I have spent the past few months thinking about Taizé.
The Taizé Community is an Christian monastic order in Taizé, Burgundy, France. It is composed of about 100 brothers who come from Protestant and Catholic traditions. The brothers come from about 30 countries across the world. It was founded in 1940 by Brother Roger. The community has become one of the world’s most important sites of Christian pilgrimage. Over 100,000 young people from around the world make pilgrimages to Taizé each year for prayer, Bible study, sharing, and communal work.
My wife and I took a group of high school students back in 1995 and it has left a lasting impression on me. I often think about my experiences there. The 1,000’s of young people camping out in the French countryside was just remarkable. Everyone arrives there on some kind of pilgrimage. But a spiritual quest with that many teens means late night jam sessions signing Bruce Springsteen, Beatles and U2 songs. It also means prayer several times a day and Bible studies in many different languages. I can still hear the singing. I often think of the kids we took and how powerful and fun it was and how they are all grown ups now. I have never experienced anything like it before or since. I think about going back all the time.
I just picked up Olivier Clément’s book, Taizé: A Meaning to Life. It got me thinking about what relationship the Orthodox have had and what kind of relationship we could/should have with Taizé.
Here are a few links about Orthodox interaction with Taizé: