We hold Taizé Prayer Services on the second Friday during the months of September, November, January, and March at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary here at First Presbyterian Church. Our next Taizé Prayer
Service will be on Friday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
What is Taizé Prayer?
Taizé is a meditative prayer service that incorporates simple, repetitive
song and chant, scripture readings, and periods of group silence in a setting of
peace and soft light that fosters communion with God. Through Taizé, participants
can worship in a community setting, yet remain open to the voice of God and discover
the prayer within themselves.
Taizé Prayer is an ecumenical form of prayer meant to foster reconciliation
and peace among all people. Christians of all traditions share in this ecumenical
group. Taizé Prayer is meditative common prayer. Gathered in the presence
of Christ, we sing uncomplicated repetitive songs, uncluttered by too many words,
allowing the mystery of God to become tangible through the beauty of simplicity.
Worship in the
Spirit of Taizé
People are handed a bulletin and a candle as they come in the door, where they
gather quietly in the gently lit worship space. At the front, a few lighted candles
sit amongst Christian symbols or icons. People sit during the first few songs, which
usually are sung in English, but may also be in Latin, French, or Spanish. These
are songs of adoration praise or petition to the Lord. Two or three different songs
are sung to begin. Then all stand, and a few (usually the children) come to the front
to light their candles. They then walk to the first rows, sharing their light with
the person on the end, who turns to his neighbor, and shares the light.
When all the candles are lit, the cantor utters a few words of prayer, and everyone
raises their candles and sings "Alleluia" with the cantor.
A Scripture reading follows. And, as the people sing gently again, each person
comes to the front to stand their candle in a pot filled with sand, and then return
to their place. When all have surrendered their candle, quietness descends, and the
people sit in silent prayer for ten minutes.
The cantor ends the silence by beginning a song, which everyone sings. A time
for prayer for those near, and those far away, and for all the things that are on
our hearts follows, with all the people joining in with "Kyrie eleison." This
time of prayer is ended with the people joining hands and praying the Lord's prayer
A final hymn ends the service, and everyone is invited to share the Lord's peace
with their neighbor.
Taizé Prayer is an ecumenical form of prayer modeled after an international,
ecumenical community founded in the 1940's by Br. Roger in Taizé, France.
At the heart of daily life in Taizé are three times of prayer together.
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.
Everything began in great solitude. In 1940, at the age of 25, Brother Roger
left his native Switzerland in order to live in France, the country of his mother.
For several years he had borne within him a calling 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 it was that 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 war. 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.
After the war he was joined by others, and 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
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.
The community's existence is in itself a sign of reconciliation between divided Christians
and divided nations. The brothers are committed for their whole life to material
and spiritual sharing, to celibacy, and to a great simplicity of life.
Right at the depth of the human condition, lies the longing for a presence,
the silent desire for a communion. Let us never forget that this simple desire for
God is already the beginning of faith.
. . . .Brother Roger
Join us on Friday,
March 14, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary for this
candlelight service of songs, scripture reading, silence, prayers of the people,
among all people. For more information about Taizé Prayer you can look
the internet at http://www.taize.fr/en. If
you have any questions or would like to be more involved in Taizé Prayer
at First Presbyterian Church, please contact David Lincoln by
or by calling 630-668-5147 x 22.
Please contact David Lincoln if you would like child care during the Taizé Prayer
This page last updated Thursday, February 06, 2014