Signed in as:
Three times a day everyone gathers with the community in the church for prayer with songs, a scripture reading and silence.
It will not be like any kind of church service most young people have been to before and for most people this is the most inspiring and significant part of being in Taizé.
During the worship there are simple chants in a wide variety of languages. You don’t need to know these in advance as chant books are available and your group will learn them throughout the week. After the worship in the evening the chants go on for some time and there are brothers from the community available to talk to people who wish to.
Morning prayer ends with the distribution of communion, for those who wish to receive.
The midday prayer is the shortest.
There is a Eucharist service on the Sunday morning.
A Typical day at Taizé (Monday- Friday)
Today the community is made up of over one hundred brothers from around thirty different countries, both Catholics and those from various Protestant backgrounds.
By its very existence the community is a ‘parable of community’ that wants its life to be a sign of reconciliation between divided Christians and separated peoples.
The brothers of the community live solely by their work. They do not accept donations.
In the same way they do not accept personal inheritances for themselves; the community gives them to the very poor.
The Taize community have a long history of welcoming young people into their community. The first international gathering of young people took place in the 1960s and since then Taizé has become a pilgrimage site visited by thousands of young adults from across the world every year. Taizé offers a unique international and ecumenical environment that allows young people from all backgrounds to explore their faith and spirituality whilst experiencing community life and making new friends from around the world.
Nothing is compulsory about Taizé but your group should be prepared to take part in all the activities. There is so much to learn and experience that most people feel inspired to take part and fully immerse themselves in the experience.
The Taizé community is an ecumenical monastic order founded after WWII by Brother Roger.
Brother Roger first came to Taizé in 1940 when, at the age of twenty-five, he left Switzerland, the country where he was born, to go and live in France to assist people suffering during the war. He settled in the small village of Taizé which was quite close to the demarcation line dividing France in two.
Thanks to a modest loan Brother Roger bought a house with outlying buildings that had been uninhabited for years. He asked his sister, Genevieve, to come and help him offer hospitality and they sheltered refugees fleeing the war.
Material resources were limited: there was no running water, so for drinking water they had to go to the village well and the food was simple, mainly soups made from corn flour bought cheaply at the nearby mill.
In 1942 they were warned that their activities had been found out and everyone had to leave.
Brother Roger then lived in Geneva where he began a common life with his first brothers. They were able to return to Taizé in 1944.
In 1945, a young lawyer from the region set up an association to take charge of children who had lost their parents in the war. He suggested to the brothers that they welcome a certain number of them in Taizé. A men’s community could not receive children. So Brother Roger asked his sister Genevieve to come back to take care of them and become their mother.
On Sundays, the brothers also welcomed German prisoners-of-war interned in a camp nearby Taizé.
Gradually other young men came to join the original group, and on Easter Day 1949, there were seven of them who committed themselves together for their whole life in celibacy and to a life together in great simplicity.