When travelling together, think about how you can make the most of the journey time: get people to introduce themselves; ask someone to speak about Riga; have a time of prayer together...
You can also learn the songs that will be used during the meeting (You can download the song sheet here).
At the Welcome
At the welcome place, you will be asked for your registration code.
When you arrive you will receive the meeting programme booklet, a city map, the participant’s card (which will serve both as the meal ticket and the transport card for use on public transport) and an itinerarium showing you how to get to the local community where you will be staying. Keep these papers, especially the itinerarium with you at all times during the meeting. This itinierarium also has details of the times and places for the common prayers, tea and meal distributions and transport timetables where necessaary.
26 December (helpers arriving early)
Those who arrive on 26 December (young adults aged 17-35 only) will be assigned to the following teams (groups arriving together should split up):
practical work teams (meal distribution, welcoming people in the churches/prayer halls, public transport, etc.)
learning songs to support the singing during the common prayers (choir and orchestra)
welcoming people who arrive on 28 December
helping at local welcome points (in parishes and communal accommodation places)
From 29 December on, your work will normally allow you to take part in the programme in the local welcome point to which you have been allocated.
After being welcomed, participants follow their itinerarium to the designated welcome point to receive their accommodation. Hand in the “participant’s form” (fill it in beforehand). Then come back for your work, the evening meal and the prayer.
At the welcome, each person chooses between the 4 different ways of taking part in the European meeting:
1. Taking part in the life of a local welcome point: Morning - prayer, small group meetings; midday - common prayer simultaneously in Hall 1 of the International Exhibition Centre at Ķīpsala and in all the churches of the Old Town. Afternoon: workshops, meetings by country, etc. in different locations in the town centre. Evening - common prayer simultaneously in Arēna Rīga and Hall 1 at Ķīpsala.
2. Helping to lead the programme in a local welcome point: During the morning prayers and the small sharing groups in the morning your support will be a great help to the local team. In larger groups, choose one in every ten people to be an “animator” before coming to the meeting. On arrival, these people will receive some extra information.
3. Work teams (only for young adults aged 17-35): Organisation of meals, transport, directing participants, etc. A minimum of 20% of participants are needed to help in these teams. The working times will normally also allow you to take part in the programme of the local parish.
4. Choir group (only for those aged 17-35): Depending on how many places are available, you can join the group which supports the singing during the common prayers. You must be able to read music.
Large groups arriving together will be split up and sent to several different local welcome points.
After being welcomed go to your designated local welcome point, using the indications on the itinerarium. Pay careful attention to the timetables. On arrival there each person receives their accommodation. Hand in the “participant’s form” (which you have completed beforehand). Then go to the place indicated on your itinerarium for the evening meal and prayer.
Contribution to costs
For young people from English speaking countries, Scandinavia and Finland, the contribution is €75 (the same amount whether you arrive on 26 or 28 December). For adults over 35 the contribution is €115, unless they are accompanying a group in which case they may give the same contribution as the young people.
For us, the simplest way to make your contribution is by credit card, via your online registration, before 23 December. But please be aware that we cannot make any refunds.
If necessary, the contribution can also be given at the welcome place: in this case, please prepare the exact amount in euros only in advance.
If you need a receipt for your accounts, it is essential that you let us know at the time when you make your contribution.
Group leaders’ mobile phone number
On the on-line registration form we asked you to give a mobile phone number on which you can be contacted during the meeting in the event of an emergency. Please make sure this phone works in Latvia. If your mobile number is different from the one you gave when you registered, please tell us when you arrive. Please also make sure to give your number to all the members of your group.
On arrival the group leader will fill out a “Division of Group” form. Please keep this form with you during the whole meeting. It is the only way to know where the members of your groups are staying, if we need to find them.
During the meeting
Morning meetings in the parishes
The local parishes have been preparing for several weeks, or even months, the daily programme of the meeting to share with you: times of common prayer, small group discussions and meetings with people involved in the life of the local community... Your help for the morning prayers and the sharing groups will be greatly appreciated.
Common prayers and afternoon meetings
Twice a day, at midday and in the evening, everyone gathers together for prayer. These times are at the heart of the meeting. Everyone can join in with the singing.
At midday, the prayers will take place simultaneously in Hall 1 of the International Exhibition Centre at Ķīpsala and in all the churches of the Old Town. In the evening, simultaneously in Arēna Rīga and Hall 1 at Ķīpsala. It is very important to respect the times and places of prayer indicated on your itinerarium.
The security service asks us not to take food, drink or even umbrellas inside Arēna Rīga.
In the afternoons there are workshops in different venues in the city-centre.
Prayer vigil for peace and the "Festival of Nations"
On 31 December there will be a prayer vigil for peace, followed by a “Festival of Nations” in each local welcome point. It will be a simple celebration, without alcohol, ending at around 2 am. Please abide by the time arranged with your hosts for returning home, and do not go into the city-centre at night.
Written translations for Brothers’ reflections will be available at the entrance to Arēna Rīga and Hall 1 at Ķīpsala. During the prayers, several languages will be broadcast in turn over the loud speakers.
From 29 to 30 December, hot tea with be distributed in the town centre and in a hall at Ķīpsala.
For people praying in the evening in Arēna, from 28 to 31 December, a meal will be distributed between 5.30 and 6pm in the Olympic Centre "Elektrum". After the evening prayers from 28 to 30 December, a packed meal for lunch the next day will be given out at the exits of Arēna. For people praying in the evening at Ķīpsala, from 28 to 31 December, a meal will be distributed in Hall 2 together with a packed meal for lunch the next day. On December 31, packed meals will not be given out. Please always bring a bag, a mug or bowl as well as spoon.
If you are welcomed in a family they will give you breakfast each day and will invite you for lunch on the 1 January. If you are accommodated in a school or other communal accommodation place ask the coordinator of the local welcome point where you will eat lunch on 1 January.
In the city and on public transport
At the welcome each person will receive a participant’s card which will be valid in the trams, trolleybuses, buses (not the minibuses), shuttle buses, special buses and trains (between the town centre and place where you stay). .
For all journeys between the centre and the main meeting places, please respect carefully the information received.
On the evening of 31 December, evening public transport in Riga and the surroundings is reduced. Check your itinerarium for notes about transport that evening.
Watch out for pickpockets. Leave your ID with your hosts if you are staying with family and just take a photocopy with you.
To give a good witness in the city, please avoid over the top signs (flags, strange hats etc...) which may not reflect the spirit of pilgrimage and might be misunderstood.
For security reasons, as in all large cities, it is best to stay in small groups and not to go around alone.
In a large city, there may be sects or other ideological groups who want to take advantage of the presence of a lot of young people to try to recruit followers. They may distribute leaflets in public transport or around the meeting places. Some of these groups can be dangerous, it is better to remain vigilant and not accept their invitations. Also be attentive to the members of your group who naively may not know how to deal with such situations.
For the security of all, you will be asked to show your participant’s card correctly filled out and the contents of your bag when entering the halls for prayer.
Central phone number for the meeting
For all information and emergencies during the meeting:
+371 67 66 08 77
These numbers will be operational 24 hours a day during the meeting. Before 24 December, please use the usual number for the meetings team in Taizé.
If you came by coach:
You will find the departure point for your coach on the page: Welcome Place on 28 December and Departure Point on 1 January for English-speaking countries, Scandinavia and Finland
Please do not plan to leave before 5pm on Sunday 1 January.