The reason for Taize in a word is reconciliation toward a universal goal of PEACE. Reconciliation means to “sit with again.” Or be returned to…. from Latin reconciliāre to bring together again, from re- + conciliāre to make friendly, conciliate.
Three times a day, the bells ring an invitation to prayer through the tiny town of Taizé, in the rolling country-side of the burgundy region of France. At the monastery, monks and visiting pilgrims stop their activities to come together in the spacious, candle-lit Church of the Reconciliation for an hour of meditation.
It was 1940 when Reformed Swiss Protestant, Brother Roger Louis Schutz-Marsauche arrived in Taizé by bicycle to establish a refugee camp. He and his sister ministered to war refugees and underpriviledged of all nationalities and ethnicities. Br Roger understood all of humanity to be reconciled to God through Christ and that doing God’s work meant loving and accepting everyone into the community.
After the war, the ecumenical monastic community of Taizé took shape, as men of all religious traditions joined with Brother Roger to promote reconciliation and unity through denominational diversity. In 1952 Br Roger wrote his rule of community solidifying the unity of the Brothers in an ethic of prayer, work and hospitality -“the essential that makes the common life possible.” In his rule Br Roger wrote: “It is Christ Himself whom we receive in our guest. Let us learn to welcome.”
Reconciliation does not mean you agree to do things my way. Reconciliation means we agree to respect the way we both think and practice. Reconciliation is always unifying, never exclusionary. Reconciliation honors diversity. Diversity is an inherent characteristic of life – in fact the more diverse life is, the greater the potential to sustain life. You have all heard of hybrid vigor – the more diverse the genetic pool, the less likely for mutations that lead to anomalies. The more diverse our thoughts, the greater our creativity. The more diverse our food sources, the greater chance that all will be fed. Reconciliation understands the need for diverse life and calls it into wholeness together. One people, one planet.
Taize is all about honoring diversity, living a Christ-centered ethic which puts love ahead of all else – love which does not discriminate, but offers itself to everyone, a fountain of living water for all who come to drink.
In Harmony is a trio of local Kansas City women who are bringing the hospitality and contemplative peace of Taizé prayer to churches and organizations seeking such quiet times for reflection. In Harmony’s Taizé services are written for liturgical seasons or on scriptural themes for missions groups, retreats, church and community events. In Harmony’s mission is to promote and foster unity in diversity through contemplative prayer practice and provide assistance to those in need through the allocation of proceeds to local charitable organizations
At the heart of Taizé is the unquenchable longing for reconciliation on earth, the truest prayer of all sacred traditions. It is the work and hope of In Harmony that the peace of Taizé prayer will be translated through the lives of its participants and those they encounter mip'nei tikkun ha-olam ("for the sake of the repair of the world").
This is the message of Taize - unity in diversity. "Whoever we may be, whatever religion we belong to - when we pray and our prayers come from the deepest of our hearts, a transformation takes place and we find ourselves "Beyond right and wrong." WE experience the immense power of deep spirituality whenever we chant/sing together even as each prays in their own tradition/tongue." Singers message from BEYOND -Buddhist and Christian prayers.
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