Taize Services at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
Mar 02, 2019 12:27AM
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church holds Taize 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 Taize 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. At one service, one may hear a Traditional Ugandan Chant or a Lakota Native American Chant, while at another, a beautiful soprano vocalize over the ringing of Tibetan prayer bowls. There are also readings by authors from a variety of religious traditions. Taize is ecumenical and affirming, rooted in the openness and welcoming nature of the Taize Community in France.
The Celtic spirituality author John O’Donohue speaks of “music as presence” and says, “Music opens doorways into eternal presence. It educates and refines your listening; you begin to sense your own eternity in the echoes of your soul. Music is the perfect sister of silence.” For most people, their first encounter with Taize is through its music. Taize 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 complement to Taize, St. Michael’s also offers a Contemplative Prayer Group, which meets on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. It is held in the House of Prayer, located on the north campus of the church. Sunday services include a Family Mass, a traditional High Mass and a Spanish Mass. All are welcome.