Taizé is an international and ecumenical monastic community in France. They are Catholic and Protestant brothers whose purpose is to show the world that Christians of all tripes and colors can live together in harmony, in love and service to Christ.
One of their many gifts to the world is a unique style of contemplative worship. Essentially,the service is composed of three parts: singing, sacred reading and silence. It is the singing that is central to the service and where great sensitivity to the Spirit is required. In a Taizé service the songs are usually, but not necessarily, short, simple phrases from scripture sung repetitively and meditatively. The purpose of singing in this way is to allow the cognitive mind to gradually relax, and to allow the intuitive side to be present and open to the Spirit of God. This transforms the singing into prayer of the heart. The silence that follows serves to reinforce the heart’s receptiveness of the Spirit, and personalizes the experience. The reading allows us to hear and be inspired by the words of scripture, or the words of some other traveler on the path to God in Christ.