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What is Taizé
We often sing Taizé music during our services.
Taizé music originates from a small settlement in France where, during the 1940s, an ecumenical movement got off the ground. One of the characteristics of Taizé music is that through thoughtful repetition of key words and phrases, our minds are stilled and centred towards God. Taizé music shares with Celtic Christian worship an emphasis on the simple and on using signs and symbols to help ground our faith through the world we see around us.
The Community was founded by Brother Roger (Pictured below) who continued as its leader until, at the age of 90, he was murdered whilst worshipping on 16th August 2005.
Everything began in great solitude. In 1940, at the age of 25, Brother Roger left his native Switzerland in order to live in France, the country of his mother. For several years he had borne within him a calling to begin a community where reconciliation between Christians would be lived out in daily life. A community where “kindness of heart would be a matter of practical experience, and where love would be at the heart of all things”. He wanted this community to be present in the midst of the suffering of the time, and thus it was that he made his home in the small village of Taizé, in Burgundy, just a few miles from the demarcation line which cut France in two during the first years of the war. There he was able to hide refugees (Jews in particular), who had fled the occupied zone in the knowledge that they could find refuge in his house.
Photograph and part of this article by kind permission. Our thanks to Brother Donagh for his co-operation.
Copyright © Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, 71250 Taizé, France
For a fuller article, more detailed information about the Taizé Community and samples of music visit: http://www.taize.fr/en