Tonight I went to a different Presbyterian church with my friend and co-worker Patty while Nancy was out of town. The difference was palpable because the leader had been to the community in France.

What is it about the music, the silence, and the prayer that is so appealing? For me, it is the simplicity and beauty of the music that allows me to experience the real presence of Christ in the place where the prayer occurs, in me, and in others. For me, that is a rare experience in this busy world, so even when there is no Taizé service, I often listen to a CD of the music. 2007-03-28; 22:25:47

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