Here are a few echoes from different prayers that took place around the 12 May 2015. See here for echoes from the celebrations held in Taizé on 10 May.
Each summer several young people from Chad are sent to Taizé by their church. For the anniversary the idea came up to hold a "weekend like in Taizé" in N’Djamena. Marie-Françoise writes:
"This weekend brought back the two months I spent on the hill in 2013. I relived the atmosphere of the prayer in Taizé, the simplicity, meeting other young people from different parishes, from different confessions. The theme ’Towards a new solidarity’ made me reflect on what needs to be done in order to give those around me a new zest for life. The different times of sharing were very helpful and the songs of Taizé are still sounding in my heart. Following the example of Brother Roger’s work, each of us was encouraged through this weekend to commit ourselves, to create, because Brother Roger left us this gift and we should not be afraid because God alone is enough ... "
From Montreal University chaplaincy, we had this message:
"A short message to let you know that we are in communion with you during these days as all over the world people celebrate the Brother Roger’s 100th birthday! Last Sunday, at the Benoît Lacroix Student Centre we remembered this anniversary and prayed in communion with you. We sang songs from Taizé during the Eucharist and had before their eyes the icon of Jesus and his friend."
"After a short time of prayer, we watched some video extracts of Brother Roger, then four people of different generations shared the role that Brother Roger had played in their lives.
We watched the film again after those who spoke; in the sharing groups that took place afterwards I saw that the messages had spoken to many people in many different ways.
I did not expect to have such an in-depth sharing. Many came for the first time, I didn’t even know half the people there." (Kimiko)
On 12 May 2015, 1200 parishioners as well as many priests and religious gathered for a prayer vigil with the songs of Taizé at St. Mary’s Church in Dubai, prepared by the youth ministry. Sheryl writes:
"On 12 May, to commemorate the 100th anniversary Brother Roger’s birth an arab lantern showed me the way to the main hall of the parish. Some candles, orange, yellow and red drapes, and other things had been used to decorate the altar. I was part of the choir. There weren’t enough chairs because more than 1,200 people were looking for a place. Some sat on the mats placed on the floor, and some were even stood at the back.
The silent moments, which contrasted with the constant noise around us, touched my heart, and let God truly speak - simply but in depth. For God is looking for me, and he expects me to take a step back and sit down with him."
"We had a beautiful prayer in the Cathedral of Waitara. It was a special moment, with lots of people from various places, some for the first time. We experienced the music, reflection, silence, amd prayer around the cross ... to express our deep gratitude to Brother Roger and the community." (Jenny)
Out of the many dozens of prayers organised throughout Switzerland in May, an ecumenical group proposed a walking pilgrimage on Sunday, May 10, to Brother Roger’s native village, Provence :
"We gathered to begin with a beautiful morning worship in the church at Concise, in the same parish as Provence. We then went up to Vaumarcus, which also celebrates its centenary this year.
After a picnic stop, we set off back to Provence. We were able to visit the Pastor’s House where Brother Roger grew up, with it’s beautiful garden and wonderful views over Lake Neuchâtel. The march was punctuated by stops where we shared readings about Brother Roger’s life. The day culminated with a beautiful time of prayer in the church, attended by over 150 people of all ages." (Marc)
Marina was part of the preparation tema for the meetings in Kiev and Lviv, during Easter Week this year. A prayer was held a few weeks later:
"We have lived a moment of intense prayer, that really touched me. A prayer of joy, like that supported by Brother Roger in his many actions for good. We have this opportunity to continue the path he traced, to be co-creators of joy in communion with all Christians.
This idea of organizing prayer time for the centenary of the birth of Brother Roger, it’s like turning little lights on the map of the world on all continents. All nations found themselves united in prayer.
Brother Roger was a witness of truth, a peacemaker and an example of an authentic Christian. He opened himself up to love and trust in God, source of joy and an attention to others in simplicity and humility. He opened me to this movement during the prayers in Taizé. And all those who met him tell how they also discovered that source through him.
Cédric, a young french man living in the Netherlands, writes:
"In Stadskanaal, we had a really a beautiful prayer - the first time such a prayer with the songs of Taizé was held in the village. It was even more beautiful that it was also the first time the Catholic and Protestant communities organized such an event together! We were very happy to be part of it."
"For Pentecost, around 200 people from the city of Santarém gathered for a time of prayer in the cathedral in the presence of the local bishop, Dr. Manuel Pelino. In his address the Bishop stressed how much "it was good to sit together, to pray to the Holy Spirit and let the Spirit pray in us." The young people were very generous, many having brought food to distribute to local people in need." (Gustavo)
In response to the call of Taizé to prepare acts of solidarity, youth Prague organized a challenge carrying the name "Do not hide your talent."
"The idea was very simple and comes from the parable of the talents (Matthew 25: 14-30). Everyone who took up the challenge received 200 Czech Crowns (about €7.00), and used them in order to earn more, as in the parable. At the end, the money was denoted to charity. The participants could choose themselves the project they wanted to support.
We distributed 6 "talents" to a youth group and 5 individuals. At the end we collected the sum of 10,973 crowns (€ 400), which will be sent to different projects: for people suffering from the recent earthquake in Nepal, for those who help the sick in hospitals, as well as Operation Hope."
A young person who took part, Sara, Writes:
"Shortly after receiving my "talent ", I was asked to help, along with a friend, in making a poster and illustrations. I took this opportunity to use my "talent". When I learned that I myself choose the project that I wanted to finance with the money that I had earned, the "Clowns of Hope" immediately came to mind. They came to visit me when I was in the hospital. Although I was already 17 years old they had me laughing so much that I nearly needed heart surgery. I would like to support their work helping children consigned to bed through illness."