Some Recent News

Brother Matthew has become prior

The Taizé Community has a new prior. On Saturday 2 December, Brother Alois handed over his office to Brother Matthew in the presence of representatives of various Churches and many friends of the Community, as well as the young people in Taizé for the week.

Among the Church representatives, five were asked to say a prayer for Brother Matthew’s start as “servant of communion” in the Community: Bishop Benoît Rivière of Autun, Chalon and Mâcon, Metropolitan Maximos of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Geneva, Anglican Bishops Olivia Graham of Reading and Smitha Prasadam of Huddersfield, and Pastor Laurent Schlumberger, former President of the United Protestant Church of France. Others present included Pastor Christian Krieger, President of the French Protestant Federation, and the Lutheran Bishop of Riga, Rinalds Grants.

Photos of some key moments

Photos : Tamino Petelinsek

To obtain high resolution photos, please write to media taize.fr.

A Jew’s prayer for the children of Gaza

At this time of war we return to the prayer brought to our attention, years ago, by a Rabbi.

At this time of conflict, prayer for the peoples of the Middle East, for all who are seeking a just and lasting peace in that region, has become more intense in Taizé. Especially since a number of Palestinians have taken part in meetings on the hill.

A friend of the community, Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman, of Kol HaNeshama, Jerusalem, brought this prayer to our to our attention. It appeared in 2009 in the Haaretz newspaper.

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Brother Alois with a Franco-Palestinian family, August 2014

If there has ever been a time for prayer, this is that time.

If there has ever been a place forsaken, Gaza is that place.

Lord, who is the creator of all children, hear our prayer this accursed day. God, whom we call Blessed, turn your face to these, the children of Gaza, that they may know your blessings, and your shelter, that they may know light and warmth, where there is now only blackness and smoke, and a cold which cuts and clenches the skin.

Almighty who makes exceptions, which we call miracles, make an exception of the children of Gaza. Shield them from us and from their own. Spare them. Heal them. Let them stand in safety. Deliver them from hunger and horror and fury and grief. Deliver them from us, and from their own.

Restore to them their stolen childhoods, their birthright, which is a taste of heaven.

Remind us, O Lord, of the child Ishmael, who is the father of all the children of Gaza. How the child Ishmael was without water and left for dead in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba, so robbed of all hope, that his own mother could not bear to watch his life drain away.

Be that Lord, the God of our kinsman Ishmael, who heard his cry and sent His angel to comfort his mother Hagar.

Be that Lord, who was with Ishmael that day, and all the days after. Be that God, the All-Merciful, who opened Hagar’s eyes that day, and showed her the well of water, that she could give the boy Ishmael to drink, and save his life.

Allah, whose name we call Elohim, who gives life, who knows the value and the fragility of every life, send these children your angels. Save them, the children of this place, Gaza the most beautiful, and Gaza the damned.

In this day, when the trepidation and rage and mourning that is called war, seizes our hearts and patches them in scars, we call to you, the Lord whose name is Peace:

Bless these children, and keep them from harm.

Turn Your face toward them, O Lord. Show them, as if for the first time, light and kindness, and overwhelming graciousness.

Look up at them, O Lord. Let them see your face.

And, as if for the first time, grant them peace.

Bradley Burston, Haaretz newspaper

30 September 2023

An ecumenical prayer vigil in Rome

On Sunday 15 January in Rome, at the end of the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis announced that the work of the next assembly of the Synod of the Roman Catholic Church would be preceded by an ecumenical prayer vigil on Saturday 30 September on St Peter’s Square, Rome:

"The path to Christian unity and the path of synodal conversion of the Church are linked. I would like to take this opportunity to say that on Saturday 30 September, an ecumenical prayer vigil will be held on St. Peter’s Square, with which we will entrust to God the work of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. For the young people coming to the vigil, there will be a special programme throughout that weekend, led by the Taizé community. As of now, I invite brothers and sisters of all Christian denominations to participate in this "Gathering of the People of God."

This gathering of the people of God was prepared by representatives of around fifty church groupings from many different denominations.

- See the event website www.together2023.net for more information.

The Lutheran Bishops of the Church of Sweden in Taizé | April 2023

Brother Alois and the Taizé Community were very happy to welcome in Taizé the Church of Sweden Bishops’ Conference for their biennial retreat from April 22 to 29, 2023. The bishops spent the week in silence and prayer, taking part in the community prayers and Bible studies led by the Taizé brothers.

During the Sunday Eucharist, the Archbishop of Uppsala, Martin Modéus, gave a meditation on the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. His closing words were "Jesus invites us to see the world, together with him, with the eyes of life and love. On our pilgrimage we are maybe not there. But he is there, looking at us with eyes shimmering with love." (full text online here)

The relationship between Taizé and the Church of Sweden goes back many years, but it was after a youth meeting in Linköping in 1990, on the invitation of Bishop Martin Lönnebo, who passed away on April 27, 2023 whilst the bishops were in Taizé, that the number of young people visiting from Sweden grew. Large numbers of youth leaders come together with their parishes to take part on the meetings in Taizé during Easter, summer and the All Saints holidays.

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Brother Alois received in audience by Pope Francis | 9 March 2023

A few days before the tenth anniversary of his pontificate, Pope Francis received Brother Alois in private audience on Thursday morning, 9 March, in the Apostolic Palace. They spoke in particular about the preparation of the event "Together | Gathering of the People of God" which will take place on 30 September in Rome, on the eve of the synodal assembly of the Catholic Church.

The next step in the preparation of this unprecedented ecumenical event, which already involves some sixty partners from various denominational backgrounds, will take place from 12 to 15 March in Rome. In announcing the event on 15 January, Pope Francis invited "brothers and sisters of all Christian denominations to participate in this ’gathering of the people of God’" (full text hereî).

Before coming to Rome, Brother Alois visited the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Reverend Jerry Pillay, and the General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, the Reverend Anne Burghardt, in Geneva on Monday 6 March. He was accompanied by the sixty or so young people currently volunteering in Taizé.

This Friday evening, 12 March, Brother Alois will speak in Frankfurt at the fifth and final assembly of the Synodal Way in Germany, for a meditation which will give him the opportunity to underline the spiritual dimension of the synodal process.

Press information

For more information on the "Together" gathering write to this address.
For more information on the Taizé Community write to this address.

Photo (C) Vatican Media