Taizé in Strasbourg:
30,000 young Europeans make
“a large community of friendship” visible
On 28 December, 20,000 young adults from all over Europe and also from the other continents, will arrive in Strasbourg for the 36th stage on the “Pilgrimage of Trust” led by the Taizé Community. Among them will be more than 4,500 Poles, 2,600 Ukrainians, 1,400 Italians, 1,200 Croatians, 1,000 Belarussians.... Together with others from Alsace and the German region of Ortenau, in all they will be 30,000 “seeking visible communion among all who love Christ.”
Through the “Four Proposals for 2014”, which they will receive on arriving, Brother Alois, prior of Taizé, asks them; “Those who love Christ all across the earth form a large community of friendship. They have a contribution to make in healing the wounds of humanity: without wanting to impose themselves, they can promote a globalization of solidarity which excludes no people and no single person.”
Each morning, these young adults will gather in more than two hundred host parishes on both sides of the Rhine, in France and in Germany, for a moment of prayer and sharing. On the afternoons of 29 and 30 December, the meeting programme offers a choice of twenty themes in different workshops, for example:
- “Crisis, unemployment, job insecurity... do we need to invent a new economic model?”;
- “Justice and human rights: personal reflections on the challenge of being a Christian.”;
- “Ecumenical dialogue: to coexist peacefully or to let ourselves be transformed by encountering others?”;
- “Do we need the Church? Bible reflection on fellowship in Christ.”;
- “Europe, the land of migrations: how can we live together better?”.
During the meeting, the participants will meet at midday and in the evening for common prayers. These prayers will take place simultaneously in three halls at Wacken (the Strasbourg Exhibition Centre), at the Cathedral and at St Paul’s Protestant Church. Brother Alois’ meditations for the young people during the times of prayer will be published on this page:
Meditations by Brother Alois.
The “Four Proposals” of Brother Alois to young adults and pastoral leaders “seeking visible communion among all who love Christ” will be published on the Taizé website on 26 December.
Several messages of support to the Taizé Community and the participants have been received. Other messages are expected, in particular from the Orthodox Churches. These messages will soon be published on the Taizé website. Here already are some extracts:
From Pope Francis: Rome remembers with joy your European meeting last year and especially the beautiful prayer that brought together thousands of young people in St. Peter’s Square with Pope Benedict XVI. The Popes counts on you so that, by means of your faith and your witness, the spirit of peace and reconciliation of the Gospel may shine forth among your contemporaries.
The Secretary General of the Lutheran World Federation, Pastor Martin Junge: What a joyful gathering: because by walking and talking, by praying and singing together in the coming days you journey together towards a new solidarity. We wish you, in the spirit of journeying together towards a more just and peaceful world, a blessed European meeting in Strasbourg.
The Secretary general of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki Moon: Technology has globalized communications. Now we have to globalize compassion and citizenship. In a world that is more connected, we must be more united. With our fates ever more entwined, our future must be one of ever deeper and wider cooperation. That is the global logic of our times. I count on you to help advance our shared goals of peace, development and human rights.
The President of the European Council, Mr. Herman van Rompuy: Going beyond separations, reconciling all Christians in one Church is the theme of your meeting this year. A theme that, taken in its broader sense, is that of unity in diversity, I would even say unity by and through diversity. A theme which the European Union has made its motto because it is at the heart of the construction and development of the European project.
A page on the Taizé website will give daily news of the meeting through the reactions of young adults:
Echoes from the Strasbourg Meeting.
The Press Centre for the European Meeting will be opened from 27 December until 1 January from 10am to 7pm in Hall 21 of Wacken.
Tel. : 0033 (0) 6 38 03 36 56 ; 0033 (0)6 60 76 70 09
Fax : 0033 (0) 972 22 18 74