Some Recent News

Week of prayer for Christian unity

The week of prayer for Christian unity will take place, as every year from January 18 to 25. All our friends from the area are invited to come to Taizé on Thursday January 18 at 6pm for a prayer service, followed by refreshments. The prayer will be broadcast live:

Before this, beginning at 5pm in room 15, there will be a meeting with Brother Matthew for those who wish.

NB: evening prayer will take place on January 18 at 6pm, and not at 8:30pm as usual.


Christmas Meditation by Brother Matthew

Welcome to all of you who have come from the region near Taizé this Christmas night when we are celebrating the nativity of Jesus. With my brothers, we are very glad to welcome you here in the Church of Reconciliation. At the end of the Eucharist, we are going to light our candles with the light that has come from Bethlehem and which is burning in this lantern. Then we will go outside and sing in front of the crib outside the church.

We have just heard the Gospel of the birth of Jesus. It’s a well-known story for many of us, but what does it have to say to us this evening? For me, it is a story that offers us some Christmas gifts. I can think of three gifts that we can receive by listening to it, gifts that God gives to each one of us. Perhaps you will recognise others as you reread the story.

The first gift is “joy”. There are the shepherds; they are not privileged people; they have to spend the night outside with their sheep. To these poor people, the angel, God’s messenger, announces “great joy”, not only for them but for all the people: good news to be shared. The shepherds will in their turn become messengers of God.

This “great joy” will also be the joy of Jesus’ friends at the end of the Gospel. It will fill their hearts after Christ’s death and resurrection. Joy can come to birth when we go through tight places. What is the joy I am receiving these days? How can I share it with others?

The second gift is called “peace”. At the sight of God’s messenger, the shepherds were seized with great fear. We can be taken aback when we realise that God is present. But the angel says: “Do not be afraid”. And then the whole sky sings of the peace that God offers to all the inhabitants of the earth, whom he loves without exception.

The peace that the shepherds receive in their hearts is to shine out around them. One of the early witnesses to Christ said: “Begin the work of peace within yourself so that, once you are at peace, you may bring peace to others”. Thinking about the violence in ourselves, in our societies and in our world, what is my responsibility for of this peace that God announces and entrusts to us?

The third gift I would call “newness”. The birth of Jesus is something completely new in the history of humanity. And the amazing thing for us, as for the shepherds, is that God chooses to meet us at the point where we are. God is no longer far away, but close to us. God is there, very weak, humble and poor in the baby Jesus, dependent on Mary, his mother, on Joseph and the others around him. And he entrusts himself to our care as well.
If something is new, it is often fragile. It needs to be welcomed, cared for and supported. And yet every new thing is part of a story. It is not by chance that Luke begins his account of the birth of Jesus by situating it among the current events of the time. What is new arises in our experience of life as it is lived, an experience in which we are invited to discern the traces of God.

What is the newness that God is asking us to welcome this Christmas night and during this Christmas season? Even if it is fragile, how can we create a space where we can nourish it and let it grow?

Let us welcome these three gifts from God: joy, peace and newness. Then we can then offer them to others too, by the way we live. Maybe this could be the challenge that Christmas presents to us all…

Celebration live from Taizé

The Christmas Eucharist was broadcast from 8.30pm (Paris time) on the evening of Sunday 24 December.

Brother Matthew has become prior

The Taizé Community has a new prior. On Saturday 2 December, Brother Alois handed over his office to Brother Matthew in the presence of representatives of various Churches and many friends of the Community, as well as the young people in Taizé for the week.

Among the Church representatives, five were asked to say a prayer for Brother Matthew’s start as “servant of communion” in the Community: Bishop Benoît Rivière of Autun, Chalon and Mâcon, Metropolitan Maximos of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Geneva, Anglican Bishops Olivia Graham of Reading and Smitha Prasadam of Huddersfield, and Pastor Laurent Schlumberger, former President of the United Protestant Church of France. Others present included Pastor Christian Krieger, President of the French Protestant Federation, and the Lutheran Bishop of Riga, Rinalds Grants.

Photos of some key moments

Photos : Tamino Petelinsek

To obtain high resolution photos, please write to media taize.fr.

30 September 2023

An ecumenical prayer vigil in Rome

On Sunday 15 January in Rome, at the end of the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis announced that the work of the next assembly of the Synod of the Roman Catholic Church would be preceded by an ecumenical prayer vigil on Saturday 30 September on St Peter’s Square, Rome:

"The path to Christian unity and the path of synodal conversion of the Church are linked. I would like to take this opportunity to say that on Saturday 30 September, an ecumenical prayer vigil will be held on St. Peter’s Square, with which we will entrust to God the work of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. For the young people coming to the vigil, there will be a special programme throughout that weekend, led by the Taizé community. As of now, I invite brothers and sisters of all Christian denominations to participate in this "Gathering of the People of God."

This gathering of the people of God was prepared by representatives of around fifty church groupings from many different denominations.

- See the event website www.together2023.net for more information.

The Lutheran Bishops of the Church of Sweden in Taizé | April 2023

Brother Alois and the Taizé Community were very happy to welcome in Taizé the Church of Sweden Bishops’ Conference for their biennial retreat from April 22 to 29, 2023. The bishops spent the week in silence and prayer, taking part in the community prayers and Bible studies led by the Taizé brothers.

During the Sunday Eucharist, the Archbishop of Uppsala, Martin Modéus, gave a meditation on the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. His closing words were "Jesus invites us to see the world, together with him, with the eyes of life and love. On our pilgrimage we are maybe not there. But he is there, looking at us with eyes shimmering with love." (full text online here)

The relationship between Taizé and the Church of Sweden goes back many years, but it was after a youth meeting in Linköping in 1990, on the invitation of Bishop Martin Lönnebo, who passed away on April 27, 2023 whilst the bishops were in Taizé, that the number of young people visiting from Sweden grew. Large numbers of youth leaders come together with their parishes to take part on the meetings in Taizé during Easter, summer and the All Saints holidays.

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