TAIZÉ

Some Recent News

Brother Alois at the Synod of Bishops in Rome

Since October 3rd, the synod of bishops brings together in Rome, with Pope Francis, bishops from across the world, experts, young people, and delegates from different Churches around the topic “Young people, the faith and vocational discernment.” Brother Alois is taking part in the assembly as a “special guest.”

Praying with the songs of Taizé

Two prayers with the songs of Taizé, open to all, will be proposed in Rome, in connection with the synod, during the month of October – more information on the Taizé website in Italian.


Brother Alois’ intervention at the synod

Responding to the spiritual thirst of the young and to their search for communion

Articles 68 and 69 of the Instrumentum Laboris express the desire for a “more relational” Church, capable of “welcoming without judging in advance”, a “close and friendly” Church.

My brothers and I are often surprised to hear young people we welcome in Taizé say that they feel “at home” there, and we wonder why. It may be that, to be truly themselves, they need to feel useful, to see their creativity encouraged, to receive responsibilities.

Then their spiritual thirst awakens and it is important to go patiently, together with them, to the sources of faith. They know that they are welcomed by a community, first in the common prayer where all participate actively, by singing, listening to a brief biblical reading, a long moment of silence. And often they deepen a personal relationship with Christ.

We make sure that the liturgical signs avoid formalism, but are beautiful and simple. For example, we see how deeply young people participate, every Friday night, in a prayer around the cross, to lay down before Christ what is too heavy for them.

We say to ourselves: like Christ, let us listen to them with our hearts, reminding ourselves that he is already at work in their lives – and let us respect the sanctuary of their conscience. Those who listen must be accompanied themselves. There is a lack of accompaniers in the Church: could a ministry of listening be entrusted not only to priests, men and women religious, but also to lay people, men and women?

In Taizé, young people also discover that the Church is communion. Without creating an organized movement, we always send the young people back to their parishes and the places where they live. So many of them like to pray together with others of different faiths. They understand, if only implicitly, the call of Christ to be reconciled without delay.

We have recently experienced such a communion at an Asian young adult meeting in Hong Kong, a stage in our pilgrimage of trust. Of the young participants, 700 came from mainland China – it was the joy of the Holy Spirit.

I would now like to make a concrete proposal. Often, the words used and the manner of speaking are obstacles that prevent many young people from hearing what the Church says. Could not the final document be accompanied by a short letter, written in a simple style, addressed to a young person looking for meaning in his or her life?

I would like to summarize what I just said with a few words from Brother Roger, the founder of our community:

“When the Church listens, heals, reconciles, she becomes what she is at her most luminous, a communion of love, of compassion, of consolation, a clear reflection of the Risen Christ. Never distant, never on the defensive, freed from all harshness, she can radiate the humble trusting of faith into our human hearts.”

Letter from Brother Alois to the World Council of Churches

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches, Brother Alois wrote a message to the General Secretary, Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, in which he recalled the long friendship between Taizé and the Council.

Dear Olav,

The World Council of Churches and the Taizé Community came to birth in the same period, Taizé at the beginning of the Second World War, the Council shortly after its end. In the mid-twentieth century, their respective initiators were animated by the same passion for Christian unity. They had the vision, for the divided Churches, of a new period that had to begin, a period of communion and fraternity among Christians, to foster peace on earth beyond the conflict that had torn the world apart. In their wake we try to keep alive this flame of unity.

I am happy then, in this anniversary year of the Ecumenical Council, to assure you that we, the brothers of Taizé, are close to you. We thank God for the work you do, and we pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide you along the ecumenical path.

Willem Visser ‘t Hooft, your first general secretary, and Brother Roger, our founder, knew each other and were in dialogue since the 1940s. Throughout the decades, brothers of our community have collaborated in various ways with the WCC, whether for theological work or in the area of the search for justice and peace. Brother Roger took part in the General Assemblies of Uppsala and Vancouver, and I myself in the last two, Porto Alegre and Busan. The geographical proximity between Geneva and Taizé has allowed many contacts; most of the Secretaries General of the WCC have visited us more than once. Your own trips to Taizé have made us happy, and I was very touched by your welcome during my visit to Geneva with brothers and young people.

I say to you, dear Olav, and to all the staff of the World Council of Churches: happy anniversary! And also: let us continue our common journey!

Brother Alois

Rev. Olav Fykse-Tveit at Taizé, August 16, 2015

Easter 2018

Holy Week at Taizé

Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday, the Church commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. It is also the beginning of Holy Week. In Taizé, as has been the case for a few years, this celebration began at the edge of the lake of the Saint-Etienne spring, where the brothers, the volunteers, the young people present in Taizé and friends from the region gathered, this year with the presence of the Bishop of Autun, Benoît Rivière.

Clara, Belgium

For me this Palm Sunday procession was just this great feeling of being a part of the whole creation, and it made me very happy and very joyful. You really wanted to celebrate that Jesus was there with us. I had never experienced Palm Sunday in such a way.


Monday – Wednesday

During the common prayers, Holy Week is marked by specific songs and responses and, morning and evening, two brothers take turns reading at the lectern in different languages an excerpt from the gospel accounts of the Passion.

During the Monday evening prayer, two specific intentions were read: one for the victims of the tragic fire at a shopping center in Kemerovo, Siberia; the other for the victims of the terrorist attack in Carcassonne and Trèbes, a few days earlier in the South of France. Every night, other intentions were read for difficult situations in the world.

Rob, Ireland

It’s much different than what I expected. It’s a really tightly knit community. I love going to the prayer services, at first I was not too keen about it, but it’s really grown on me, and it’s really interesting and engaging.


Holy Thursday

The evening prayer was marked by the washing of the feet. As is now the tradition for many years, the brothers went through the church to wash the feet of all who wished. Then the Eucharist was celebrated as a memorial of the last supper of the Lord. It is the first day of the Easter Triduum.

Youssef, Egypt

Being a Coptic Orthodox deacon, where prayers in the Holy Week are very rich and special, I found also the same core here, the humility, the love which is coming from God and also directed towards God. Holy Thursday is the day where Jesus, Emmanuel, God who is incarnated in the midst of us gives his body and blood for us ... for all of us to be one in Him and with Him. Not all the disciples at this table were the same, just like us here in the Church of Reconciliation we are really diverse. Different countries, different beliefs, different cultures, different traditions, but we are all united in the humility and love of God the Father in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, this communion can never be broken.

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Good Friday

At 3 pm, the hill entered for a few minutes into silence, while one of the bells rang to remind people of the moment of Jesus’ death on the cross (after Luke 23:44-45). At this time, everyone stopped what they were doing for a short time of silence.

In the evening, the procession of the cross took place in the Church of Reconciliation. At the beginning of the prayer, all the brothers were gathered behind the altar and then the cross was carried across the church to associate the thousands of young people present at that moment. Then the prayer continued around the cross throughout the night.


Holy Saturday

The last arrivals before Easter arrived in Taizé in the afternoon. In the evening, the icon of "the descent of Jesus into Sheol" was carried by the brothers to the end of the Church of Reconciliation and its extensions, now fully open because of the large numbers present.

In the evening, Brother Alois spoke for his weekly meditation - before a prayer vigil began in the church, interrupted by the reading of prophetic texts from the First Testament.


Easter Sunday

This year, the Easter celebration began at 6:30 am in the large, fully open church still in darkness. While a young girl was playing a cello piece, and female voices of the choir sang a resurrection song in Syriac and various languages, four sisters crossed the church carrying a lantern that contained the fire - the light of the resurrection - and a white cloth, a symbol of the shroud in which Jesus had been buried.

From this lantern, the paschal candle was then lit and then - for the first time - the sisters and women of the village of Taizé transmitted the Easter flame to all. It was a way of emphasizing that it was the women, Mary Magdalene and some others, who first believed in the resurrection of Jesus.

During the Easter celebration, the resurrection was proclaimed by the liturgical prayer of the Exultet, read by several brothers in six languages. A French brother made his life-commitment in the community, in the presence of his family, and the Eucharist was celebrated with joy.

The last highlight of the celebration was the proclamation, again by women, of the Easter greeting, traditional in the Orthodox Church, in twenty languages: "Christ is risen! with each person answering in their own language, "He is risen indeed!" While the bells were ringing.

Easter Booklet

PDF - 4 Mb

Tim, Netherlands

I felt a lot of joy during these days. I appreciate the rhythm; the structure of the prayers allow me to focus on the story of Easter: in the beginning you feel down, then it gradually ascents towards Easter. I felt so much joy among the people after the service, celebrating this festival of happiness together. The days here helped me to discover hope for people all over Europe, to have this celebration together and to believe that this light of Easter will be transferred all over the world.

New Decorations in the Church: A Work in Progress

Over the past few weeks, the decoration of the area of the Church of Reconciliation around the altar is being redone. The east wall of the church needs some internal thermal insulation, so it was decided to take the opportunity to rethink the design. The chimney bricks have been part of the area around the altar for more than forty years, and the orange sails for twenty.

Now, squares of natural pigments (20cm x 20cm) have been painted on canvas, using more than thirty colours; we can think of the diversity of those who come to pray three times a day. We can also think of us and all of creation. We raised the candles so they can be more visible in the extensions of the church.

In terms of greenery, for the moment we have orange trees which can survive in a low-light environment. We have also put in epipremnum aureum, a houseplant native to the Solomon Islands.

If the decoration seems a bit unfinished, that is because it is a work in progress! The internal thermal insulation work should be done between Easter and Pentecost, after which we will repaint the whole choir with lime-wash. Hopefully, by the summer things will look a bit more in order.


February 2018

News of the Migrants Welcomed in Taizé

Since 2015, Europe has been in a migratory crisis of unprecedented scope. Faced with this challenge and supported by the generosity of many neighbors, the community continues to open its doors to welcome migrants.

Welcome and Referral Centers

In November 2015, to welcome migrants from Calais, a so-called CAO (reception and orientation center) was opened in Taizé. This place was able to accommodate thirteen young men aged 19 to 40, all Muslim, from Sudan and Afghanistan. Nine of them, who have been granted refugee status, are now working or training in the region around Taizé. One of them, widowed, had a 13-year-old son in Sudan. On the occasion of his visit last year to that country, Brother Alois brought the child back to his father. He is now attending school and his father works in a foundry of the region.

In November 2016, the community opened a CAOMI (reception center and guidance for minors) to host for a time eighteen young minors from Calais, who wanted to go to England. Seven young people decided to stay in Taizé for their asylum application procedure. One of them is now in an educational center near Taizé and four refugees are still living in the village, seeking to settle in the area.

Families

In recent years, the community has also welcomed four refugee families from Iraq and Syria. After several months in Taizé, which allowed them to regain their autonomy and begin to be integrated well in France, two of these families settled elsewhere, keeping an almost family-like relationship with the community.

Awaiting Protection

Last September, the community welcomed three young migrants from South Sudan and Sudan, aged 20 to 28 years. These young people do not yet know if they will be able to make their asylum application in France because of the Dublin regulations. In the meantime, since they do not have permission to work, they are learning French, do volunteer work and participate in exchanges on the causes and difficulties of their migratory journey.

Sponsoring Families

Every young migrant welcomed in Taizé is accompanied by a family from the region. By simple regular visits to their sponsoring family, these young people are helped to head towards a good integration into French culture and receive invaluable support. One of the young refugees recently said, “Françoise takes care of me more than a mother cares for her own son!”

French Classes

When the community opened its doors to young people from Calais, immediately a great generosity on the part of the inhabitants of the region was manifested. Today, French classes are offered four days a week at the Taizé town hall and a dozen volunteers take turns to give classes. Christine, a teacher of French as a Foreign Language (FLE), writes: “My great astonishment and my great pleasure is also to see the motivation of the asylum seekers and their commitment to learning French, despite all their other concerns.” In addition to the three migrants who participate today in the courses, a dozen foreigners from different countries living in the region also benefit from the quality of these courses.

Exchanges

Migrants welcomed in Taizé were invited to lead a day of reflection on migration at Saint Joseph High School in Châteaubriant, Brittany. In November 2017, three of them went there and the high-school students were impressed by the story of these young people who crossed the Sahara, and the experience of hell in Libya and the Mediterranean. The migrants were likewise impressed by the quality of the listening and the seriousness of the students.

In Taizé, migrants sometimes participate in the workshops offered to the young pilgrims, where they can share their background and motivation.

At the European Parliament

In January 2018, a group of young migrants visited the European Parliament. During a meeting with the European Commissioner for Migration, with members from different parties and from different countries and with the Director General of the OFPRA (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons), migrants were able to talk about their reception experience in Europe and their respective situations: statutory refugees, asylum seekers, “dublined” migrants, and unaccompanied minors whose age has not been recognized.

A Member of the European Parliament sent us images of this visit, filmed by Claudio CUTARELLI, concerning the Dublin Agreement:

To watch a longer clip of this meeting, click here.

Volunteering

Migrants welcomed in Taizé have always been happy to lend a helping hand around them and to feel useful in fulfilling a service for others. They regain dignity when they can give something of themselves.

Edith, treasurer of the Cluny team of the Catholic relief agency, writes that “three young migrants are volunteers and they come to lend a hand for the our activities. They have participated in several things, such as helping to staff a stand and organizing the annual big meal, where they were congratulated by everyone for the quality of their commitment.”

Migrants also enjoy volunteering alongside the young pilgrims who visit the community. Gonçalo, a young Portuguese, recently wrote: “Working with three young migrants was a unique experience; they were well integrated into our team and we shared together about some aspects of our culture and theirs. They told us about their experience and their search for peace.”

Last summer, many young people responded to the call for solidarity with migrants and donated to Taizé. With Orsi, a volunteer, three young migrants went to Calais in November to give the local Catholic relief agency sleeping bags, shower gels, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes. They were guests for two nights at the Maria Skobtsova House, where the doors are open to the most vulnerable exiles. Orsi writes: “Our three friends from Taizé had seen the same misery during their own journey through many countries, the desert, the Mediterranean, and they understood what the young people of Calais are going through.”

Council of the Community: Prayer by Brother Alois

The brothers held their yearly council-meeting from January 23-28. Sunday evening, the council concluded with an evening prayer that included the gesture of "prostration" by which the brothers recall the day of their life-commitment. Beforehand, Brother Alois said the following prayer.

Concluding prayer

We praise you, Christ Jesus, you are risen from the dead. You lead us to follow you, so that we may become witnesses to the joy of God and peacemakers, wherever we may be, in Taizé, in other countries or on the road.

We praise you for our brothers who live in Korea, Bangladesh, Senegal, for those who are going to South Africa, for those who are in Brazil, Cuba and Alsace, and for those who will be in Hong Kong during this year.

We praise you, Christ Jesus, for having nourished us during our council at the table of your word and your Eucharist. We praise you for the joy of brotherly love, especially apparent these days. You have also renewed us in simplicity.

Holy Spirit, you make of us a microcosm of the Church to which each adds a new stone by his life . You reawaken in us a passion for the unity of the Body of Christ, his Church. You teach us to rejoice in the diversity of ways to be Christian. In you we are already united, while being in solidarity with the Churches that are still divided.

Living God, with all our heart we would like to manifest your love by our community life. So we listen to your call to accomplish a common creation. It is as if you yourself were telling each of us these words from our little rule: "From now on, your worship and your service will take place in a community of brothers, itself set in the body of the Church ... You will be encouraged by the impetus of community life. You are no longer alone. You must take your brothers into account in all things."

You invite us to put our common creation at the service of those entrusted to us in so many places across the earth. We pray for all those we carry in our hearts.

For the participants in the European meeting in Basel. May through them the joy and peace experienced there continue to shine in the world like glimmers of hope.

For the inhabitants of our region, the Christians who live here, those who are in hospitals and care homes, the homeless, migrants, all those who support the poorest and who commit themselves for the common good.

For those around the world who are sad, for those who suffer violence, wars, injustice and famine.

Keep your song in us from dying out, even in our nights, this song of which the psalm we sang tonight speaks. With the psalmist we would like to gather together all our expectations and all our desire in a movement towards you, the God of the universe. "Happy are those whose strength is in you. Happy are those in whose heart is the road upward,” those moments of intimate joy in your presence. And, by the presence of your Holy Spirit, even the valley of tears can become a place of wellsprings on the path of our pilgrimage, the source of a serene joy.

Living God, we thank you for having made yourself known, for having come to us through Christ Jesus. He loved us and gave himself for every human being. By your Holy Spirit he is present today. May the joy of his risen life be known to all. May it be a source of fraternity and peace in the brokenness of our wounded humanity and in all your creation.


And now, after singing together, those brothers who have committed their entire lives will lay on the ground to recall their offering to God.

[LIVE] Broadcast from Taizé

On Sunday evening, January 28, the evening prayer will be broadcast live on “Facebook Live” and on the Taizé website, from 6.45pm onwards (Central European Time / Paris Time). It will conclude the yearly council of the community and include the gesture of “prostration” by which the brothers remember their commitment for life.

Basel 2017

On social media

On social media

Daily news, links of importance, photos and testimonies of participants will be published through these social media:

If you put photos or feedback about the meeting online, please use the hashtag #Taize


Prayers streamed live

  • The media team wants to set up a live stream of the evening prayers, and needs help to do so. If you are participating in the meeting and think you may be able to help, please make contact by email.
  • Radio RCF (French Catholic Radio) will broadcast the evening prayers live. For the programme it will broadcast live on 31 December, from 9pm until after midnight, the RCF team is looking for young people ready to tell of their experience of the meeting, and of their hopes for the future. If you can help, please contact RCF (even in English) by email.

On the Taizé website



Here is some of the content shared in recent months on Taizé’s various social networks:

Facebook


YouTube


Twitter


Instagram

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[LIVE] Broadcast from Taizé

On Tuesday evening, October 24, a special programme will be offered on “Facebook Live” and on this page from 8.15 pm to 10.15 pm. It will include the evening prayer and the weekly meditation by Brother Alois.

The Prior of Taizé in South Sudan and Sudan

Taizé has been welcoming refugees from Sudan for the past two years, and the Prior of the community, brother Alois, has just spent a week in Juba and Rumbek, South Sudan, and a week in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, to better understand the situation of these two countries, to meet people active on the ground and to pray among people who are some of the most afflicted of our time.

He and another brother of the community visited the various churches, observed their work of teaching, of solidarity, of caring for the sick and the excluded, and they had many contacts with the deeply deprived population. Among other things, they visited a camp for displaced persons operating under the protection of the UN, including many children lost and never recovered by their parents in the course of violent events in the country.


Brother Alois in Juba, South Sudan, in a camp for displaced persons

Through this visit, Brother Alois also wished to express gratitude to so many people who are engaged on the ground: humanitarian workers, Church personnel and diplomats, serving local communities and the development of education, agriculture, infrastructure, and services, or the promotion of culture. Upon his return he said: “I was particularly impressed by the situation of women and children. Mothers, often very young, bear a large part of the suffering caused by the violence. Many have fled in an emergency. They remain resolved to serve life. Children from an early age must undertake an important part of everyday chores but they aspire to attend school. The courage and the hope of mothers and children is an exceptional testimony.”

The prior of Taizé will draw from this visit to Africa some concrete proposals that he will publish at the 40th European youth meeting hosted by Taizé in Basel from 28 December to 1 January next.


Brother Alois visits a village of lepers near Rumbek, South Sudan.

Refugees: helping fraternity to grow

On the international day of refugees, the brothers of Taizé and the young people gathered in Taizé have been praying for the migrants who have died in recent days off Libya as they tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe. A new workshop was also held like every week of the summer with the title “Taking the risk to welcome. Migrants, asylum seekers, refugees... Who are you?”

In addition, the preparations for the week looking at the theme of migrations are progressing. Many speakers have confirmed their presence, such as Pascal Brice (France), the director of OFPRA, Catherine Wihtol de Wenden (France), director of research emeritus at the CNRS, the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu (Uganda / England), Father Michael Czerny (Canada / Italy) from the Section for migrants and refugees in the Vatican, Petra Feil (Germany / Switzerland) of the Lutheran World Federation and representatives of various movements involved in providing support for migrants, such as the Jesuit Refugee Service or Caritas Europe.

It would be important for young people who know Taizé to suggest to some refugees to come and live this week together with them. If you are interested in this meeting, or if you have a suggestion for a speaker, you can contact the team at solidarity taize.fr. Finally, a concrete initiative of solidarity will be proposed in early July for young participants who wish.


On the occasion of the World Refugee Day, an ecumenical statement has been published - here are two excerpts.

Refugees: a chance to grow together


The Christian Bible tells the story of two men, Peter and Cornelius, utterly divided by religious belief and culture, who in encountering each other discovered a truth about God’s common will for them that neither had previously grasped. They learnt that the Holy Spirit brings down walls and unites those who might think that they have nothing in common.

All around the world, women, men, and children are forced by violence, persecution, natural and human-caused disasters, famine, and other factors, to leave their homelands. Their desire to escape suffering is stronger than the barriers erected to block their way. The opposition by some countries to the migration of forcibly displaced people will not keep those who undergo unbearable suffering from leaving their homes. (….)

Signs of solidarity can be multiplied beyond the borders of religion and culture. Meeting believers of other persuasions encourages us to deepen our knowledge of our own faith, and in our encounter with our refugee brothers and sisters, God speaks to us and blesses us as He did Cornelius and Peter.


Weekend of friendship between young Christians and Muslims

Testimonies by Brother Alois and some young adults


 [1]

An Easter Broadcast from Taizé

Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017, a special program was recorded at Taizé with Brother Alois, young people from different countries and the media team.


 [2]


This broadcast (mainly in English) includes:
- young people speaking about Holy Week at Taizé
- commentaries and responses by Brother Alois
- short video clips
- musical breaks with the boys of Belvedere College, Dublin, Ireland, young people from the choir of Albaida, Valencia, Spain and a harp piece by Odile, France.

On Facebook


On YouTube

Patriarch Bartholomew in Taizé Tuesday, 25 April

A few days after Easter, the Taizé Community will welcome a very special visitor. For the first time, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople will visit for a few hours on Tuesday, 25 April. The pilgrimage to Taizé by the Ecumenical Patriarch will conclude his pastoral visit to Switzerland on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Orthodox centre of Chambésy.


During his visit, the Patriarch will take part in the community prayer at 12:00 in the Church of Reconciliation, in the presence of the brothers, representatives of different Christian communities and the young people gathered in Taizé. He will be welcomed by Brother Alois and will speak at the end of the prayer.

The prayer will be open to all. If anyone wants to come specifically to spend the day in Taizé, have lunch and participate in a workshop in the early afternoon, they should register as visitors through the Taizé website.

The groups and individuals present in Taizé the previous week, who planned to leave on Sunday 23rd, are invited to stay on longer – until Tuesday 25th in the afternoon (for adults over 30 years, this invitation applies within the limits of the available housing). If you wish to extend your stay in this way, please notify the meetings team by changing the departure date in your registration.


“Coexister”: Bonds of friendship growing deeper

For several years now, under the impulse of its founder Samuel Grzybowski, the association “Coexister” has regularly sent groups of young people to Taizé. One particularity of the initiatives of this young association is that they always bring together young people of different religions.

Radia Bakkouch, the current National President, participated in the special week for 18-35 year olds in September 2016. The community of Taizé and the Coexister association also took part together in the new initiative of the parish of Saint-Merry in Paris, the “sacred night”, which will take place again this year in the night 3 - 4 June.

Maud is a young French woman who stayed in Taizé with one of the “Coexister” groups who came in 2016. She shares her experience here:

We were ten young people from different religions: Christian, Jewish and Muslim people. I am Jewish and I have never been to Taizé before. It was really interesting for me to know the faith of Christian people better and to live with them for a week-end. I think I found peace in Taizé. I surprised myself just gazing at the landscape and thinking how extraordinary this experience is. We made strong bonds with lots of different people there and I am thinking of going again next year.

Council 2017

Prayer by brother Alois

As every year, the brothers met for their yearly council meeting from January 24-29. On Sunday evening, the council concluded with evening prayer together, including the prayer of "prostration" by which the brothers recall the day of their life-commitment. Beforehand, Brother Alois spoke the following prayer.


Concluding Prayer

We praise you, Christ Jesus, you are risen from the dead. You lead us in your steps to be witnesses to hope, peacemakers wherever we are, here in Taizé or in Senegal, Kenya, Korea, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cuba, and France .

These days you have renewed us in our vocation. We want to follow you, Jesus, gentle and humble of heart. Your Gospel invites us to develop a spirit of sharing, always seeking to simplify our way of life. So help us to focus on the essential, on the love and the continual presence of the Holy Spirit. Enable us to welcome this love, so that it touches our depths that are in need of conversion until our last breath. There lies the source of a joyous inner freedom.

When violence and the fear of the future seem to increase in the world, you enable us to stand firm in the hope that comes from your resurrection. For us it is like the anchor of our lives, sure and solid. Faith in you opens our eyes to see your presence in the world. And our prayer becomes more ardent: that the kingdom of God may be revealed and come for all human beings.

Risen Christ, your love impels us to seek the visible unity of Christians in order to be a ferment of peace in the world. It is when we go together to the wellspring that arises from your Passover that the dynamics of the Gospel unfold. Then we can welcome as a gift, with the necessary discernment, the great diversity between Christians. Enable us, the brothers, and all Christians, to consent to the sacrifices that reconciliation involves. Reawaken in our community the passion for unity; make us feel how urgent reconciliation is so that we do not stop creating trusting relationships between different traditions and so that an exchange of gifts may take place.

To prepare peace in the world, you encourage us to cause brotherhood to grow. We pray to you this evening for all those whom you entrust to us, through the welcome here in Taizé as well as in our fraternities, during the journeys and the stages of the pilgrimage of trust, for the refugees who live in our villages. Very often, through those whom we welcome, you open our hearts to your love, even without their knowing it. Keep us all in the spirit of the Beatitudes, joy, simplicity, and mercy.

And now, after the next song, those brothers who have made their life-commitment will lie on the ground to recall their offering to God.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

On the occasion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, a special prayer took place at Taizé on Wednesday 18 January at 6pm, with the young people present in Taizé that week and leaders of local churches.

Broadcast via "Facebook Live"

Welcome word from brother Alois

On this first day of the week of prayer for the unity of Christians, I welcome you to our Church of Reconciliation. With my brothers, I am happy to welcome you for this time of prayer. And I thank for their presence the representatives of the Catholic, Orthodox, United Protestant, Anglican, Evangelical, Mennonite Churches. May our unity grow in Christ Jesus, so that the dynamic and the truth of the Gospel may shine out in the world.

Prayer intentions read by church leaders

The Church leaders have read the following prayer intentions:

  • Jesus Christ, you send your Church to prepare your way in the world. Inspire our deeds and our words, day after day, so that we may announce your Gospel around us.
  • Jesus Christ, light of the world, you enlighten every human being: give us to discern your presence in each one and to welcome you in our neighbor.
  • Jesus Christ, open our eyes to the sufferings of the most destitute of our time, the solitudes around us, so that we may live in solidarity with those entrusted to us.
  • Jesus Christ, universal brother, you are at the side of exiles, refugees, migrants. We entrust to you all those who are welcomed in our region and we pray especially for Samir, from Sudan.
  • Jesus Christ, grant us to learn to listen to you so that we can manifest together, more visibly in the eyes of all, your one Church - so the world can believe.
  • Jesus Christ, praise be to you for the Christian communities of our region. For the synod of the diocese of Autun. For the Orthodox parish of Chalon. For the Protestant churches in this year of commemoration of the Reformation.
  • Jesus Christ, like your disciples after the Resurrection, you make us brothers and sisters. Teach us to follow you and lead us on the path of life.
  • Jesus Christ, we entrust to you the peoples of the Middle East, the victims of violence, all those who do not see a future in their country. Be the support of those who seek justice and peace.

Prayer by brother Alois

Christ Jesus, we are gathered in your name. Help us to welcome the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation, who unites our voices in your presence. Towards the end of your life, you prayed, "Father, may they be one". Make of us witnesses of unity and bearers of reconciliation.

The Saint Irenaeus Group at Taizé

The Saint Irenaeus Joint Orthodox-Catholic Working Group gathered from 2 to 6 November 2016 at Taizé. The meeting was chaired by Archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmessos.

Brother Alois welcomed the group at the opening session. Throughout the meeting, the members of the group attended the common prayers of the Community and shared a meal with the brothers.

The Divine Liturgy was celebrated on Friday and Sunday in the village church.

After the meeting, a press release was issued in English and in German.

Unaccompanied Minors Welcomed

A reception and orientation center for minors at Ameugny, organized by the Taizé Community

In the night from Wednesday to Thursday, November 3, a group of unaccompanied underage migrants arrived in Saône-et-Loire, after the closure of the Calais camp. The group includes fifteen teenagers, 13 to 17 years old, mostly from Sudan but also from Syria and Eritrea.

This welcome has been prepared by the Taizé Community, which provides the venue, offers volunteers and logistics, in collaboration with the association "Le Pont" ("The Bridge") in Mâcon, which is taking care of all the administrative procedures. Before the arrival of the young migrants, the mayor of Ameugny and the village council had previously informed the inhabitants.

These young unaccompanied minors were welcomed last night on their arrival by the mayor of Ameugny, some village residents, staff of "Le Pont", the Taizé team and several young refugees from Sudan, welcomed last year by the community. The prefect of Saone-et-Loire was represented by his Chief of Staff, Ms. Germain.

On November 3, the prefecture published the following statement:

"This offer of shelter is temporary and estimated to last three months. It allows accommodation in optimal conditions of safety and health before these young people can be directed either to the UK or be enabled to benefit from the provisions of the law. They will benefit, first of all, from the ongoing investigation by the British authorities of their request for family unification. It is guaranteed that their cases will be dealt with within 3 to 6 weeks."


The welcoming team

Prayer for Peace

On Sundays at Taizé, the bell of peace will ring for the city of Aleppo, Syria

The Community joins an initiative from churches in Finland, who are ringing church bells across the country, symbolizing people’s sadness and solidarity with the people of Aleppo, Syria, who endure continued air strikes.

Each Sunday at 6:30pm brothers and those who wish to join them meet together in the Church of Reconciliation for half an hour of silence to pray for peace.
As a sign of solidarity, one of the five bells, ’Witnesses of Peace’, will toll for the inhabitants of Aleppo.


Prayer by Brother Alois

After the Attack at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray

On the way to Krakow for World Youth Day, Brother Alois learned of the hostage-taking in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray and murder of Father Jacques Hamel. He then sent to Bishop Dominique Lebrun, archbishop of Rouen, and the vicar general of the diocese a short message of friendship to express his dismay and communion, and to ensure those responsible for the Church in that area of the prayers of the Taizé brothers and the young people gathered around the community.

Brother Alois also wrote this prayer to be read at Taizé, in Krakow during the prayers led there by the Taizé brothers, and in St. Malo, where young French Protestants are meeting these days:

God of mercy, enable us to realize that even in misfortune and in trials you are very close to us. The ongoing violence disconcerts us and touches us deeply. We entrust to you the deceased priest at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, his family and the local Church of Rouen in mourning. In the face of hatred, we want to resist fear and return again and again to the wellsprings of peace, creating friendship and brotherhood around us .

Message by Brother Alois for the end of Ramadan

On the occasion of Eid El Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, Brother Alois sent, as every year, a fraternal message to Muslim friends living in the area around Taizé and elsewhere. Tuesday night, the brothers also mentioned in their intercessory prayer all those who are celebrating this feast day.

“As the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end, I want to tell you how much we are thinking of our Muslim brothers and sisters on this happy occasion.

This year, we have lived in a special way this time of fasting thanks to the presence in Taizé, for the last few months, of a Syrian family and eleven young Sudanese and Afghan refugees, all Muslims. My brothers and I were able to understand even better the spiritual dimension that accompanies the fasting from food. We were touched to see how the young people prayed intensely and tried to live a time of simplicity to be increasingly turned towards God.

Although, since last year, tragic events have regularly occurred that undermine life together, initiatives are flourishing which we are happy to take part in: the meeting organized by the interreligious secretariat of Saône-et-Loire in Mazille in early June, the “holy night” with representatives of different religious traditions in Paris a few weeks ago, and regular visits to Taizé by youth of the “Coexister” Association.

My brothers and I are praying for you and we assure you of our deep friendship.”

The Sisters of Saint Andrew have been at Taizé for 50 years

In May 1966 the first Sisters of Saint Andrew arrived in Taizé, an international congregation whose mother-house is in Belgium. At the beginning, in response to a request from Brother Roger, they came to help the brothers for three months... and ever since then they have been working together.

At the end of May 2016, a weekend of celebration for the two communities marked the anniversary. On Saturday, two sisters, one from Australia and one from Congo, made their perpetual profession at Ameugny, in the presence of some sixty sisters, some of whom live on the hill and some who came specially for the occasion from Europe or from Africa.

On Sunday, the sisters joined the Taizé brothers for the midday meal and for the afternoon, during which different meetings and a visit to the brothers’ workshops were on the program.


Then, a prayer in the Romanesque church in the village enabled the sisters and brothers to sing together to express their gratefulness for the half-century together. During that prayer, Sister Agnes, the superior general of the sisters, prayed:

Lord our God, source of all wisdom and goodness,

You wanted to give a beginning to our communities,
keep them, guide them.
Father of all perfect gifts according to your will,
realize in us the prayer of your Son:
’Holy Father, keep in your name those you have given to me;
consecrate them in the truth, that they may be one in us
so that the world may believe that you sent me."
We ask you for this grace, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Brother Alois spoke this prayer in his turn:

O Christ, we praise you for the beautiful collaboration that has united us to the Sisters of St Andrew for fifty years. You want us to serve your Church and you call us to be together, in our complementarity, witnesses to joy, simplicity, and mercy, especially for the younger generations. We praise you for those who have opened the way for us—St. Ignatius, Mother Marie-Tarcisius, and Brother Roger. Send the Holy Spirit upon us, that he may keep alive in us the passion for communion, and that your peace may shine on earth.


’Magnificat’ near br. Roger’s tumb

A Syrian family has arrived at Taizé

For several months now, the Taizé Community has been in contact with the French authorities and the Association “Relief & Reconciliation for Syria” to bring a family originally from Syria. Wednesday April 27, the two parents and their four children finally arrived in Taizé.

They were welcomed by the brothers, by volunteers from the area and also by the two Arab-speaking families already at Taizé, one Iraqi-Egyptian, the other Iraqi. Eastern Christians welcoming a Muslim family: a beautiful sign of hope in the tragedy which the Middle East is undergoing today.


(Picture taken by Orsi Hardi - with two kids already at Taizé since last year)

March 2016

Visit to Taizé by the French National Office for Refugees

On Friday 11 March, the Director and the Head of the Legal Affairs Division of the French National Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) were in Taizé. They made the journey from Paris for the day in order to visit the refugees currently being welcomed here and in order to see for themselves the impressive groundswell of solidarity created in the local area.

Well done and thank you to the Community and villagers of @taize for welcoming refugees and asylum seekers from Calais.


The visit as it happened

After a short tour of the Taizé, Pascal Brice and Marie Salord met with the young refugees who arrived from Calais during November.

The brothers had indicated to the local council that they could accept some refugees, and eleven young people from Sudan and Afghanistan are currently living in Taizé. These young men, all Muslims, live together in a house in the village, close to the Brothers’ house and other houses used to accommodate the young pilgrims who visit the community.

They had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the visitors and tell them about what had led them to leave their countries and their families, to recount the journey that had brought them to Taizé. Many of them have lost family in the fighting in Darfur, where some of their close ones are still staying in refugee camps.

The Sudanese spent several weeks in Libya, some of them even several months, before attempting to cross the Mediterranean. Their plan was not to come to Europe, but simply to find a safe place to live in peace. Arriving in Calais, they were offered the chance to go to the small village of Taizé. Mr. Brice thanked the young people for their trust in accepting this offer and also for trust they showed in allowing France to process their asylum applications.

After that meeting, the OFPRA delegation visited two Christian families, refugees from Iraq. One of the families, an Iraqi-Egyptian couple with a little girl of 7 years, has been in Taizé since 2010. The other family, a couple with two boys aged 3 and 6, arrived in France in June last year, coming directly from Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, at the invitation of the community.

The local people have been enthusiastic to help welcome the refugees: volunteers come regularly to teach French and to help the children with their homework. Doctors have given free treatment to those who didn’t qualify for health cover and neighbours take them on outings and bike rides ... A meeting with some of volunteers was organised in order to share with the visitors from Paris the and joys and the issues raised through this contact with the refugees.

Many of the volunteers expressed their gratitude to the young people and talk about what they had personally received from their presence. But they also expressed their incomprehension at the weight of the red tape involved. The open and frank conversation allowed everyone to take measure of the complexity of certain situations and also of ongoing work research, driven by the government to improve the inevitable defects of the system. Attention to the person and respect for human dignity are the basis of a good welcome of refugees and assylum seekers.

The visit ended with a Sudanese meal lovingly prepared by the young refugees.

Some Useful Links

A photo reportage about the visit can be seen on the website of the local newspaper Journal de Saone-et-Loire.

Brother Alois has recently published an article on the issue of refugees in Europe. It was taken up by newpapers across the continent, including The Church Times.

Easter in Taizé

Celebrating the Resurrection in the hope of a better world


Photo : Philipp Luxi

Palm Sunday: A pilgrimage to the source

Holy Week began in Taizé with the now traditional rendez-vous, in the morning of Palm Sunday, at Saint Stephen’s spring.

#PalmSunday at #Taizé, pilgrimage at the source

Une photo publiée par Taizé (@taize.community) le


Tuesday: In communion with today’s sufferings, in Brussels and elsewhere

The terrible news coming from Belgium about the deadly attacks at the heart of the European city, reached the hill at the start of Holy Week. Brother Alois prayed for the victims of all the acts of terrorist violence in the world:

God of compassion, you are at the side of all who undergo the cruelty of human violence. We entrust to you the victims of this morning’s attacks in Brussels, and their families. Faced with the incomprehensible sufferings of the innocent across the world, we believe that the words of Jesus, words of love and hope, will never pass away. So we implore: grant peace, may your kingdom come.

After the attacks in Brussels, Brother Alois said the following prayer for the victims:“God of compassion, you remain...

Posted by Taizé on Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Holy Thursday: The memory of Christ’s Last Supper

One important moment in Holy Week is the feet-washing, a symbolic re-enactment of the gesture of Jesus from John 13. At the beginning of the Eucharist, the brothers, helped by some of the volunteers, washed the feet of all who wished. At the end of the celebration, Eucharistic Reserve was transferred to a chapel until Sunday morning. The Passion of Christ and waiting for the joy of Easter mark the two following days.

Part of the evening prayer can be heard through a podcast on line.


Good Friday: For our sakes Christ remained faithful even unto death

Today, a bell was rung at 3 pm, the time when the gospels say that Jesus died. A reflective silence fell all over the hill, from one end to the other. The welcome of the many young people arriving during the afternoon was also interrupted for a few minutes.

During the evening prayer, a number of very moving responses, the litany of the “Reproaches” and a song that had not been used for many years, « Memento Nostri Domine », were sung by all while Brother Alois and the younger brothers carried the cross in procession through the church.

Part of the evening prayer can be heard through a podcast on line.

Among the intentions of prayer, the peoples of Syria and China were mentioned,as well as the names of Christians persecuted for their faith. Finally, the prayer around the cross continued all night long, until dawn.

Tonight, for Good Friday, the prayer started by a short prayer read in twelve languages: “God of love, look upon your...

Posted by Taizé on Friday, March 25, 2016


Holy Saturday: A time of waiting

Today, the brothers and the many people who had arrived in Taizé for the Easter week-end were, like so many Christians around the world, waiting for the joy of Easter. In Taizé, the evening prayer on the Saturday evening is not the Paschal Vigil. Still, a joyful foretaste of Easter was given by the entry into the Community of a young Frenchman.

After the evening prayer, brother Alois gave a meditation the text of which is published on line.

Part of the evening prayer can be heard through a podcast on line.


Easter Day: The joy of the resurrection

On Sunday morning, a great crowd came surging into the church. As on the two previous evenings, the brothers gathered around the altar, to begin the celebration with the sign of the light of Easter. Then, the first « Alleluia » and « Lumen Christi » were sung by everyone. Several readings followed, as well as the singing of the Exultet and a new song accompanied in a novel manner by a huge gong, filled the atmosphere with joy.

Brother Alois pronounced the following prayer:

Christ Jesus, in your life hatred and death did not have the last word. You are risen. Even though invisible to our eyes, you are present for every human being. Your Holy Spirit brings to birth in us the courage of mercy for those who are nearby as well as for those who are far away. In a world where we are often disconcerted by violence, you enable us to hope against all hope.

This prayer is available in many languages through the following link:

PDF - 226.9 kb

Parts of the Eucharist can be heard through a podcast on line.

At the ed of the Eucharist, recalling the women who in the gospels were the first to announce the resurrection, the sisters living in Taizé and Ameugny spoke the paschal salutation in more than twenty languages. For the first time, the paschal salutation was also signed. Some young people have made a short film of the paschal salutation, available through the link below.

Easter Greeting

People from all over the world, at Taizé for Easter, say the greeting "Christ is risen!" in their languages. A film by Ruth Martinez, edited by Joana Duarte.

Posted by Taizé on Monday, March 28, 2016


Matas, a young adult from Lithuania, wrote:
Coming to Taizé for the first time for Holy Week, I wanted to meet young people from different countries of the world, who had decided to leave their family traditions and their ordinary lives to come to Taizé and experience the biggest celebrations of the year. As Jesus asked his disciples, "Stay with me, watch and pray" (Mt 26,38). It was very important for me to understand that we were one, one community in Christ, sharing about very personal topics like faith, trust, prayer, resurrection. That’s what I felt in the sharing group after the biblical reflection.

In the morning, I worked as animator with the children at Olinda. I observed how they see Jesus Christ, how they understand his passion. We had a very profound moment during a group prayer, when all the children and the volunteers remained in silence for several minutes. Finally, I will never forget that feeling of joy during the Eucharist of Easter morning. The church was full of happiness, full of joy, full of the risen Christ in every heart.


The Easter celebration can be heard as a podcast on the site of Domradio.

Garden of Solidarity in Taizé

In recent years, the international meetings in Taizé and elsewhere have sought to deepen the search for new forms of solidarity in society today. Our attention to Creation is one aspect of this. As Brother Alois wrote to the young people in one of his recent proposals, “The earth belongs to God; human beings receive it as a gift. We are entrusted with an immense responsibility: to take care of the planet, not to waste its resources. The earth is limited, and human beings too need to consent to their limits.”


One fruit of this reflexion – very humble but concrete – has been the creation of a “garden of solidarity” in Taizé.

Young people, working with a brother, take turns, week after week, working in the garden. The vegetables which are harvested are given to local community associations, which distribute them in the towns and villages around Taizé.

The year 2015 at Taizé in the media

Throughout 2015, echoes of the anniversary year were given by different media, in the press and on the internet. On this page you will find a non-exhaustive selection of articles and links of interest.

Media wishing to cover the international meetings in Taizé, Bucarest, Cotonou or Riga: please contact media taize.fr.

In English

The “newsletter” of the Global Christian Forum, a place of dialogue between historical churches and various evangelical currents and Pentecostal churches, reported on the week of 9-16 August.

A number of interesting articles and blog posts have been published in English. The blog “Premier Christianity” published an article about the monastic experience at Taizé.

The leader of the “Sojourners” in the United States, Robert Wilson-Black, wrote about the week he spent in Taizé, during the summer.

The World Council of Churches published an article about the week of 9-16 August as well as a report on the international theological colloquium. Both articles can also be read in German.

Other websites also published interesting articles:

More recently, Dave Bookless, from the international association “A Rocha” published an reflection upon three weeks of his summer, the last of which he spent in Taizé in mid-August.

The photographer Michael Debets compiled a report in photos about the week of 9-16 August. A gallery about the evening prayer on 15 August is still online on the site of Pacific Press with another about the day of 16 August by the Demotix agency. One of his photos was published on the online site of “The Guardian”.


In French

On 2 August 2015, “France 2” broadcast the Eucharist live from Taizé as its weekly worship programme « Le Jour du Seigneur ». It is still available online. The televised Eucharist was also covered in a photo-report on the site of the “Journal de Saône-et-Loire”.

A number of national French media outlets covered the weekend of 15-16 August in Taizé. The 1pm news journal on TF1 spoke of the international dialogue encouraged by the meetings.

The regional station France 3 Bourgogne devoted two reports to Taizé during the weekend of August 15-16.

On Friday 14 August, Brother Alois was the guest on [Europe 1-http://www.europe1.fr/emissions/l-interview-verite/frere-alois-les-religions-sont-une-force-de-paix-2502453], with Patrick Roger. French national radio France Inter, France Info and RTL covered the international gathering by sending a journalist for their weekend news reports.

Radio Vatican interviewed two Catholic leaders, Cardinal Manuel Clemente, patriarch of Lisbon and Mgr. Benoît Rivière, Bishop of Autun. The blog jeunes-cathos.fr also covered the international gathering and the project “Humans of Taizé,” followed by a photo exhibition at Taizé.

In the “La Croix” newspaper dated 9 August, four pages were dedicated to the international youth meetings. A set of photos is still on line.

At the end of August, the “KTO” TV channel broadcast, as part of the series “Hors les murs” a major documentary lasting 52 minutes prepared by a team that had followed the August gatherings.

In Switzerland, the French-speaking radio “RTS” broadcast live an “ecumenical morning programme” on Pentecost Sunday direct from Taizé as well as consecrating a series of broadcasts to 2015 at Taizé. The Protestant and Catholic press agencies of Suisse Romande offered a series of articles about Taizé, fruit of their cooperation.

Also in Switzerland, the daily paper “24 heures” published at the end of the year a long interview with Brother Alois:

PDF - 563.6 kb

Earlier in the year, the album produced by Universal Music was evoked in several places, including the review “Études”, in July 2015 and the radio channel “Paris Notre Dame”.

The publication of the biography of Brother Roger by Sabine Laplane was covered in a page in the weekly “Réforme”:

PDF - 87.6 kb

In November, the families from Iraq and young refugees from Sudan now living in Taizé were covered by a number of regional media, including the evening news on “France 3 Bourgogne”.

Following the attacks in Paris, the daily paper “La Croix” published an interview with Brother Alois:

PDF - 63.2 kb

Then, at the very start of 2016, the newspaper “Journal de Saône-et-Loire” published an interview with Brother Alois about his visit to Lebanon and Syria:

PDF - 182.5 kb


In German

In May, the centenary of Brother Roger’s birth was marked by several publications in German-speaking media, for example a film on Austrian television and also this portrait of Brother Roger, a “fighter for reconciliation”.

During the Kirchentag in June 2015, Brother Alois gave a radio interview for Deutschlandradio Kultur. At the same time, the Protestant press agency published a short article.

The international gathering 9-16 August was also covered by several German-speaking Protestant websites as well as by the German Catholic press agency, which published a series of articles such as this article which is still online. In addition there is a long article about the experience of Church that the young people have at Taizé.


In Dutch

Two long reports were consecrated to the meetings in Taizé by the newspapers Nederlands Dagblad and Reformatorisch Dabglad:

PDF - 307.8 kb


PDF - 4 Mb

Two young journalists from BEAM spent a week in Taizé for the paper and a report on eo.nl.

The president of the Reformed Church of the Netherlands, PKN, published as well an editorial about his visit to Taizé in mid-August.



In Italian

The weekly “Avvenire” marked the tenth anniversary of Brother Roger’s death.

A journalist from the magazines “Credere” and “Jesus” came to Taizé in July, with a photographer. One of his articles, about the volunteers, is online.

The Protestant weekly “Riforma” also consecrated a good article to the 75 years of Taizé.

Then, after the Paris attacks, Brother Alois was interviewed by the radio InBlu.


In Spanish

The weekly “Vida Nueva” published a long conversation with Brother Alois and a special section about the summer meetings in Taizé:

PDF - 1.6 Mb

Early in August, the newspaper “Tribuna de Albacete” spoke about the anniversaries celebrated by Taizé in 2015.

The preparation of the European meeting in Valencia was widely covered by the magazine “Paraula” and other local media, such as “Las Provincias”.

As for the European meeting itself, it is impossible to list all the echoes in the regional and national press. Here are just a few:

Likewise, the media of the archdiocese of Valencia covered the meeting widely with a special issue and several articles in the magazine Paraula, a series of video clips and many photos.



In Portuguese

On television there was a report on the theological colloquium and an interview with a brother.

The newspaper of the diocese of Lisbon gave echoes of the participation of young people from the diocese, accompanied by their Cardinal, in the Gathering for a new solidarity while a report was also broadcast on television.

Radio Renascença broadcast interviews after the Prague meeting and also regularly gave news of Taizé and the Valencia meeting.

Several newspaper and reviews mentioned the celebration of the anniversaries at Taizé, such as Sol, Observardor and Fatima Missionaria.

The journalist António Marujo wrote a piece for the agency “Ecclesia” about the international week of 9-16 August and he also published in his blog a series of articles about the gathering and the theological colloquium of last September.


In Polish

A journalist from Radio Polskie, Przemysław Goławski, gave a radio report about the gathering for a new solidarity. He also published an article and a photo gallery.

More recently, a long conversation with Brother Alois has been published by the site “Przewodnik Katolicki”.

The presence of young refugees from Sudan was the topic of a talk with a brother for the site deon.pl.

The photographer Wiesia Klemens published three photo galleries about recent visits to Taizé and Valencia of which this is the most recent.

The Taizé meeting in Valencia was covered in this article online.


In Czech

A few months after the European meeting in Prague, written about in March on the site of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, a long conversation with Brother Alois was published in several Czech medias, including the site “Christnet” and the site “Katolický týdeník”.


In Turkish

Television SAT-7 reported on Taizé, online on Youtube.

Brother Alois spent Christmas in Syria

On the eve of the European meeting of young adults in Valencia, Brother Alois arrived in Spain directly from Syria. He spent Christmas in Homs, close to those who are suffering from violence in a ruined town. Before that, he spent several days in Beirut, joining two brothers who have been living in Lebanon for two months, close to refugees.

On Monday evening in tent A, at the end of his first meditation to the young people taking part in the European meeting, brother Alois will talk about these visits in the Middle East.


From Darfur to Taizé by way of Calais


In June, two parents with their two children, who in 2014 had to flee from the Mosul region to Iraqi Kurdistan, were welcomed in Taizé. Another family, Iraqi-Egyptian, who have been in Taizé for several years, has helped a lot as they settle. As the community had expressed its willingness to accept more refugees, seven young migrants from the “Calais jungle” arrived in Taizé, all from North Sudan and aged 19-26 years. Some of them have lost family members in the conflict in Darfur, where many of their relatives are still in refugee camps. They have been accommodated in a house in the village; the hospitality of the inhabitants has been very warm.

More recently, other young people from Sudan and Afghanistan have arrived in Taizé.

In addition to the community, the members of the Taizé village council and of the community of the villages around Cluny have been supporting their welcome, as well as other local associations and individuals. In Taizé, Orsi has been closely involved with them from the very start. She writes:

They arrived on a cold, foggy, dark evening to Taizé from Calais. They were tired, frightened, hungry and lost. They didn’t know us, they didn’t trust us when they arrived. They had no idea where they were brought. They are from Darfur, Sudan. They all went through horrible things and they are all asylum seekers. They are between 19 and 25. They are Muslims.
 
On Saturday morning, November 14, when they heard the news about what happened in Paris they felt horrible. Their first reaction was: “We are so sorry. Please, believe us, this is not Islam.” They repeated this constantly. Then they asked us if we wouldn’t mind if they prayed for the victims and their families. Of course we didn’t mind, so they did. And then we cried together. Sunday at 6:30 pm as usual, there is a half an hour silent prayer for peace in the church. They were happy to come with us.
 
I think that to all the horrible things happening around us, our answer should be even more welcome, more desire to share, more common reflection, more research of understanding. How to find ways to show that goodness is stronger than evil, joy is stronger than horror, hope is stronger than darkness, that life is stronger than death?

Ten days after the Paris attacks, the inter-religious secretariat of Saône-et-Loire organized a prayer in homage to the victims in the Protestant church in Chalon-sur-Saône. Two brothers from Taizé took part, together with the seven young people from Sudan.

Prayers for the Protection of the Creation

Coinciding with the Paris Conference “COP21,” a prayer with the songs from Taizé will be held in Paris, on December 5 at 20h30, in the presence of Brother Alois and several other brothers. The community of Taizé proposes that all who wish should associate themselves with this event by organizing in their own locality a shared prayer for the Protection of the Creation, for example by using the form of celebration available on-line.

If such a prayer is taking place in your town, we can announce it on this page – just send the details to this address info2015 taize.fr.


In the United States

Miami


In New-Zealand

Auckland

  • Sunday December 6 at 5.30pm, St Peter’s Anglican Church (184 Onehunga Mall, Onehunga, Auckland)

In Canada

New-Brunswick

  • Friday November 27, at 7.30pm, at the Mother House of "Filles de Marie-de-l’Assomption" (2 rue Arran Campbellton, New-Brunswick).

In Mexico

Mexico D.F.

  • Thursday December 3, at 7pm, at the Church St Albertus Magnus, Copilco.
  • Wednesday December 9, at 8pm, at the Church Sagrada Familia, calle Puebla, Colonia Romas.

In France

Poitiers (86)

  • Friday November 27, at 8.30pm, in St Jean de Montierneuf (place Montierneuf).

Limoges (87)

  • Tuesday December 1 from 6pm, in the Chapel of the chaplaincy of L. Limosin (place des Carmes). Sharing and exchanges about questions of ecology; prayer from 19h to 20h; picnic meal for those who wish.

Lille (59)

  • Thursday December 3 at 8.30pm, in Saint Maurice Church (rue de Paris, 59800 Lille). More info online.

Chilly-Mazarin (91)

  • Thursday December 3 at 8.30pm, in Notre Dame du Concile Church (49 rue Pierre Mendès-France)

Langon (33)

  • Friday December 4 2015 at 7.30pm, Centre St Jean (8, boulevard François Mauriac, 33210 Langon)

Mérignac (33)

  • Friday December 4 at 8.30pm, in the Temple de Mérignac

Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines (78)

  • Saturday Decembre 5 at 8.30pm, Saint-Martin de Bréthencourt

In Germany

Dresden

  • Wednesday November 25 at 8pm, in the Immanuelkirche Dresden-Cotta (Hühndorfer Straße 22)

Odenthal

  • Friday December 4 at the Markuskapelle von Altenberg (51519 Odenthal)

Munich

  • Wednesday December 9 at 7pm, St. Willibrord (Blumenstraße 36)

Bonn

  • Friday December 11 at 9pm, in the Protestant church "Auferstehung" (Haager Weg)

In Spain

Valencia

  • Saturday December 5, at San Lorenzo church, with the team preparing the upcoming European meeting

In Switzerland

Delémont, Jura

  • Monday November 30 at 7pm, in the chapel of the Hôme de Delémont.

In Belgium

Veldegem

  • Wednesday November 18 at 7pm, at Onze Lieve Vrouwkerk, 8210 Veldegem

In Czech Republic

Prague

  • Monday December 7 at 7.30pm, in the church of Martin ve zdi (Martinská 8, Praha 1)

Picture by Bruno Biermann

Brother Denis (1934-2015)

A few weeks ago, Brother Denis came back from the Nairobi fraternity in Kenya, so that he could be admitted to hospital in Lyons. It was discovered there that he was suffering from an irreversible brain tumour. He then returned to Taizé on November 10. In the night of Friday to Saturday November 28, on the eve of the beginning of Advent, during his sleep he entered into the life of eternity.

Just over half a century ago, Brother Denis, who was an architect, designed the Church of the Reconciliation in Taizé. Other buildings for which he drew the plans include the church of St Joseph the Worker in the shanty town of Kangemi, in Nairobi, visited by Pope Francis on Friday 27 November during his Apostolic Visit in Africa.

During 2015, Brother Denis created tree bark icons depicting a Way of the Gospel at St Stephen’s Source, shown on a page of the site, and a temporary exhibition of his artwork was shown in Taizé over the past few months.


At the beginning of the Eucharist celebrated in his memory on Tuesday 1 December, Brother Alois read the following prayer:

Christ Jesus, we entrust to you Denis, our brother whom you have welcomed in eternal life, close to you. With humble faith and a sincere heart he believed in you and responded to your call, placing the great creative gifts he had in your service. With the brothers, whether in Taizé or in fraternities, he bore witness to your love. He loved Africa, he loved those with whom he lived in Kenya and in Senegal. We praise you for his life among us and entrust him to your love. Holy Spirit, you fill us with hope, as you filled Denis, our brother, and even if our faith is very small we dare to say with our lives: “Christ has risen!”

2008 in Nairobi

Prayer by brother Alois after the tragic events in Paris

After hearing of the terrible events in Paris during the night of 13 to 14 November, which have come soon after those in Beirut, brother Alois prayed these words during the midday prayer at Taizé:

Eternal God, we want our thoughts and acts to be based on your presence which is the source of our hope. We entrust to you the victims of the attacks in Paris and in Beirut, and their families and friends as they mourn. With believers of all backgrounds we call upon your name and pray: may your peace come to our world.

The victims of the attacks in Paris and Beirut will also be prayed for during the intercessions of the evening prayer.

Brother Alois has also written a message to several Muslim friends in various cities in France.

Taizé accompanies the preparation of “COP21”

On the sidelines of the COP21 in Paris, many Christian and interfaith initiatives are being taken. We give an echo here of the events related to Taizé.

Saturday 14 November: the “People’s Pilgrimage” visits Taizé

Under the name of "People’s Pilgrimage", inter-religious walks are being held across all five continents to demand with a single voice a future protected from the disasters which climate change could bring.

In May 2015, after leaving his post as ambassador responsible for negotiations on climate change for the Philippines, Yeb Sano began a pilgrimage of several months, heading for Paris and COP21.

After a visit to Rome, the pilgrims walked for more than 700 kilometers in Italy and then crossed the Alps to Geneva before arriving in France on 6 November.

After a meeting at Cluny on Friday 13 November and a night spent with local people in their homes, the delegation will walk along the cycle path in the valley and arrive in Taizé late morning Saturday. A meeting open to all will be held on Saturday 14 November at 3:15pm in Room 15.


Friday 27 November: “People’s Pilgrimage” welcomed in Paris

During the climate negotiations of COP21 in December, faith communities from around the world are organizing a whole range of events in Paris: vigils, meetings, festivals, prayers, pilgrimages … A complete list can be found on-line, including a special programme in the parish of Saint Merry to welcome the pilgrims arriving in Paris along four different routes.


Thursday, 3 December: Ecumenical prayer in Notre Dame de Paris

At the invitation of Cardinal Vingt-Trois and the Council of Christian Churches of France, leaders of various churches, including Patriarch Bartholomew, will pray together in Notre-Dame de Paris on Thursday, 3 December. Brother Alois will be present.


Saturday 5 December: Prayer with Taizé songs at Saint-Ignace

In cooperation with the Council of Christian Churches of France and the diocese of Paris, a prayer with the songs of Taizé, attended by Brother Alois and other brothers, will be held on Saturday 5 December, at 8:30pm, in the church Saint-Ignace, 33 rue de Sèvres, Paris 6. Young people who can help with the preparation of this prayer are invited to write to this address info2015 taize.fr, in particular the delegations coming from different countries.

On 5 December many events will be held. These include a youth programme in Montreuil and a bi-lingual conference led by A Rocha International in St. Michael’s Anglican Church in Paris.

An afternoon of solidarity in the region of Taizé

On the occasion of the centenary of Brother Roger’s birth, the community looked for something to do with the neighbours around Taizé. The idea came up of meeting beside a small lake a few kilometers from Taizé for an afternoon with children and their parents.
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The program: a shared meal at the lake, discovering the "dream cabins" filled with musical instruments, wooden toys and hidden treasures, then a circus performance with horses and the trapeze artist of the Equinoctis company.

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At the end, a snack was offered to everybody, livened up with games of soccer, skittles, stilts and music. To make it possible for low-income families to take part, everything was free, financed by gifts and the support of Taizé’s solidarity fund, Operation Hope.


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What a beautiful atmosphere! Backgrounds and languages were mixed: a gypsy family originally from Serbia tried to talk to some of the eight Ukrainian children on holiday in Taizé for three weeks. Christians and Muslims speaking Arabic discovered one another. Armenians spoke in Russian with the Ukrainians; children of families from the area discovered the diversity of languages.

The lake was calm, the atmosphere serene, laughter and music rose towards a cloudless sky. Every person has within them a desire for peace – that afternoon without walls was an undeniable proof of this.


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Photos : Christian Hanser & Taizé

Easter, the Joy of the Resurrection, in communion with the suffering of the world

Over Easter more than 6 000 young people spent a week or few days on the hill. Many visitors from the region around Taizé also came to join the brothers and the young people for the Easter celebrations. This year, before the Eucharist of the Resurrection, a great fire was lit outside the Church of Reconciliation. The pascal candle was then lit from the fire and everyone followed it into the church, singing. There was yet another innovation at the end of the Eucharist: as it was the women who, having found the tomb empty, went to announce the resurrection to the disciples, it was the sisters of the different communities present in Taizé who announced the traditional pascal greeting "Christ is risen" in more than 20 languages.

Spring has arrived on the hill and many young people continue to come, especially from Germany and France. An orthodox group from Moscow is also here, as every year at this time, a few weeks after hosting the pilgrim brothers and young people in their parish for Easter.

During the prayers that he offers aloud each day during the midday prayer in Taizé, Brother Alois has recently mentioned many situations of suffering: the war in the east of Ukraine, refugees drowning in the Mediterranean sea, the earthquake victims in Nepal. This attention to the world prepares the young people to return home. As a young French man, Timothy, wrote - he is indeed living the week in Taizé "with a view to going back to our lives, which are less smily and bright than they are in Taizé, so that we can share that flame that we received at home, and make it shine in the daily gloom."

Holy Week in Taizé

Domenico (Italy)

On Sunday morning, under a cloudy sky, pilgrims of all ages and nationalities gathered at The Source. The brothers came carrying branches to celebrate the traditional prayer of Palm Sunday. Despite the weather there was a joyful atmosphere as we prayed and sang under the trees with the blossom just beginning to peep through.
 
Then together everyone processed from the Source to the Church, over a thousand people. Once in the Church the Eucharist continued with its typical polyphony of languages. In the afternoon groups of young people from Germany, Portugal and many other countries all over the world arrived in Taizé. They will spend a week of prayer and joy in the spirit of solidarity. This is the most important week of the year for all of us and we will celebrate it in communion and simplicity, waiting for the Resurrection of Christ.
 
It is the first time that I’ve seen the hill in its winter clothes. Everything looks pretty different, but you can always feel the unique magic of this place. The rain is often with us, accompanied by a light wind. The trees are bare and I feel that they can’t wait to wear their summer clothes, while some white flowers are already beginning to welcome the pilgrims.
 
Around the church my eyes meet a lot of well-known faces. Holy Week seems to me the time at which people whose life was deeply influenced by Taize come back here to re-tune their souls and hearts to the chords of God’s words. You can notice it during the prayer: everybody is singing from the front to the back, and they keep singing for hours and hours. You really can understand that all these people share something; they share their faith and the joy of a moment of fruitful dialogue and reflection.

The Photo of the Moment

Lenten Conférence in Paris

On Sunday 8 March, Brother Alois gave one of the Lenten Conferences at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, on the theme "A Life Which Becomes a Sign". The text of the conference can be found (in French) on the Archdiocese of Paris website.

The big weeks begin again

After the usual mid-winter slowdown the big meetings have begun again. Over the past two weeks, more than 3,000 young people have passed through Taizé, most of them young French and Portuguese students. The largest groups were from Toulouse, Saint Denis, north of Paris, and Lyon in France, Viseu and Santarem in Portugal. The bishops of Angers, Rodez and Saint-Denis also came along to accompany the young people. Other countries were also well represented, including the Czech Republic, Korea and the USA, with a group of thirty teenagers from New York.

On the first day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18, a prayer was held in Taizé, in the Church of Reconciliation, in the presence of the Bishop of Autun and the reformed pastor of Chalon-sur-Saône. As this year the theme for the week was prepared by Christians from Brazil, two brothers who have spent time living there led a meeting on the life of the fraternity in Alagoinhas.

Two weeks later, at the end of the annual Community Council, the brothers spent a beautiful afternoon in Chalon-sur-Saône, with a prayer in one of the parishes of the town and a visit to the Muslim community. This meeting was particularly important after the tragic events of the beginning of the year in Paris - to experience the warm welcome of the Imam and other members of the community gathered there on that Saturday afternoon.