Taize is an ecumenical sung and silent participatory prayer service designed to achieve a contemplative state through music, song and silence. The Taize Community is made of more than a hundred Christian brothers from more than thirty countries. They come from all churches, catholic and protestant. They are monks; they pledged their lives to live ‘like Jesus’. They willingly chose to live a simple life, celibate and deeply spiritual. Taize is a village in France. Brother Roger, a Swiss Protestant believer, was the founder of the community in 1940. The community has become one of the world’s most important sites of Christian pilgrimage. Over 100,000 young people from around the world make pilgrimages to Taizé each year for prayer, Bible study, sharing, and communal work. Through the community’s ecumenical outlook, they are encouraged to live in the spirit of kindness, simplicity and reconciliation. Brother Roger was killed by a mentally deranged woman at the age of 90 while conducting prayers from his wheelchair. More than 10000 people attended his funeral.
The original house that Brother Roger bought at the beginning became too small for the visitors that come throughout the year. With contributions from many people and dedicated effort from the willing volunteers, a church is built there now. It is surrounded by many simple wooden chalets for the visitors.
Surprisingly, the community attracts many young people who go there for personal spiritual retreat. They participate in daily activities as follows: simple breakfast, Bible studies, prayers of healing and deliverance, lunch, worship with songs and playing guitars, more Bible studies and prayers, dinner, then more worship until midnight.
This is one of their prayer-songs:
“Lord Jesus, You came to unbind the chains of every slavery, friend of the humble, bread of hungry hearts,
Jesus, full of patience and goodness, You showed forgiveness and kindness to the very end.
Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, You call to yourself all who are weary and burdened.
Jesus, You came into the world to serve and to give Your life…You were betrayed for money, dragged before judges and nailed to the cross.
Jesus, Lord of the universe, by Your resurrection from the dead You are alive at the Father’s side and there You prepare a place for us…
We bless us, O, Lord Jesus Christ; for You burn away the trials of life in the fire of Your presence…
We worship You, Lord, upon the cross!”
(I have not been there myself, but this is another proof that young people all over the world are hungry and thirsty to know God, to have a living, intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, thru the Person of the Holy Spirit. Please pray for the young people all over the world, that they will hate sin and come to Jesus!)
(Picture shows many young people praying on the grounds of the church at Taize, France)