TAIZÉ

Some Recent News

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

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

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

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

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

Press information

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


Photo (C) Vatican Media

Community Council: Prayer by Brother Alois

From 30 January to 4 February, the brothers held their annual Community Council at Taizé. Here is the concluding prayer that Brother Alois spoke on the evening of Saturday 4 February.

Eternal God, praise be to you! You call us to follow Jesus Christ. And you want us, through our life as brothers, to be a parable of that communion which Christ brought for all humanity.

We confide to you all the things we have talked about over the last few days – the kindness so essential for our common life, the co-responsibility and cooperation between us, our will to widen our friendships so as to contribute to the search for a new face of the Church. We pray that you will give us hearts that are open for these conversations to bear fruit.

We thank you for our brothers in the fraternities whose lives make the Gospel present in very diverse situations. Show us how our fraternities can evolve in a changing world and in accordance with the changes that our community is experiencing.

Teach us to listen better to the whisper of your Holy Spirit, in us and in our common life. Increase our faith in the presence and in the strength of your Spirit which always revives our vocation. Your Spirit is the spring that never dries up. Help us to draw from this spring the courageous decisions that will allow the heritage of our community to be always renewed, in our desire to achieve a common creation supported by all the brothers.

Your Holy Spirit leads us to listen more to one another. You have given us the opportunity to experience this during these days of our Council. In listening to one another you give us new insights and the courage to put them into practice.

We entrust to you all that is going to be part of our live this year in community, in the confidence that you will guide us in the future as you have done until now. Keep us in joy and in a spirit of generosity.

We entrust to you the whole Church, the project "Together – the Gathering of the People of God", the journeys of the brothers to reach out to young people on different continents, the meetings in Taizé, Ljubljana and elsewhere, as well as the pastoral initiatives that our brothers will be undertaking in the fraternities.

And we ardently entrust to you all those who bear serious wounds, the victims of war, in Ukraine and elsewhere, the victims of sexual aggression and spiritual abuse, migrants, those who suffer from climate change, the sick and all those forgotten in our societies.
God of love, in Christ you give us a living hope. Grant that we may be faithful witnesses to this.


To watch the evening prayer on video:

Death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

On December 31, 2022, the news reached the brothers and participants in the European meeting in Rostock that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had entered the life of eternity. Brother Alois said a few words of homage at the beginning of the prayer and invited all present to a moment of recollection. He recalls here some memories linked to the pope’s relationship with Taizé.
The death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI touches our hearts in Taizé because our community has had a relationship with him for over half a century. In fact, Joseph Ratzinger and Brother Roger already knew each other at the Second Vatican Council, where one was an expert and the other an observer.
 
I remember myself staying with Brother Roger at the home of the theologian who became Archbishop of Munich during a meeting of young people that we had prepared in that city. He received us warmly in his house.
 
Later, when Brother Roger went to Rome every year to meet Pope John Paul II, he often went to visit Cardinal Ratzinger, then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in order to have an in-depth exchange with him.
 
The last letter written by Brother Roger three days before he was murdered was addressed to the new Pope Benedict XVI to tell him that his advanced age did not allow him to go to the WYD in Cologne, but that he would go as soon as possible to greet him in Rome. The Pope had this letter in his hands during the general audience on Wednesday when he announced with sadness the tragic death of the founder of our community. He held Brother Roger in great esteem, and five years after his death he wrote: "May his witness to an ecumenism of holiness inspire us in our march towards unity.”
 
Personally, I am very grateful for the welcome that Benedict XVI gave me when I went to meet him a few months after the beginning of my new ministry as prior of our community. The same year, 2005, saw the death of John Paul II and of Brother Roger. How would our community’s relationship with the Pope continue? From the very first audience I understood that his confidence in us had been won and that I could go to see him every year. He told me: "In Taizé, you have the songs and the silence, you go to the essential with the young people, towards a personal relationship with God.” This was very important for him and for us.
 
The relationship with him culminated in the prayer we celebrated in his presence on December 29, 2012, during our young adult European meeting in Rome. To the thousands of young people gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Benedict XVI said, among other things, "I assure you of the Catholic Church’s irrevocable commitment to continue to search for ways of reconciliation in order to achieve the visible unity of Christians."
 
A few weeks later he resigned, and I made a point of going to see him in his retirement the following year to thank him for the unfailing support he had always given to our community in its vocation.


Photo: (C) Servizio Fotografico dell’Osservatore Romano | Vatican Media

Ursula von der Leyen in Taizé

Taizé • Press release | Friday 19 August 2022

The international meetings have resumed their course in Taizé after two years marked by the pandemic. Since Easter, more than 20,000 young people have come to take part week after week in the activities offered: community prayer, sharing in small groups, workshops for reflection, practical tasks.

The end of the summer will be marked by an exceptional visit: Mrs Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, will be in Taizé on Saturday 27 August. During her visit, she will meet with the community and dialogue with young people present in Taizé that week. She will give a public lecture on European affairs at 5:30 pm. It will be possible to attend this conference by registering in advance. (Update: This possibility is now closed. You can of course follow the conference online.)

During this special week for young adults from 18 to 35 years old, other speakers will lead workshops, among them experts in various fields, scientists, political leaders—the full program will be published on the website. A special program on saving biodiversity will be offered for those who wish to attend.

Brother Alois reacts: “Our desire as a community is that all the young people who come to Taizé may feel that trust in God helps them to find meaning in their lives and to assume responsibilities when they return home. Ursula von der Leyen’s visit is an important moment, which indicates that the aspirations and commitments of the younger generation are being heard and taken into account by political leaders and institutions. In this respect, this visit, in the serious crises of the present time, will be a sign of hope.”

Some news in brief :

  • • This Saturday, August 20, as part of the "week of witness to the Orthodox faith", a special day will take place in Taizé: Metropolitan Dimitrios will come from Paris to celebrate the divine liturgy at 9 am, in the Church of Reconciliation.
  • • The evening prayer continues to be broadcast live each day in audio on the Taizé website, and the Saturday evening prayer in live video.

Media Accreditation

To follow Ursula von der Leyen’s conference as a journalist or photographer, it is necessary to request an accreditation via this online form .

To obtain photos of the summer in Taizé, or to request an interview with brothers or volunteers, write to us at media taize.fr.

A meeting at Taizé

From July 10 to 12, on the invitation of the Taizé Community, a meeting brought together representatives of several national youth ministry services and Catholic movements involved in ecumenism, as well as Protestant and Anglican Christians. The discussions focused on the question: how can the synodal pathway which is taking place in the Catholic Church become a powerful moment in the search for unity among Christians and the whole human family, and how can we encourage the involvement of young people in this process?

Among the participants who spoke were Sister Nathalie Becquart, xmcj, from the Synod Secretariat; Father Hyacinthe Destivelle, op, from the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity; Father João Chagas, from the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life; Brother Alois, prior of Taizé. These days enabled us to walk together in great diversity and in hope for unity.

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 | 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!

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

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)