Playdates with God: Taize Prayer

We turn down the lights and light the candles, because God is Light; (and) in him there is no darkness at all. We move the sanctuary around…arranging the chairs in two concentric circles around the table with all those flickering luminaries. And we wait for dusk.
Those who come are instructed to enter in silence…and soon we are one, our hearts twined together by the simple weaving of silence and Word and song. It is my first Taize* prayer service, but I am swept away in our voices lifted together, layer after layer billowing up like smoke. And when we sing O Christe Domine Jesu, I think my heart might break for the beauty.
They leave much the way they came, in silence; in prayer. We move the chairs back and extinguish the candles. The smell of melted wax permeates the air and my heart is molten too.
And when we step out into the night, I can smell the Holy.
*Taize prayer originated in a Protestant monastery in Taize, France during the Second World War.  In the beginning this place was a sanctuary for second World War refugees, particularly Jews persecuted by the Nazi regime. It is a simple service—combining prayer, silence, and liturgy to bring us into the presence of God. The service has elements that date from the third century C.E. and is rooted in the Jewish custom of a ritual blessing of light. Today the Taize community is made up of more than a hundred brothers from all Christian denominations who work in the village outside the monastery and live together in community following the rule of St. Benedict. 

**So honored that a wee piece of my poetry journey story is featured today over at Tweetspeak poetry. Won’t you hop on over and share your thoughts?

How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:

the Playdates button:

 

Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also: 

On In Around button

Comments

  1. says

    I have attended a number of Taize services in our area (one is coming up on Good Friday). I find them to be deeply moving, the music glorious.

  2. says

    How interesting!

    I’ve never heard of Taize prayer, before. The simplicity sounds beautiful.

    I often wonder whether we don’t sometimes crowd out the Holy Spirit with all of our “worship” activity…

  3. says

    I would love to attend a service like that. Last spring, while in California, I purchased a cd called “Sing to God” which was recorded in Taize. I enjoy listening to it in the car, while wondering how much better it would be to experience in person. Like so many spiritual things, I suppose!

  4. says

    Just discovered your blog. I love Taize … I haven’t gone to a service in age but it was a beautiful introduction to silence, meditation and light in darkness. We have one at our church hosted by the Catholic community that shares our space and I’ve been a couple of times, but not lately.

  5. says

    Contemplative prayer and holy silence are such a profound gift in such a hurried world. Thank you for sharing them with us so beautifully. Love from over here- Michele

  6. says

    Beautiful photo. It lifts my heart to see the birds taking flight. Your post is not my first introduction to Taize prayer, but I’ve yet to experience it. Silence and candles sound medicinal today.
    Grace and peace to you in Jesus!

  7. says

    Oh, that fountain!

    I have called myself a Christian for nearly all my life, and am just beginning to understand the beauty and importance of silence in prayer.

  8. says

    I’ve never heard of a Taize prayer service, but it sounds wonderful. Thanks for enlightening me (no pun intended) with yet another possibility for a playdate with God.

  9. says

    I read this in the early morning hours on Monday and just realized I never left a comment. This is yet another post that makes me think you are part of a very cool community of believers where you live. One I think I would enjoy.

  10. says

    I love the picture…there is so much significance that gets swept away in modern times and busy lives…I love the truth that Yahweh is eternal and the ways we experience that eternity, timelessness, set in our hearts:}

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