In this busy, busy world, it is nice to step back sometimes and reconnect ourselves at our deepest core. One way I have found that works for me is the form of Taize worship.
I went monthly to a service at St. Cross Episcopal Church for a few years and then that ministry stopped when its organizers moved to Washington state. Imagine my delight when I discovered that St. Francis Episcopal Church in Palos Verdes now has Taize worship on the third Friday of the month at 7 p.m.
This photo is from last night’s worship service. And to my double delight, the priest who led the Taize worship is my old friend Paula Vukmanic who was recently ordained as an Episcopal priest. She is now the associate rector at St. Francis.
This BBC site explains the basics of the Taize community and worship: “The Taizé community is an ecumenical monastic order with a strong devotion to peace and justice through prayer and meditation. The 100-strong community of Roman Catholic and Protestant monks is drawn from 30 countries across the world.
It was founded in 1940 by Roger Louis Schutz-Marsauche (known as 'Brother Roger'). The 90-year-old monk died in August 2005 after being stabbed during a prayer service.
Today Taizé is one of the world's most important sites of Christian pilgrimage. Each year tens of thousands of young pilgrims flock to the small village of Taizé in central France to share in the community's way of life.
Prayer and silence are at the heart of the Taizé experience. Young people from every corner of the globe are encouraged to live out the Christian gospel in a spirit of joy, simplicity and reconciliation.
Ecumenism (a movement promoting Christian unity among Churches) is the key to Taizé's appeal, making it a magnet for people of many different cultures and traditions.”
If you are drawn to contemplative prayer or seek a quiet experience to refresh yourself, Google your local churches and see if Taize worship is available in your community. At the Taize site you can read extensively about the community and even watch videos of services. There is also a lot of information at the BBC site. Now that I’ve found Taize at St. Francis, I’ll be a regular.