Each Thursday evening at 7:00 pm we gather in Pioneer Hall (our original church building) for a worship experience very different from Sunday morning. Taizé (pronounced tay-zay) is a 30-minute service of singing, scripture, prayer, and silence based on the pattern of worship in use at the ecumenical community at Taizé, France. It is a contemplative, candlelight service in which we sing and pray together. The music is that of the Taizé community in France, consisting of simple chants and rounds that are easily learned and quite beautiful. Taizé worship is intentionally ecumenical and we welcome regular worshippers and guests from throughout Manhattan and the world.
Taizé worship can now be found around the world, but it began in Taizé, a tiny village in the hills of Burgundy, in the eastern part of France. In 1940, a protestant pastor came to the village with a dream of starting a community “on account of Christ and the Gospel.” This was an area of considerable distress in those years. It was wartime, and Brother Roger’s house became a place of welcome for refugees, especially Jews, fleeing from the Nazi occupation.
As more people came to know of Taizé as a place of refuge, others came to join Roger in service and worship. From these humble beginnings, Taizé has become a place of worship, service, and welcome for millions. During the summer, tens of thousands of youth make week-long pilgrimages to worship at Taizé. The village becomes a tent city, and the pilgrims do the work of feeding cleaning and welcoming in a remarkable system of volunteer organization.
Learn more about Taizé.