Community living at Taizé

Today is the penultimate day of my week at Taizé. Tomorrow will see thousands leave and another few thousand arrive at this small village in France for another week of prayer, singing and community living.

I’m certainly getting into the rhythm of daily life here, and feel more relaxed than I did when I first arrived.

Last night the evening service was really beautiful. Everyone was given a candle at the start, and halfway through they were gradually all lit. At the end hundreds queued up to kneel and pray at a cross laid at the front of the church. I think it was a celebration of the transfiguration of Christ, although I wasn’t entirely sure.

Yesterday I found the need to get out of the Taizé compound, so I went for a long walk to a nearby wood with Rose, the friend I came with. The countryside around here is really beautiful.

This morning we had the final talk by Brother Emile on a chapter in the book of John, which focused on community. Some of the realities of the kingdom of God, he said, only really come to life when we are together in community – things like love, peace, faith, joy, personal failure. We experience all these things when we are together; when we are in relationship with others.

Community life really can be a challenge and I can certainly handle it for a week, but beyond this I’m not sure. I think I would need a much greater capacity for forgiveness and love, but then maybe these are the things you slowly learn when you are in community.


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