My first experience of Taize style worship came when I was studying theology in Toronto. I remember the service because of its simplicity. The music was striking; simple beautiful melodies which sank into my soul. The gentle repetition of phrases in the music such as, “God is forgiveness, ” “Love, and do not fear”, anchored them deep within me. The reading of scripture punctuated the music, and because there were few words spoken, they seemed to be clearer. And there was light…candles and icons, a feast for the eyes. I came away feeling fed.
Since then I’ve learned more about the Taize community, and how it was founded in France in the 1950’s by Brother Roger. This intentional ecumenical community served the community, eventually evolving into a centre of worship, particularly for young people. I have never been to Taize but a number of people from our congregation have been there, and were profoundly moved by the experience. It is characterized by simple music, scripture, a visual focus and an international flavour. All designed to draw people together to worship God, who is love.
This Sunday our evening service will be a Taize service. Those who are able will be invited to sit on the floor for worship…I wonder how this will shape your experience. Perhaps it will remind us that we all come to God humbly, as children.
This week’s prayer: Prepare our hearts to come to worship you.
For more information about Taize, go to http://www.taize.fr