The Community of Taizé Timeline 1940 Brother Roger buys the house in Taizé 1944 The first brothers return from Geneva after the war 1949 The first 7 brothers make a solemn commitment: to live together for a whole lifetime to share everything they have in celibacy, not marrying in unity as a community around a Prior. All of this “because of Christ and the Gospel” Praying together, working together, accepting no gifts / donations. In search of reconciliation and peace.
The small village church where the community prayed in the early years is now a place for silent prayer.
The Church of Reconciliation Built 1962 when more visitors started to come.
The Community always comes together for common prayer 3 times each day: morning, midday, evening. Singing, reading, praying, silence.
Simple meals taken together joyfully express sharing in community. In the summer guests are invited to join the brothers.
Each brother joins the community at first for a trial period lasting several years before making life-long vows. There are now almost 100 brothers.
Many brothers work part-time in the Community’s pottery workshop as a way of earning the living of the Community. Pottery, enamels, paintings, books, recordings are sold in the shop at Taizé.
Brother Roger was born in Switzerland. His father was a protestant pastor. He came to live in Taizé in 1940 during the war, hoping to start a community as a sign of peace. It was a very poor, half-empty village.
For Brother Roger, the divisions between Christian churches, Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican... were intolerable. All confessing the love of God, yet rejecting one another. How could people believe their message? How could they show the love of God and so bring a hope of peace? He hoped to gather a community that would be a living sign of unity. The first brothers were Protestant, but since 1969 Catholics have also become brothers. The Community is ‘ecumenical,’ and is composed of men from some 30 different countries In 1958 Br Roger met the newly elected Pope John XXIII and they understood each other very deeply. Pope John, meeting Brother Roger again later, said: “Ah, Taizé, that little springtime!”
1962 The Second Vatican Council opens in Rome. Br Roger is invited as a personal guest of Pope John 23.
There was great hope for a deep renewal of the Catholic Church, especially in South America.
Dom Helder Camara, a bishop who lived among the very poor in NE Brazil, became a dear friend.
Pope John-Paul II already knew Brother Roger well before he became Pope. In 1986 he came on a visit to Taizé to pray with the community.
Meeting Mother Teresa greatly inspired Brother Roger. He visited her in India. Later, he lived at times with other brothers among the very poor in Calcutta, Ethiopia, Kenya, Haiti, the Philippines....
Young people began to come to Taizé in the 1960s. They were asking vital questions about life, hope, faith. The Community had no special answers but shared the same questions. Brother Roger realized that the young needed a place where they were understood in their deepest, strongest aspirations. He saw that the Community must welcome them in the name of Christ and the Church.
1970, Easter, 2,500 young people arrived at Taizé. 1971, Easter, 7,000 young people arrived at Taizé, the back wall of the Church of Reconciliation was demolished to make room for all at the prayers. 1974, Summer, 30,000 young people arrived for a short celebration. 1977, December, the first European Youth Meeting was held in Breda, Netherlands. The ‘Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth’ had begun. Since 1977, meetings have been held every year after Christmas in one major European city, the citizens opening their homes to welcome the young pilgrims. Once, in Paris, over 100,000 came, just after the collapse of the Iron Curtain. Meetings are also sometimes held in other continents. Nowadays, about 30,000 usually come to a European meeting. During the summer, some 3,000 or 4,000 or more young people take part in the meetings at Taizé each week, from 70-80 countries. The 2013 European Meeting will be held in Strasbourg.
Three days every day all the young people gather around the brothers for a celebration of prayer, with meditative songs, a Bible reading in many languages, prayers for the suffering world, and a long time of silence in the middle of each prayer.
Most young people come to Taizé for a week in the summer. There are different programs for the young, and parallel meetings are organized for children and adults. Personal reflection is usually followed by small-group sharing.
At the end of the week, the young people go back home. The Community encourages them to put into practice whatever they have understood about life and faith, to join with their local churches, not to talk too much about Taizé, and not to form ‘Taizé groups’.
During European meetings, prayers are held in large exhibition halls since no church can hold so many people
A meeting was recently held in Cochabamba, Bolivia
Meetings have been held in several parts of India.
Prayer in a tent-church during the meeting in Kalcotta, India.
How can young people bring hope to those living in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya?
Kenya is caught between tradition and modernity.
The Christians of Africa praise God by dancing during prayer.
Everywhere, the Community helps the young to realize that they must root their lives in a living relationship with God in order to find the strength to love and serve others around them.
The European meetings take place in the cold of winter, but are marked by human warmth
The Community welcomes all who come to Taizé, since we are all members of the one human family. ( 자승 스님 )
The Message of Taizé Communion and sharing Light in darkness Cross and resurrection Solidarity and compassion Hope
Seeking a communion with God, a living relationship with Christ who makes it possible for us to know and love God, we also seek communion with other people, especially those close to us: that is the fundamental way of life the Community shows to the young. Christ, is seen as a friend, a companion on the way.
The world is often a dark place, full of wars, violence, divisions; Christ is the source of light, his love is a fire. Candles are an important sign of light shining out, overcoming the darkness. And so they are signs of our hope.
Christian faith does not deny the power of hatred and death, but looking toward the Cross on which Jesus died, it believes that love is stronger.
At Taizé the young learn that they can entrust the suffering of the world to God and find the strength to put compassion and solidarity into practice in their daily lives.
The resurrection of Christ makes our human lives an unending festival.
... a festival of joy, sharing, solidarity and compassion.
Bless the Lord Ubi caritas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v =G2o27qpvfUc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v =G2o27qpvfUc http://www.taize.fr/