Echoes of Holy Week at Taizé

On this page, echoes of the Holy Week and Easter celebrations at Taizé will be published. It is still possible to follow the evening prayer in live audio via the website.

Palm Sunday

The olive branches were blessed by the Lutheran Bishop Fredrik Modéus, from Växjö in Sweden, and by Sr Delia, from the Protestant deaconess community in Riehen, Switzerland. Here are the prayers both wrote for the occasion.

- From Bishop Fredrik :

Christ, you walk the path of love for us and before us. When we hesitate, you wait patiently. Today, we stand at the threshold of the mystery. Let us follow you in trust, love and obedience, and rise to eternal life. Amen.

- From Sr Delia :

Jesus the Christ, you entered Jerusalem gentle and humble of heart. You came, not to be served, but to serve and give your life for us. And in giving yourself, you welcome us. In our joy, in our singing, you perceive our longing for you. In you we place our trust. During this Holy Week, enable us to welcome your love. Amen.

Recalling the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, all went from there to the Church of Reconciliation, with branches in hand.

Maundy Thursday

700 more people joined us for the Easter weekend including over 200 from Italy. At midday, Brother Matthew prayed the following words:

"Not knowing any longer how to manifest his love, God sent you, Christ Jesus, to dwell among us. And even if we are tempted to distance ourselves from you, you show us the way of a greater love, to the point that our hearts sing and rejoice in you: you will be with us for ever."

And in the evening prayer, after reading the passage from John 13, the brothers commemorated Jesus’ act of washing the feet of his friends, expression of that greater love which goes as far as giving our lives. A circle of 50 stools was set up in the first extension of the church and all who wished could come to sit and have their feet washed.

Afterwards, the celebration of the Eucharist recalled the Last Supper of Jesus with his friends before entering into his Passion.

- Sophia, from Germany

“The washing of the feet felt very special to me. In that moment I felt seen and totally accepted the way I am. As the brothers did the same service as Jesus in the Gospel, I was able to understand for the first time how the disciples must have felt on Maundy Thursday.”

Good Friday

- Marie, from Germany

“Spending time in Taizé during Holy Week was like a fresh breeze in my heart and solidified my faith even further. The most special moment was on Good Friday, when the bell rang and everybody stood still and was quiet. Hundreds or thousands of people stopped what they were doing for Jesus! This was a high feeling of community and faith for me.”

On Friday evening, the icon of the cross was carried in procession at the start of the prayer by brothers, joined by young people and children. It led us into the night of prayer as many people came to entrust to Jesus on the cross their burdens and those of the human family.

Holy Saturday

The Church of Reconciliation was stripped of all its decorations on this day of the Great Silence: candles, icons and the coloured tiles of the choir were removed. The following litany was prayed during the midday prayer:

The Church of Reconciliation was stripped of all its decorations on this day of the Great Silence: candles, icons and the coloured tiles of the choir were removed. The following litany was prayed during the midday prayer:

- Come, let us contemplate our Life lying in the tomb, to give life to those who in their tombs lie dead. You who gave yourself for our sake, glory to you, O Lord!

- On this day, a tomb holds the One who holds all creation in the palms of his hands, glory to you, O Lord!

- Sleeps Life and the kingdom of the dead trembles. You have given an everlasting peace: your resurrection from the dead, glory to you, O Lord!

- O tomb, who received the Creator as someone who fell asleep, you become a treasure of life for our salvation, glory to you, O Lord!

- The Life of all accepted to be laid in the tomb. He transfigures it into a fount of renewal, glory to you, O Lord!

- Let all creation rejoice, let all the inhabitants of the earth rejoice, for death has been stripped of its fearful mask, glory to you, O Lord!

- And God blessed the seventh day, the day of rest on which God’s beloved Son rested from all his works, glory to you, O Lord!

- By suffering his death, the Saviour maintained God’s peace in the flesh, and through his Resurrection he gave us eternal life, glory to you, O Lord!

During Brother Matthew’s Saturday meditation, Ivanka from Ukraine shared the following words when asked how we can continue to support her people:

- Ivanka, from Ukraine :

War is very exhausting and some people are feeling very down, so please remain for us, Ukrainians a visible sign of hope. Stay with us faithfully till the end. Pray and talk not only about peace but also don’t forget about justice. Proclaim truth about the crimes, and don’t be afraid to call evil by its name.

And Ülle, a deacon from Estonia, invited young people to take part in the European meeting in Tallinn at the end of this year:

- Ülle, from Estonia :

We look forward to welcoming you to Estonia. It’s a small country with a big heart. Come and help us tell our young people about Jesus. Come and pray for peace. Come and build an open, safe and fraternal Europe for today.
Last updated: 30 March 2024