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Taize Prayer originated in Taize_ France by an ecumenical


									Taize Prayer originated in Taize, France by an ecumenical, international
community founded in 1940 by Brother Roger. A Taize Prayer Service
often consists of music, song, gospel readings, periods of silence for quiet
meditation, chants, and veneration of the cross.

I’ll just give a brief history on the Taize community, it’s founder and the
prayer service.

Going back to the beginnings

in 1940, at the age of twenty-five, Brother Roger left Switzerland, to live in
France. For years he had been suffering from tuberculosis. During that
long illness, the call had taken shape in him to create a community where
simplicity and kind-heartedness would be lived out as essential Gospel

His call was to begin a community where reconciliation between Christians
would be lived out in daily life. A community where “kindness of heart would
be a matter of practical experience, and where love would be at the heart of
all things”. He wanted this community to be present in the midst of the
suffering of the time, and thus he made his home in the small village of Taizé,
in Burgundy, just a few miles from the demarcation line which cut France in
two during the first years of the WWII. There he was able to hide refugees
(Jews in particular), who had fled the occupied zone in the knowledge that
they could find refuge in his house.

In the autumn of 1942, a retired French officer warned them that they had
been found out and that everyone should leave at once. Brother Roger was
able to return in 1944, and soon after he was not alone. In the meantime a
few brothers had joined him, and they had begun a life together that
continued in Taizé.

on Easter Day, 1949, the first brothers of the community made their
commitment to a life in celibacy, to community of possessions, and to
simplicity of life.
During a long silent retreat in the winter of 1952-3, Brother Roger wrote
“The Rule of Taizé” which expressed the “things necessary for living in

From the 1950s onwards some of the brothers went to live in areas of
deprivation in order to share the life of the poor.

Since the late 1950s, many thousands of young adults from many countries
have found their way to Taizé to take part in weekly meetings of prayer and
reflection, focusing on “inner life and human solidarity”. Sunday to Sunday,
everyone is invited to enter into the rhythm of community life during the
week; gathering with the brothers three times a day for prayer, joining with
people from other countries for meetings, meals, small group discussions
and practical jobs.

In addition, Taizé brothers make visits and lead meetings, large and small,
in Africa, North and South America, Asia, and in Europe, as part of a
“pilgrimage of trust on earth”.

On 16 August 2005, Brother Roger died on, at the age of 90, killed during
the evening prayer. He was stabbed by a woman who as likely mentally ill.
Brother Alois, whom Brother Roger had chosen many years ago as his
successor, is now the prior of the Community.

Today, the Taizé Community is made up of over a hundred brothers,
Catholics and from various Protestant backgrounds, coming from more
than twenty-five nations. By its very existence, the community is thus a
concrete sign of reconciliation between divided Christians and separated

Small groups of brothers are present in Asia, Africa and South America. As
far as possible they share the living conditions of those who surround them,
striving to be a presence of love among the very poor, street children,
prisoners, the dying, and those who are wounded in their depths by broken
relationships, by being abandoned.

Today, throughout the world, Taizé’s name evokes peace, reconciliation,
communion and the ardent expectation of a springtime of the Church:
Brother Roger said “When the Church listens, heals, reconciles, then she
becomes what she is in her most radiant aspect: a crystal-clear reflection of
a love.”

Brother Roger has said many times how important a role music and singing
have played in Taizé from the very beginning. He said, "Prayer expressed
in song remains one of the most essential expressions of our search for
God. Short chants, repeated over and over, emphasize the meditative
quality of prayer. They express in a few words a basic truth which is quickly
grasped by the mind and gradually penetrates into one's whole being.”

Repetitive and meditative

Typically songbooks are not used so as to encourage people to listen
and pick up the lyrics to sing "with their heart". There are a few
sheets of music if you wish to use one.

Feel free to join in and Sing or simply use this time to reflect silently.

There will be readings along with a time for intersession. I encourage
you to join in with any prayers – of praise, thanksgiving or petition.

We’ll also say the lord’s prayer together and end with a final song.

After the service, we’ll break for snacks and socializing and have a
discussion if we wish.

Try to use this time to reflect and pray as a community and just go where
the spirit leads you.
Prayer Service

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.



How great is your name, O Lord our God,
through all the earth!
Your majesty is praised above the heavens;
on the lips of children and of babes.
When I see the heavens, the work of your hands,
the moon and the stars which you arranged,
what are we that you should keep us in mind,
mere mortals that you care for us?
You gave us power over the work of your hands,
put all things under our feet.
All of them, sheep and cattle,
yes, even the savage beasts,
birds of the air, and fish
that make their way through the waters.
How great is your name, O Lord our God,
through all the earth!

2 Songs


When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat
down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught
them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of
heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed
are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful,
for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see
God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is
the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and
persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same
way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."


Intercessions or Litany of Praise

Heavenly Father, We ask you to hear our prayers as we gather as a faithful

Lord, Keep us persevering in faith and set in our hearts the desire for your
Kingdom. Help us to continue to deepen our love for you and increase our
desire to pray.

May your peace shine among us and your love set us free, Lord, we pray.

Guide your Church along the way of the Gospel; may your Holy Spirit keep
her welcoming.

We pray for the leaders of all nations; may they have the will to promote
justice and freedom.

For those who work with the oppressed, with foreigners and with the lonely.

For our country, our state, and our city, that the Christians there may be
witnesses to truth and creators of unity,


 “The prayer will now continue with a few moments of silence for personal
intercessions and reflection.”

Our Father

Concluding prayer
Bless us, Christ Jesus; in you alone our hearts find rest and peace.

Final Song

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