Living Our Faith, Serving Our Community
We are a ministry that meets on the first Monday of the month at 7:00pm to pray and sing in the contemplative style of the Taizé Community in France. Please read below for a calendar of events as well as more information on Taizé Prayer.
Latest Activity: Sep 11, 2014
Taizé is a community that is made up of over a hundred brothers from both Catholic and 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. The brothers of the community live solely by their work. They do not accept donations. In the same way, they do not accept personal inheritances for themselves; the community gives them to the very poor. Over the years, young adults have been coming to Taizé in ever greater numbers; they come from every continent to take part in weekly meetings.
The music of Taize is comprised of short songs, repeated again and again. Using just a few words they 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. Meditative singing thus becomes a way of listening to God. It allows everyone to take part in a time of prayer together and to remain together in attentive waiting on God.
Through these songs, little by little, our being finds an inner unity in God. They can continue in the silence of our hearts when we are at work, speaking with others or resting. In this way prayer and daily life are united. They allow us to keep on praying even when we are unaware of it, in the silence of our hearts.
Silence and prayer
If we take as our guide the oldest prayer book, the biblical Psalms, we note two main forms of prayer. One is a lament and cry for help. The other is thanksgiving and praise to God. On a more hidden level, there is a third kind of prayer, without demands or explicit expression of praise. In Psalm 131 for instance, there is nothing but quietness and confidence: "I have calmed and quieted my soul … hope in the Lord from this time on and forevermore."
At times prayer becomes silent. Peaceful communion with God can do without words. "I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother." Like the satisfied child who has stopped crying and is in its mother’s arms, so can "my soul be with me" in the presence of God. Prayer then needs no words, maybe not even thoughts.
Loud words certainly make themselves heard; they are impressive. But we also know that they hardly touch the hearts. They are resisted rather than welcomed. Elijah’s experience shows that God does not want to impress, but to be understood and accepted. God chose "a sound of sheer silence" in order to speak. This is a paradox:
God is silent and yet speaking
Icons in worship
Icons contribute to the beauty of worship. They are like windows open on the realities of the Kingdom of God, making them present in our prayer on earth.
Although icons are images, they are not simply illustrations or decorations. They are symbols of the incarnation, a presence which offers to the eyes the spiritual message that the Word addresses to the ears. According to the eighth-century theologian Saint John Damascene, icons are based on the coming of Christ to earth. Our salvation is linked to the incarnation of the divine Word, and therefore to matter: “In the past, the incorporeal and invisible God was never represented. But now that God has been manifested in the flesh and has dwelt among men, I represent the visible in God. I do not adore matter; I adore the creator of matter, who has become matter for my sake, who chose to dwell within matter and who, through matter, has caused my salvation” (Discourse I,16).
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