What is the New Life Taizé Service?
The New Life Taizé service is a time of slowing down and centering ourselves. We sing chants from Chants de Taizé – Songs from Taizé and hear readings. This service incorporates meditative time between readings and chants. Some of the elements that go to preparing a Taizé service that is meditative in character and “that has neither beginning nor end”
When is New Life Taizé Service?
The New Life Taizé service is held every Sunday at 6:30 pm; come join us. Because of it’s meditative nature, the Taizé service almost always goes as follows:
To begin the service, use a blessing appropriate to the community or the season.
Usually a chant of praise, or one that is appropriate to the service
First reading – a Psalm
(or other meditative reading from Scripture)
Jesus prayed these age-old prayers of his people. Christians have always found a wellspring of life in them. The psalms place us in the great communion of all believers. Our joys and sorrows, our trust in God, our thirst and even our anguish find expression in the psalms.
One or two persons can alternate in reading or singing the verses of a psalm. After each verse, all respond with an Alleluia or another sung acclamation. If the verses are sung they should be short, usually two lines. In some cases, the congregation can hum the final chord of the acclamation while the solo verses are being sung. If the verses are read and not sung, they can be longer. It is not necessary to read the entire psalm. Do not hesitate to choose just a few verses, and always the most accessible ones.
Communities who pray regularly customarily read the books of the Bible in a systematic fashion. But for weekly or monthly prayer, more accessible readings should be chosen, as well as ones that fit the theme of the prayer or the season. Each reading can be begun by saying “A reading from…” or “The Gospel according to Saint…”
(usually for ten minutes)
During a time of prayer with others, it is best to have just one fairly long period of silence (5-10 minutes) rather than several shorter ones. If those taking part in the prayer are not used to silence, it can help to explain it briefly beforehand.
Usually, a chant celebrating the LIGHT or one that is appropriate to the service.
While this is being sung, people can come forward to light candles. This symbol reminds us that even when the night is very dark, whether in our own life or in the life of humanity, Christ’s love is a fire that never goes out.
A short secular piece related to the first reading
Usually for ten minutes
Intercessions or Litany of Praise
A prayer composed of short petitions or acclamations with each petition followed by a response by all. Praying for others widens our prayer to the dimensions of the entire human family; we entrust to God the joys and the hopes, the sorrows and the sufferings of all people, particularly those who are forgotten. A prayer of praise enables us to celebrate all that God is for us.
When we try to express communion with God in words, our minds quickly come up short. But, in the depths of our being, through the Holy Spirit, Christ is praying far more than we imagine.
Although God never stops trying to communicate with us, this is never in order to impose. The voice of God is often heard only in a whisper, in a breath of silence. Remaining in silence in God’s presence, open to the Holy Spirit, is already prayer.
The road to contemplation is not one of achieving inner silence at all costs by following some technique that creates a kind of emptiness within. If instead, with a childlike trust we let Christ pray silently within us, then one day we shall discover that the depths of our being are inhabited by a Presence.
A Closing chant
At the end, the singing can go on or some participants can remain to to keep on praying. Other people can take part in small group reflections and sharing.