We invite you to join us at All Souls/St. Ann for Prayer in the Style of Taize. We often use Lent to clear our minds of the pressures and stresses of the outside world. Come and prepare yourself for the Lenten season and bring your prayers and gratitude to God through this meditative prayer experience.

Prayer is a foundational aspect of our faith and takes many different forms throughout our lives. When we pray, we bring our joys, sorrows, hopes, dreams and fears to God….and God’s heart opens to our prayers. We spend time alone in prayerful conversation with God either at home, at work or at school and we pray communally each week in the liturgy.

Another type of communal prayer is prayer in the style of Taize. This form of prayer comes from an ecumenical monastery in Taize, France founded by Brother Roger Berthier. Each year, the Taize Community welcomes pilgrims from all over the world and from a variety of different faiths to their community to pray through word and song. The main aspects of the service are a reading from Scripture and the lighting of candles while short songs are sung.

The songs that are used in Taize prayer have developed into their own genre of liturgical music. These songs are very short, but are repeated anywhere from 10 to 15 times in each part of the service. This mantra-like singing allows those who are not familiar with the song to have an opportunity to learn and join in the singing as well as become immersed in the music and the text as they deepen their connection to one another and to God.

One such refrain is “Jesus, Remember Me.” This phrase from Scripture is joined with a short, repetitive melodic line that gives us the opportunity to ask Jesus to remember each of us in his heavenly kingdom. In many cases, these Taize songs feature multiple languages to show the openness and participation of many cultures and countries in this prayer.

The environment plays an essential role in this type of prayer service. In addition to the candles that are lit, a variety of religious icons are placed in the worship space and are decorated with candles to create focal points for prayer. Taize prayer services have the ability to unify a community as they join in beautiful and meditative song and allow us to enter into a new relationship with God through this form of prayer. All are welcome to join us for this meaningful experience—bring a friend!