Monday, November 16, 2009

Resouce Review - Taize

(This is part of a year long series of resource reviews I've been doing. 52 resources in 52 weeks. You can see all the reviews in one place here)

Taize Home website of The Taize community in France. (My apologies for not giving the final "e" in their name but I can't figure out how to do it in the software)

OVERALL - Taize is an international, ecumenical community founded in France in 1940 by a Protestant monk named Brother Roger. Over the years the community there has drawn large numbers of young adults to weekly meetings. And there has grown up a Taize style of contemplative worship. This website will not only give you great background on the movement and it's wide range of work but can also help you figure out how to bring some of that worship style to your youth.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? The basic outline and underlying logic of such a service are laid out under the "Prayer and Song" heading along with information about how to get copies of the music. The music is very simple and can be learned quite easily. Information on how and when to visit is available, plus contacts with folks already doing similar things inspired by the Taize community here in the U.S. Taize is not a movement that you join, in fact the more I look at the site the more I realize how virtually impossible it is to sum up quickly and concisely. Start from the place that says this is a resource for contemplative prayer and then explore from there.

RESERVATIONS As just mentioned part of the problem is simply that there's TOO much information. What the site desperately needs is a "Taize for beginners" option.

RECOMMENDATION I had never even heard of this community or style of worship before the first time I was exposed to it. It hit me like a thunder clap that day. Contemplative worship isn't for everyone but I'm a firm believer that teaching our young people ways to slow down and center themselves is a vital role that the church can play. I highly recommend this site.

1 comment:

PseudoPiskie said...

We often use Taizé chants during communion. Some people think they are boring but I love them. We have given several contemplative services using the chants.

I visited Taizé in 1974 with a bunch of kids from Thiel. There were only 40 or so visitors there at the time so we had a very intimate experience in worship and fellowship. It was fun sitting around in a circle in the evening trying to sing songs in many languages while passing around .25 bottles of Algerian wine.