Check in on Facebook Live for an evening of Taize Prayer on Thursday, May 14 at 7pm. Emily Banks will lead us in this simple and meditative way to pray with music and scripture. A great way to quiet the anxieties of our minds and focus on having a conversation with God.
The distinguishing marks of Taize Prayer include repetition and silence. Repetition is not a new phenomenon nor unique to Taizé. The use of repetitive prayers is a long attested reality in the history of Christian spirituality and liturgy (for example, in the Jesus Prayer and the Rosary).
What is unique to the prayer of Taizé is the adaptation of the repetitive form to simple musical lines and core biblical texts that can be sung by a whole assembly of various nationalities, languages, and denominations. The duration of repetitive songs during prayer is not to be timed nor the number of repetitions calculated beforehand. The assembly is to immerse itself in the simple but profound harmonies and let itself be carried by this sung prayer.
Silence is perhaps the second most important aspect of this particular prayer practice. In the middle of the prayer is a long period of silence (rather than a sermon or meditation). Maintaining silence is not a technique or method enabling some special communication with God. It is simply holding oneself in a presence and letting Christ, through the Holy Spirit, pray in us. There are not many short silences in a Taizé prayer rather the prayer moves along according to a certain rhythm through song, psalm and reading leading up to a longer silence (around 10 minutes) which then culminates in intercessory prayer and more song.