Taizé services usually take place on the fourth Sunday of the month at 8pm, excluding December and August.
Tell me about Taizé
The Taizé Community, based in eastern France, is a monastic community with both Protestant and Catholic traditions. It was founded by Brother Roger in 1940, and has a strong commitment to peace, justice and reconciliation. Each year it attracts many tens of thousands of young people from all over the world. The main characteristics of a Taizé service are extended periods of silence, and simple repetitive singing of short phrases of Scripture as an aid to meditation and prayer. Latin may be used, as a common language for the many different nationalities who go to Taizé.
What happens in the Taizé service at St Mary’s?
It’s a short, reflective service which takes place in the chancel and lasts half an hour. In a typical service, there’ll be a few sentences from Scripture and perhaps other sources, short prayers, and a period of silence for around 8 minutes. There will usually be four chants, each of which is sung many times, so it is easy to pick them up.
Is it open to everyone?
Yes, indeed. As well as some who attend St Mary’s regularly, some come to this service who don’t normally attend church, and visitors to Oxford and passers by often drop in because they have come across notices about the service.
Will I have to do anything?
You can come and just “be” in our beautiful church. Join in the singing, or listen quietly. Stop and speak after the service, or leave in silence if you wish. Use the silence in the service an opportunity to pray, reflect, contemplate or meditate in whatever way suits you. We have a short information sheet available in the service which explains a bit more about this if it’s new to you.
The leader may invite you to read a sentence or two, but won’t mind at all if you say no. If you’d like to have more of a role in creating and leading the services and the music, however, please do come along and speak to whoever is leading the service. We can help with access to resources, and can arrange for you to do it with someone else if you prefer.