Advent Taize Service

An Invitation to St. Richard Church for an Advent Taize Candlelight Service on Sunday, December 16, at 4:00 p.m.

On Sunday afternoon of the Third Sunday of Advent, we invite you to join us, as we step away for an hour from the frantic pace of the holiday season, into the calming, quieting, experience of Taize prayer, and the real meaning of Advent.  The musicians of St. Richard Parish, accompanied by harp, flute, violin, and bells will lead the congregation in singing the prayerful, meditative music of Taize.  Readings of the season, silent meditations, and lighting of candles will enhance our experience of listening to God.

A Note from Jim Harris, Director of Music

St. Richard Church, Advent 2018

The Music of Taize

Hidden away in the hills of Burgundy, in the eastern part of France, is an ecumenical community of brothers , who helped Jews escape into Switzerland during the Nazi occupation of France. Founded in 1940, this community is made up of Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans, and Orthodox Brothers from some 20 different countries. In 1943, just before the Nazis came to arrest the members of the community, they escaped into Switzerland where they remained together until the end of the war.

The brothers returned to Taize in 1946 and began to attract visitors from all over the world. A form of song evolved that could enable people with no common language to participate in the community’s prayer. The Taize form of repetitive structure used short musical phrases with singable, easily memorized melodies. There were some very basic Latin texts, with verses added in numerous living languages.

Singing is one of the essential elements of the Taize community. Short songs, repeated again and again, give it a meditative character. Using just a few words they express a basic reality of faith, quickly grasped by the mind. As the words are sung over many times, this reality gradually penetrates the whole being. Meditative singing thus becomes a way of listening to God. It allows everyone to take part in a time of prayer together, and to remain together in attentive waiting on God, without having to fix the length of time too exactly.

The Taize community attracts thousands of visitors and pilgrims from all over the world. You can see some video clips of the Taize community on your computer, on YouTube, and hear the beauty and power of the music. Our Gather song book includes many Taize songs, such as “Jesus, Remember Me” composed by Jacques Berthier, (6-27-1923 to 6-27-1994) the French composer who wrote many of the songs of the Taize community.