Taizé Services and Contemplative Prayer Group at St. Michael’s
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church holds Taizé services on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. The services are contemplative, held by candlelight, and offer a rich experience of community, music, reflection and joyful singing. Each is unique, with varying Taizé songs, spoken and sung prayers, chants and periods of silence and meditation. Eight musicians contribute on violin, guitar, mandolin, recorder and piano, along with an organ voluntary and a bagpipes recessional. There are also readings by authors from a variety of religious traditions. Taizé is ecumenical and affirming, rooted in the openness and welcoming nature of the Taizé Community in France.
For most people their first encounter with Taizé is through its music. Taizé songs have a chant-like quality and consist of short verses that are repeated, creating the meditative quality of prayer. It’s about listening to God, to one another and taking this divine presence into the world.
As a compliment to Taizé, St. Michael’s also offers a Contemplative Prayer Group, which meets at 9:30 a.m. on Saturdays, in the House of Prayer, located on the north campus of the church. In the Contemplative Prayer Group, there is a strong cohesiveness among the members and a growing number of enduring friendships are being formed. New group members in the past year have included longtime St. Michael’s folk as well as numerous individuals from the community.
There remains a close link between the ministries of the group and Taize. They are both focused on the truth that a deeper relationship with God leads not only to personal, spiritual and relational growth, but also to right action in carrying Christ’s message to the community and to the world. The group’s format is 25 minutes of silent meditation, listening to a CD/DVD by a noted spiritual author, then discussion which is always lively and spiritually uplifting. Coffee hour follows.
St. Michael’s is a place for members to share their vulnerabilities with one another and to learn and grow in the context of that shared community experience. Sunday services include a Family Mass, a traditional High Mass and a Spanish Mass. All are welcome.