Evening meditations

It’s day three of Taizé and I feel like I’m getting into the swing of it more now. After a while you feel as though you are settling down more into the daily rhythm of prayer, singing, eating together, chores and workshops.

What I like about the evening services here is that there is no hurry to get people out of the church once the service has ended at around 10pm. The music carries on, people lie stretched on the floor, some in prayer, others meditating (or possibly sleeping). And the brothers, dressed in their white monastic robes, don’t go off to bed but come among the crowd, so that people can go up to them and ask them things, or pray with them. I watched some young people confide in these brothers for what seemed like ages, while they listened attentively.

In our groups this afternoon, Sigrid, the Swedish Priest, talked about how at Taizé you imagine it will be easy to meet with God in such a place, away from everyday life, but it doesn’t always happen. There can be silence and disappointment when you don’t experience anything. The rest of us agreed with this – it can feel like everyone around you, who is kneeling and praying, is having a spiritual experience, except you. But then someone else made the point that although it can feel like nothing happening is when we expect it to, God isn’t missing these quiet, still moments of prayer. Maybe we’ll see the fruits of them somewhere down the line, if not right now.

In the afternoon, after the workshops, we queued for tea and cookies, and then joined in on a sing along with a crowd of young people who had gathered around on some benches, with their guitars, singing Beatles – their energy uncontainable. I never remember having that much energy as a teenager.

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