UU Taizé Worship – Online
The Church of the Larger Fellowship hosts an online Taizé worship service this Wednesday, January 9th, at 8 PM ET.
Taizé style worship comes from the ecumenical Christian monastic community in Taizé, France. A Taizé style worship typically has periods of singing, prayers, readings and silence. There are no sermons or announcements, and the goal is to develop a meditative rhythm within the worship space. This meditative state allows the worshiper to better commune with the divine, removing the barriers of the world in much the same way as a mantra or a meditative walk around a quiet lake.
The songs are often made up of simple repetitions which can be repeated for as long as the spirit carries the group, disregarding what is printed in the hymnal.
Prayer and Reading
The prayers are also often short and repetitive, and are frequently adapted from the book of Psalms in the Hebrew Scriptures.
The periods of silence lengthen as the service continues, culminating in a long period of silence – sometimes for as long as 10 minutes. Think of this silence as being not only aural, but also as stillness and grounding. Ten minutes might not seem like much, but I invite you to try a ten minute period of silence right now! Don’t click off of any pages or do anything else. Just set a timer and sit or stand in silence.
The period of silence you just lent yourself to might have felt incredibly long. If it did, Taizé might offer something great for you! Stillness and the ability to listen and be alone with oneself is a great spiritual practice that is centering and powerful.
I believe Taizé style worship is the embodiment of a method and strand of worship that is often overlooked by and for young adults. Young adult centered worship is often offered in the ecstatic, spirit-centered and dare I say, “Southern” tradition. However, not all young adults connect with this style of worship. Many recognize that amidst the rush and constant multi-tasking that pervades daily life a chance to step back and center is vitally important.
While many congregations have elements of centering or silence, Taizé strips away any part of the service that is not useful for the goal of spiritual communion through contemplation, meditation and silence.
I invite you to connect with the Church of the Larger Fellowship here on Wednesday, January 9th, at 8PM ET, and then reconnect here to share your expereince of Taizé worhsip with other young adults!