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By Anne Timpane, Director of Music Ministries
One of our special Lenten offerings this year is a candlelit service of prayers and music from Taizé that will take place on Sunday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m. The music comes from a French religious community that has become familiar to many through its music and particularly the so-called “songs from Taizé.” In the preface to Taizé Songs for Prayer, a collection of the community’s music, there is a vivid description of the Taizé worship experience.
Worship begins as bells ring out across the hill of Taizé, calling various activities to a halt and all participants to the church. Once inside the dimly lit interior, the illuminated altar area with its icons, greenery, and many candles draws the focus toward the front. The bells grow quiet and, after a period of silence, one of the brothers of the Community sings the first measure of an opening song and immediately, the whole assembly joins in.
Visitors often speak of being struck by both the beauty of these simple sung prayers and the ease with which all present take part. Many of the songs have repeated ostinato refrains which are sung again and again, allowing the words to penetrate the whole being and all present to easily participate.
The underlying aim of the Taizé community is to “enter together into the mystery of God’s presence.” So, come and share with us on March 5. Come join us for a glimpse of the spirit of Taizé as voices singing together “become an entry point into what is beyond ordinary seeing and hearing.”