What is a Taizé Service?
Taizé is a monastic community located in Taizé, France, founded in the 1940s by a Swiss named Roger Louis Schütz-Marsauche, familiarly called Brother Roger. The “brothers” of Taizé have taken a vow of celibacy and are committed to a lifetime of simplicity, service, and community. There is an ecumenical emphasis at Taizé, as expressed in their official website, which says the community “wants its life to be a sign of reconciliation between divided Christians and between separated peoples.” Brother Roger was especially eager to bring Catholics and Protestants together.
The contemplative worship practices of the Taizé community are promoted at an annual international conference. Taizé worship is being incorporated in a wide variety of churches, Protestant and Catholic, and its pattern of devotion is emulated in other monastic communities around the world.
A Taizé worship service involves sung and chanted prayers, meditation, a period of silence, liturgical readings, and icons. There is no preaching. The style of prayer practiced at Taizé has attracted many worshipers from around the globe and from many different denominations. The prayers consist of “short chants, repeated again and again,” according to an introduction in a Taizé songbook.
Taizé Services are occasionally held at both St Andrew’s Stapleford and The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin – Great Shelford. Dates for future Taizé Services will be published in “Diary Dates”.
Do come along and experience Taize worship for yourself.