Meetings for families

At Taizé, in addition to the youth and adult meetings there are also, at certain times of year, meetings for parents with their children (up to 14 years). These run for a week, from Sunday to Sunday. Please note that we can only welcome families made up of one or both parents with their own children.

This year, the total number of families each week will be limited to 100 (75 at Easter, due to the limited indoor space available). There are quotas by country to ensure that families from all countries are able to come. We ask families to come only once every two years, so that we can cope with the large demand.

We suggest that families with just one child wait until their child is three years old before coming – otherwise it is difficult to take part in the different activities both for the parents and the child.

When we receive your registration the meetings team will confirm whether you can come or whether you will need to change your planned dates.

Dates

We ask families not to register before January 15 of the year that they wish to come to Taizé

See the Dates for the weeks when family meetings are held this year.

Arrive on Sunday, from 3pm, and leave the following Sunday around midday, except at Easter and Pentecost when the day for arrival and departure is Monday. Families whose children are not yet at school should avoid August, when space is most limited. We ask families with children under 2 years old to avoid coming in the week before or the week after Easter. It’s too cold!

Programme

The group for families meets daily at Olinda, a house in the village of Ameugny, 600 metres from Taizé. Each day begins with a time of Bible reflection for parents led by one of the brothers. This is followed by sharing groups amongst the parents, during which young volunteers run groups for the children, according to age. There is a crèche for babies aged 0 to 2 years old during this time; there are no special activities for them.

In the afternoon, there are activities for parents and children together. The rest of the time is spent as families, allowing parents and children to share their thoughts about the theme of the day. (Suggestions for this sharing are given each day.) In order to promote a family experience, the children are looked after by their parents.

The children go with their parents to the three times of prayer at Taizé. Parents who come with babies or toddlers up to 3 or 4 years old must understand that silence and calm during the common prayer are very important both for the participants in the weekly meetings and for the community. Out of consideration for this, if your children fall within this age range, we ask parents to take it in turns to stay with them in one of the rooms near to the church during common prayer.
This may be difficult for families where just one parent is present. Please think about this before coming.

All family members need to be ready to take part fully in the week of prayer and sharing.

Children of 15 or older take part in the mainstream youth meetings. They also eat with the young people, but are still accommodated with their parents if they are aged 15 or 16.

What if we can’t stay a whole week, or can’t come when there are family meetings?

If you are not able to come at a time when there are family meetings, or to come for an entire week, then you will join the adults group (for a maximum of 3 nights, preferably from Thursday or Friday to Sunday, or from Sunday to Wednesday; visits that straddle two weeks are not possible). In this case, parents organise among themselves who will look after the children during the times of sharing and of community prayer. There are no organised activities for the children.

Families wanting to come outside of the times of the family meetings cannot stay for more than three nights and must take part in the adults meetings. Short stays like this are possible only between Easter weekend and the end of September. If you cannot bring a tent, please check with us if we can offer you accommodation before planning your visit

Practical information

- Olinda is a 10 to 15 minute walk from Taizé: for children under 5 years, it is advisable to bring a pushchair.

- Very basic facilities are available where those taking part in the week-long family meetings can heat up baby food.

- Do not bring pets.

- To encourage a good mix of people, we ask that not more than three families should come together.

- Accepting to come only once every two years is a way of showing solidarity with the other families who wish to come. Please respect this!

If you have to cancel your participation in the family meetings once it has been confirmed by the meetings team, please tell us immediately. In that way, we can ask one of the families on the waiting list to fill your place.

Printed from: http://www.taize.fr/en_article13887.html - 24 October 2017
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