What is Taizé Worship and How To?

How it contributes to my worship practices.


In the south of Burgundy, France lays a small village called Taizé. (Link to Google Maps) This village founded over seventy years ago by Brother Roger is home to a monastic community devoted to prayer and reconciliation. The community is made up of brothers from all the continents and major denominations who gather together three times a day, seven days a week, throughout the year to pray (whether there are 7000 young people present or only twenty).

Taizé Building Community

Taizé contributes to Christian worship practices. While Taizé worship as practiced in the monastic community cannot be simply imitated, it can and has been adapted by many Christian communities here.

  • Repetitive Sung Prayer: The characteristic of Taizé worship that is most prevalent in our worship has been the use of a kind of repetitive prayer set to simple musical lines. Repetition is not a new phenomenon nor unique to Taizé. The use of repetitive prayers is a long attested reality in the history of Christian spirituality and liturgy. Examples of music from the Taizé community can be found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship.
  • Silence: Another characteristic of Taizé worship that has been a welcome gift to Lutheran worship is its generous use of silence. Those simply incorporating Taizé music may not experience this fully, but when planning an entire worship service in the style of Taize, silence will be a very important dimension of worship. The use of silence in Taizé raises an important questions: how can we incorporate a more ample time of silence in worship rather than filling every moment with words or music? A thought we must contemplate.

Meditative Worship

Meditative Worship intentionally includes the elements of silence, repetition and sung prayer among other aspects. 

  • Qualities of meditative worship would enrich the Sunday pattern of Gathering, Word, Meal and Sending
  • Musical refrains from the Taizé tradition are easily memorized and can be sung by heart. Congregations are rediscovering the profound yet simple way of singing without the aid of books/screens or printed materials.

At St Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church

The practice in our church follows the characteristics outline by those followed at Taizé

  • Lighting is provided by candles distributed around the sanctuary. Small flashlights are available if additional illumination is needed for following the bulletin.
  • Music accompaniment is provided by musicians as songs are sung and repeated. A bulletin provides the stanzas if one is required, or just hum or sing from memory.
  • Silent Mediation is provided for calming and cleansing. It is also a period of listen, taking in every moment of here and now.

Congregate with friends or join in online. The recorded Taizé service is also found online to have the benefit of reverence as your schedule allows. https://www.stlukelutheran.org/worship_services May this time allow for deep thought into how we may continue to serve in the glory of His name.

Thanks to St Luke Evangelical Lutheran Taizé Worship Leaders and Musicians:

Preparations/Readings: Becky Snyder and Faith Thunberg
Guitar: Linda Holt and Todd Snyder