I’d heard the name before, but never been a part. And we were running late as Addie, my dad, and I entered the church at about 6:04. I could hear the pastor reading scripture, but couldn’t see him. Only a table up front with candles and some containers up there. Then I saw Bob sitting on the front pew, facing the front like everyone else, as he was reading from The Gospel.
We took a seat and began to look at the bulletin. Hmmm. This Taize’ service isnt’ like a regular service.
TaizÃ©, pronounced (Teh-ZAY) is an ecumenical, peaceful way to pray, using (easy to learn) musical chants, silent meditation, and scripture readings… a meditative, common prayer. Gathered in the presence of Christ we sing uncomplicated repetitive short songs like breath prayers, uncluttered by too many words, allowing the mystery of God to become tangible through the beauty of the Spirit in its simplicity. A few words sung over and over again (mantra) reinforce the meditative quality of prayer. They express a basic reality of faith that can quickly be grasped by the intellect, and will gradually penetrate the whole being.
After scripture and repeatedly singing “Remember me when You come into Your Kingdom” there was time for silent and reflective prayer. It lasted quite a while, then an invitation to light a candle and place it in a mini-sandbox of sorts as a sign of repentance and then to pray at the alter. If you desired to be anointed w/ oil and one of the pastors to pray over you, you’d cup your hands as a signal.
I told Addie I was going to go down and she was quite insistent that she knew how to do it. That she could light a candle. But I told her to wait and we’d explain everything at a later time. So I went up and prayed and was annoited and returned. And she still was saying she could do it.
I told her that people were doing it as a sign of turning from wrong living and telling God they wanted to live completely for Him. She nodded. And she wanted to go ahead.After explaining again that we’d talk about it later, she seemed to be okay w/ waiting. But then I began to think. Even if she, in her four year old head, doesn’t understand it completely, should that keep her from wanting to go down and pray? Heck, how many of the adults that go down understand it completely? Probably NONE. So we went.
She lit a candle, set it in the sand. And then we went to kneel. I prayed for her, and could her her whispering a prayer at the same time. I don’t know if it was one of her own, or if she was repeating mine. And then Davis, our Associate Pastor prayed over her for God to give her wisdom and understanding of Him as she grows and annointed her with oil.
It was quite special.