Taizé services are held on the third Tuesday of the month, the Tuesdays of Lent and during Holy Week. Check the Parish Bulletin for dates and times.
To begin the prayer, we sing one or two songs of praise.
Jesus prayed these age-old prayers of his people. Christians have always found a wellspring of life in them. The psalms place us in the great communion of all believers. Our joys and sorrows, our trust in God, our thirst and even our anguish find expression in the psalms.
Song of Light
Before the reading, we sing a song celebrating the light of Christ. While this is being sung, the candles before the icon are lighted. This symbol reminds us that even when the night is very dark, whether in our own life or in the life of humanity, Christ’s love is a fire that never goes out.
Reading Scripture is a way of going to “the inexhaustible wellspring by which God gives himself to thirsting human beings” (Origen, 3rd century). The Bible is a “letter from God to creatures” that enables them “to discover God’s heart in God’s words” (Gregory the Great, 6th century).
When we try to express communion with God in words, our minds quickly come up short. But, in the depths of our being, through the Holy Spirit, Christ is praying far more than we imagine.
Although God never stops trying to communicate with us, this is never in order to impose. The voice of God is often heard only in a whisper, in a breath of silence. Remaining in silence in God’s presence, open to the Holy Spirit, is already prayer.
The road to contemplation is not one of achieving inner silence at all costs by following some technique that creates a kind of emptiness within. If, instead, with a childlike trust we let Christ pray silently within us, then one day we shall discover that the depths of our being are inhabited by a Presence.
Gospel Canticle: Magnificat
The period of silence ends with the singing of the Canticle of Mary (Magnificat), which is the traditional prayer in the Catholic Evening Prayer (Vespers).
Intercessions or Litany of Praise
A prayer composed of short petitions or acclamations, sustained by humming, with each petition followed by a response sung by all, can form a kind of “pillar of fire” at the heart of the prayer. Praying for others widens our prayer to the dimensions of the entire human family; we entrust to God the joys and the hopes, the sorrows and the sufferings of all people, particularly those who are forgotten. A prayer of praise enables us to celebrate all that God is for us.
At the end, the singing can go on for some time. A small group can remain to sustain the singing of those who wish to keep on praying.
(from web page: www.Taizé.fr)
The following video was recorded at CTR’s January 19, 2016 Taizé service (00:02:30).
The following video, trailer for the Album Taizé – Music of Unity and Peace, is a collection of chants and songs of the Taizé community in France (00:09:57).