TAIZÉ

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Ukraine | Suggested format for a peace vigil

Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, many Christians around the world have been praying for peace. Here is a suggestion for a time of prayer with the songs of Taizé.

In addition, a page on the Taizé website allows you to send prayer requests to the brothers.

Suggested format for a time of prayer

Song

Laudate omnes gentes ou Славіте всі народи (Slavite vsi narody)

Prayer by Brother Alois

Christ Jesus, as we stand in silence before you, we let this burning prayer rise up to you: may weapons cease to be fired on the land of Ukraine! Receive in your love those who are dying from violence and war, console the grieving families, show your presence to those who are in anguish or who have had to take the road of exodus. Support those who desire peace and who, in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and elsewhere, are taking initiatives to stop the war. Faced with incomprehensible suffering, we believe that your words of love and peace will never pass away. You gave your life on the cross and opened up a future for us, even beyond death. As we journey towards Easter, the light of your resurrection will guide us, even in the darkness, reminding us that evil will never have the last word. And we implore you: give your peace to our time. You are our hope.

Psalm

Between each verse, Bonum est confidere.can be sung

How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
Is the enemy to revile your name for ever?
Why do you hold back your hand; why do you keep your hand in your bosom?

Yet God my King is from of old,
working salvation in the earth.
You cut openings for springs and torrents;
you dried up ever-flowing streams.

Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you established the luminaries and the sun.
You have fixed all the bounds of the earth;
you made summer and winter.

Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals;
do not forget the life of your poor for ever.
Have regard for your covenant,
for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence.

Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame;
let the poor and needy praise your name.
Rise up, O God, plead your cause;
remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.


du Psaume 74

Lecture

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.


2 Corinthians 1. 3-4

Song
Dona nobis pacem

Silence

Intercession

Kyrie 10 can be sung between each intercession.

  1. For everyone living in Ukraine. For the victims of the war and their loved ones as they mourn. For those who are wounded.
  2. For families, young people, children and the elderly who live in fear of bombardment.
  3. For people who have had to leave their homes - the exiled, refugees, displaced people and for those who are welcoming them.
  4. For those who are more vulnerable without anywhere to go, powerless faced with the consequences of war.
  5. For the leaders of the nations and all who can influence the course of events, so that the firing of arms may cease as soon as possible.
  6. For the leaders of the Churches. May they understand how to accompany people affected by this terrible ordeal.
  7. For the peacemakers. For everyone in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and elsewhere who are committed to ensuring that dialogue and justice prevail.

Our Father

Blessing prayer

Your bless us Christ Jesus, you are our peace and our hope.

Songs

Exaudi orationem meam | Frieden, Frieden | Jésus le Christ | Veni sancte Spiritus

Pope Francis receives Brother Alois in audience

On Monday 21 March 2022, Brother Alois, prior of the Taizé Community, was received in private audience by Pope Francis. Since 2013, this audience has taken place every year, as before with Pope Benedict XVI, in the same way as Brother Roger used to visit Rome every year.

The first topic covered was the war in Ukraine and the initiatives of solidarity taken by Taizé towards the Ukrainian refugees. Brother Alois then spoke about the Synodal Pathway that is being undertaken in the Catholic Church. He was also able to share with Pope Francis some news about the life of the community and spoke about Taizé’s ecumenical quest.

Over the next few days, Brother Alois will have other meetings with church leaders in Rome. In addition, two prayers with songs from Taizé will take place over the next few days in Rome: Tuesday 22 March at 9pm in the church of Santa Maria in Campitelli and Wednesday 23 March at 12.30pm in the Belgian Royal Church (via del Sudario 40), together with Brother Alois and other brothers.


(C) Photo Vatican Media


Contact

media taize.fr

Ukraine | A Provisional Community To Welcome Refugees

In solidarity with Ukraine, Taizé is preparing to welcome refugees who have had to leave their country because of the war, along with many refugees passing through for a night on their way to Spain or Portugal.

In close collaboration with the civil authorities, the project was born to welcome several families of Ukrainian refugees in a house at Taizé or in the nearby village of Ameugny. The details are being worked out.

To accompany this welcome, some young people could form a small temporary community, living with the refugees who will be welcomed in Taizé. We are therefore looking for three or four young men or women, aged between 19 and 30, who would be willing to live in Taizé until the end of May to take part in this project. Being able to communicate in a Slavic language would be a definite asset.

If you are interested, or if you have any further questions, please contact us very quickly at this address explaining your reasons for wishing to participate in this project.

In several aspects, this proposal is different from volunteering in Taizé. For those who wish to stay longer in Taizé during the next few months, see this other page.

Ukraine | An initiative of solidarity to welcome refugees

Faced with the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, Taizé is opening a platform to put host people in contact with exiles who have had to leave Ukraine.

In recent years, many young people from Ukraine have participated in the meetings of the Pilgrimage of Trust in Europe. At present, many families, especially mothers with their children, have had to leave their country as a matter of urgency to take refuge elsewhere. In many places, a dynamic of solidarity is taking shape to welcome them and Taizé wishes to support this momentum.

In connection with our friends in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries, with solidarity associations and also with the Ukrainian embassy in Paris, we propose that local parishes or groups prepare to offer a welcome. However, we would like to draw the attention of those who are ready to do so:

  • At this stage we are collecting offers, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to find a family in the immediate future. It is difficult to estimate the scale of future arrivals.
  • It is also difficult to know how long these families will need your generous support.
  • For a single person, and even a family, such a welcome can represent an excessive effort. It is preferable to get together with others to take on this task in a parish or team.
  • Currently, this proposal can only concern host families in Schengen countries.
  • Finally, Taizé helps to put people in touch with each other through this initiative, but cannot accompany specific situations or provide help or follow-up.

Please carefully fill in the welcome form in French or in English. If you have any further questions, write to us at this address.

We thank you warmly for your readiness to help!

Form

Ukraine | Welcoming Refugees

  • Countries of the Schengen Area

Ukraine | Article by Brother Alois

At the request of the French weekly La Vie, Brother Alois wrote this article on line in French. Here is the English translation.

In Ukraine, Evil Will Not Have the Last Word

This year, the season of Lent begins at a moment when the continent of Europe has been struck by war. This tragic news plunges us into the mystery of evil. Jesus himself had the ultimate experience of this when he freely accepted to give up his life on the cross: he went right through to the end on the way of suffering. On our path towards Easter, we are sustained by this hope: beyond the cross, through the resurrection of Christ, God has opened up a way of life for all humanity.

How is it possible that the fire of weapons and bombs is tearing apart peoples who are so close to each other in so many ways? So many families have relatives on both sides of the border…. During a pilgrimage to Russia, Belarus and Ukraine in 2015, with a small group of young people from various countries, I witnessed this as I visited some Ukrainian soldiers wounded in battle in a hospital in Kyiv. With us was a young woman from Russia. A few days ago, at the outbreak of the war, this young Russian woman recalled this visit and shared the following story: “When I entered that hospital, I was paralysed with fear and shame. At first it was difficult for me to say anything. Then I started to tell that as a child I used to go to my grandfather’s house in Ukraine every summer, that my cousin was born in Ukraine. Then the Ukrainian soldiers started to change: one of them suddenly said that his wife was Russian, then another that his parents lived in Russia…. And it became clear that in fact we were very close, that we were like brothers and sisters.”

Let us pray that these seeds of sharing and communion will not be uprooted by the madness of war, but that in the long run they will prove stronger than senseless violence. It is almost too early to express this wish, when every day that passes sees more and more victims and wounded people. But let us keep, with its roots in the depths of our hearts, the sure hope that evil will not have the last word.

Pope Francis has called for a day of fasting and prayer on Ash Wednesday. In many places around the world, believers are gathering and praying for peace. A few days ago, we received a message from an Orthodox priest in Russia: they are praying for peace in his parish too.

Yes, in order to live this Lenten season in solidarity with those who are suffering from the war that is raging in Ukraine, let us pray for the victims and their families in mourning, for the wounded, for those who have had to flee, for those who would have liked to do so but could not, and also for all those who have chosen to stay where they live. Let us think of the most vulnerable people, who will be the first to suffer the consequences of the armed conflict, of the children who have suffered, of the young people who see no future.

In our prayer, let us not forget to ask the Holy Spirit to inspire the leaders of the peoples and all those who are in a position to influence the course of events, so that the fire of arms may cease as soon as possible. Let us pray that the war will not increase divisions within churches and families, and that church leaders will walk side by side with all those affected by this terrible trial. And since every human life counts in God’s eyes, let us think of the combatants of all the countries involved, and also of their families, for example the grandmothers who see their grandsons going to the front, to a war they neither chose nor wanted. Perhaps, one day, they will take to the streets to protest….

As this Lenten season begins under dark auspices, we are called to live these forty days in communion with those who are affected by violence, not only in Europe but everywhere in the world. On the cross, Christ opened his arms to embrace all humanity. A humanity too often torn apart, yet forever united in God’s heart.

Prayer for Peace in Ukraine

Wednesday 2 March

In communion with the initiative of fasting and prayer proposed by Pope Francis, the community will participate in the prayer for peace in Ukraine on Wednesday 2 March.


Saturday 26 February

Yesterday evening, the prayer vigil for peace in Ukraine was characterized by a long time of silence, introduced by the following prayer spoken by Brother Alois:

Risen Christ, as we remain in silence before you, we let this ardent prayer rise up: may the firing of weapons in the land of Ukraine cease! Welcome into your love those who are dying from violence and war, console the families in mourning, support those who have had to take the road of exodus. Faced with incomprehensible suffering, we still believe that your words of love and peace will never pass. You gave your life on the cross and you opened a future for us, even beyond death. So we implore you: give us your peace. You are our hope.

At the end of the time of silence, the song Laudate omnes gentes was sung by all in the Ukrainian language "Славіте всі народи / Slavite vsi narody".


Thursday 24 February

In view of the acts of war in Ukraine, Brother Alois said the following prayer during the midday prayer in Taizé on Thursday:

God of love, we are disconcerted by the violence in our world, and especially now by the acts of war in Ukraine. Enable us to stand in solidarity with those who suffer, and who live today in fear and anxiety. Sustain the hope of all those, in this beloved part of the world, who seek justice and peace. Send the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of peace, to inspire the leaders of nations and all human beings.

This Friday at 8pm (Paris time), the brothers and all the young people who are present in Taizé will pray in silence for peace. Those who wish to take part in this prayer will be able to join in thanks to the live broadcast.


Common prayer at the Taizé meeting in Lviv, 30 April 2018

Community Council: Prayer by Brother Alois

Like every year, the brothers held their community council at the end of January. Here is the concluding prayer that Brother Alois shared on the evening of Sunday 30 January.

Christ Jesus, we praise you with all our heart. You want to make of us witnesses to God’s love in the midst of the great changes that are going on in society and in the Church. And so we give you thanks for the gift of unity that you give to our little community: it is an invaluable treasure which we want to take care of.

This treasure is many-sided. We thank you for having led us, during our council these last few days, to bring our great diversity to light. You send us the Holy Spirit who gives life, and encourages creativity in each one of us, and who unites us in God’s love. Enable us to believe in the Spirit’s presence.

You, Christ, you breathe your Spirit upon us in prayer, and in our life as brothers, which is another place where we find a source of your presence. And so, in the heart of the effort to take care of our life as brothers, to keep going out of ourselves and welcoming others, you communicate your joy to us, the joy of the Risen one.

We place before you all that we have said to each other during the council. May our sharing bear fruit. Help us to continue to question ourselves about the multiculturalism amongst us, about personal spiritual accompaniment, about our responsibility together for the whole of our life through our multiple tasks and activities, and about our search for the unity of Christians. Fill us with flexibility and courage so as to listen to the Holy Spirit in order to move forward in these domains and in many others too.

Christ Jesus, you send us into the world. Praise be to you for our brothers living in fraternities in different countries. We give you thanks for the sisters who live close to us and with whom we move forward together. We give you thanks for our friendship with so many people of our region. We thank you for the migrants who have been welcomed here and who are settling in more and more into life in our country. Praise be to you for the young people who will be coming to Taizé during the coming year. Praise be to you for the pilgrimage of trust, which, like a stream, is forging a way through the world, with the upcoming stages in the Middle East and in the Holy Land.

But we also confess to you, Christ Jesus, that it has happened that we have failed to do the will of your love. We entrust to you in particular the people who have been the victims of sexual or psychological abuse or aggression at Taizé. Be with them in their solitude and heal their wounds. And give us the courage to listen to their sufferings, to listen too to what they ask and to their advice, and to do all we can to help them.

We turn towards you, Christ. To whom else should we go? You have the words of life. We ask you to accompany the whole Church and the whole of humanity which are going through a sort of exodus, a passage to something else, a crossing of the desert. Like so many people, we are experiencing a time when we do not see clearly what the future holds. But you allow us to find new resources in you, and to be creators of unity. With trust we say to you the prayer of a Psalm: "Do not forsake the work of your hands."

And now, after singing the Holy Spirit together, those of the brothers who have committed their lives forever will now lie stretched out on the ground to recall their offering to God.


Week of prayer for Christian unity

Every year, from 18 to 25 January, Christians around the world participate in the Week of Prayer for Unity. This year, the week of prayer has been prepared by the Middle East Council of Churches. Here are some suggestions to help you take part in this week in connection with Taizé.

Pray with the Middle East Council of Churches

The theme chosen by the Middle East Council of Churches this year is "We have seen his star in the East and we have come to worship him". The proposed programme, including the Bible readings and prayer intentions, is available online here for Churches in Britain and Ireland. Similar sites exist for other countries.

Read or re-read the "2022 Proposals"

The "2022 Proposals" from Taizé are entitled "Becoming Creators of Unity". The fifth proposal in particular concerns the unity of Christians. You can find the whole text here.

Follow the prayer for unity held in Taizé

On Tuesday 18 February at 6pm, a prayer for friends from the area around Taizé was held in the Church of Reconciliation. Representatives of different denominations took part. You can watch this prayer by clicking below.

Listen to a podcast from Taizé

This week’s podcast is an interview (in French) with Pastor Anne-Laure Danet, responsible for relations between Christian churches for the French Protestant Federation. This interview can be listened to from the main podcast platforms

Read the messages received for the Turin meeting

As every year, Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant leaders sent messages of greeting to the participants of the European meeting.

Listen to a conference of Brother Alois about unity

Last year, Brother Alois was invited to give a long lecture on unity as part of a series of meetings organised by the Angelicum in Rome. This lecture can be found online here (in Italian, with French subtitles)

Message from Brother Alois

A tribute to Desmond Tutu

Dear family and friends,

On this day when Archbishop Desmond Tutu has entered into the life of eternity, I would like to express my affection, and that of all the Taizé Community, to you who have shared his life and his struggles for nearly sixty-five years.

The Spirit of the Risen Christ made him a source of wisdom and courage for South Africa and the rest of the world during the darkest hours of Apartheid and throughout the journey towards justice and reconciliation in your country.

We are grateful for the friendship that has linked the Archbishop and our community for more than forty years. Since Brother Roger’s visit to Johannesburg in 1978 and his own visit to Taizé in 1979, we have remained in communion through prayer, sharing the same passion for awakening new generations of young people to faith in Christ. In 1980, when tensions were high in your country, he organized the journey of 144 young South Africans of all origins, denominations and social backgrounds on a pilgrimage of reconciliation to Taizé. Since then, he has faithfully supported hundreds of young South Africans sent by their churches to represent their country at the different stages of the Pilgrimage of Trust organized by Taizé. Two years ago he was keen to join the participants in the international meeting that we had prepared in Cape Town.

In his welcome message to the participants of the 1995 Taizé Pilgrimage to Johannesburg, he wrote: " Prayer creates the climate in which we can meet and grow to love one another."

Together with women and men of goodwill throughout the world, and especially with young people across the African continent, we give thanks for his life and ministry. He will continue to inspire seekers of justice and peace.

Brother Alois, prior of the Taizé Community

During the Taizé meeting in Cape Town, 2019