The so-called Taizé Prayer was recently held in San Roque Parish Church as a part of pre-Holy Week activities (along with Community Via Crucis and more). It is the church’s first Taizé Prayer event which is done in cooperation of the Parish Youth Ministry (PYM). It was such a very solemn moment for me and allow me to give you some information about the Taizé and the Taizé Community. Taizé is generally an ecumenical (a community representing a group of Christian Churches) sung and silent participatory prayer designed to achieve a contemplative state through music, song and silence.
The Taizé community was founded in 1954 by Brother Roger Schutz (a protestant). 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.
The community, though Western European in origin, has sought to include people and traditions worldwide. They have sought to demonstrate this in the music and prayers where songs are sung in many languages, and have included chants and icons from the Eastern Orthodox tradition. The music emphasizes simple phrases, usually lines from Psalms or other pieces of Scripture, repeated and sometimes also sung in canon.
After the last reading where Jesus died in his cross, the cross (San Damiano in particular) will be laid down the floor which also allows the youth and other attendees to kiss or kneel beside the cross. The solemnity of the event is truly overwhelming and it was also a great opportunity to repent from sin and to ask for God’s forgiveness.