Taize as an Ecumenical Prayer Service
By Rev. Mary M. Finklea
In April at the National Workshop on Christian Unity, Brother Roger of Taize, France led the gathered assembly in prayer three times a day, morning, noon, and early evening. This was a time of holy prayer, silence, singing, and scripture. The popularity of many of the tunes has reached numerous Lutheran congregations in South Carolina. “Jesus, Remember Me” is beloved by many.
Taize is the name of a small French village that is home to a collection of monks most known for welcoming young people every summer. From all over the world, teenagers and young adults find a welcome place to explore their faith. Short, repetitive tunes based on scripture were written to aid meditation and become an entry point into deeper growth. Returning home from France, many of these young adults helped their congregations host prayer services based on the same concept of welcome and hospitality. These same services work well ecumenically because they are centered around scripture, silence, and singing. Having a flute, guitar, or cello becomes an entry point into calling a high school or college music department for help. Consider planning a prayer service with ecumenical and community friends where you live. Learn more about Taize and purchasing the music online or ask around. Maybe it is already happening and you can join in or you can be the one to take the lead and get it started. Praying together with your brothers and sisters from different denominations can reinvigorate your prayer life, and maybe even your whole congregation!
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