Random Thoughts

Taize: a community of prayer, worship and reconciliation

... Taize, an ecumenical community in Burgundy,France

by Ed Boyd


On a hill in Burgundy, France, Taize is an ecumenical monastic community established by Brother Rogers, a protestant, German cleric. Taize is the source of reconciliation for divided Christians as a promise of peace in the human family. Briefly, here are some of the attributes:   

Taize services are marked by silence.

The duration of silence can be as short as six minutes and as long as twelve.

It is precisely this lack of expectation that is felt to be most characteristic of silence.

Each part of the liturgy points toward the center—silence. The silence is the entrée.

The scripture that’s read right before the silence is offered to feed our souls and the silence is a point of discovery.

It gives time to ruminate and to ponder the simplicity and depth of the passage.

The text is allowed to speak for itself.

Culture war issues, such as abortion, feminism, and gay rights, are not openly addressed in Taize services.

There are no membership rolls; there is no beaurocracy in the organization.

Its work is of renewal by creating spaces of prayer, silence and reflection on spiritual and social concerns.

Christian life should be a continuing process of reconciliation with other people.

“Start by cultivating an ‘inner life’ through prayer and contemplation and then become a ‘sign of contradiction’ to the world by practicing reconciliation between different people, working for unity and nonviolence, and battling injustice.”

A Community called Taize: a story of prayer, worship and reconciliation, Jason Brian Santos, IVP Books, c. 2008.

January 7, 2011

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