I learned about the Taizé Community when I attended a Taizé service at All Saints Episcopal Church in Atlanta. I was affected by the peacefulness in the singing of chants, prayer and quiet moments of this worship experience. I was inspired to consider a pilgrimage to Taizé in France.
As the Director of Youth Ministries for my home church, I was in the process of planning a youth pilgrimage. Taking a group of teenagers on a pilgrimage journey is no small undertaking, it involves months of discernment and planning. I have found it is important to take the time to understand the dynamics of your group and to find an experience that will help them grow in their faith but will also be fun.
I got back to my office and began the process of learning everything I could about Taizé. I discovered that it is a place where people of all ages have meaningful interaction with others from different nationalities and faiths. Everyone who visits Taizé and participates in its weeklong program experiences what it is like to live in community with others. You have to learn to communicate through language barriers and to work together serving the community. Everyone is offered the opportunity to engage with their faith more deeply in a welcoming, gentle and inclusive environment.
The Taizé Experience: The Typical Week
The programs at Taizé run a full week, from Sunday afternoon to the following Sunday, after the morning Eucharist. Be ready to take part in all of the aspects of the community life for the week. Each day includes three Taizé services, biblical lessons and reflections, small group discussions, a community service activity and afternoon electives.
Bible introductions,are led by a brother of the community. Small Group discussions, follow the Bible introductions. The small groups that are formed the first day remain the same throughout the week.
Different themes are offered as a main activity for the week. Workshops are held at the end of the afternoon on a wide range of subjects-art, poetry, music, commitment for justice and peace, ecology, and more.
Times of Prayers
Monday to Saturday
8:15 am Morning Prayer
12:20 pm Midday Prayer
8:30 pm Evening Prayer
8:30 pm Evening Prayer, followed by prayer around the cross
8:30 pm Evening Prayer, with celebration of the light of the resurrection