Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Taizé Prayer – A Couple Thoughts

December 1st, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

I’m sure some of you have experienced “Taizé Prayer”. For those of you who have not, it is described as the following on the website for St. Mary’s in Canandaigua:

Taizé Prayer is an ecumenical meditative service, where one invites God’s presence to penetrate one’s innermost being. This form of prayer comes from the Christian monastic community of Taizé, located in the heart of the Burgundy region in France. Through the repetition of musical phrases over and over, your body and your mind slow down enough to be able to listen to the voice of God that is planted deep within you.

Alright. But isn’t the Mass “where one invites God’s presence to penetrate one’s innermost being”?

I am all for ecumenism. Don’t get me wrong. I believe there should be one Church, not a myriad of dissenting voices. What would this Church be called? The Catholic Church. The Church exists to move the world, not to be moved by it – the Church of Rome is principal in every way. This being said, I dislike it when Protestant influences, even “monastic” ones, take precedence over Catholic traditions. Why have Taizé chant when one can have Gregorian chant? Are we that hostile to our own history and heritage that we cringe when we hear something Catholic, but smile and sway when we hear something Protestant?

And get this: much of Taizé prayer is in (any guesses, anyone?) . . . Latin. Yes. Ubi Caritas et Amor. Veni Sancte Spiritus. Et cetera ad infinitem. I am baffled.

Remember – there’s a fine line between being open to other faiths, as in “being respectful”, and becoming supportive of their errors. While I do see the good in Taizé prayer, I fail to see why it occupies a principal place in some Catholic church services, be they Mass, Vespers, or (often-illicit) communal Penance services.

On a side note, the monk who founded the Protestant monastic community at Taizé was stabbed to death during one of his ecumenical services. I leave you to draw your own conclusions/make macabre liturgy jokes.

(For your own edification, compare the following two versions of “Veni Sancte Spiritus”.)

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3 Responses to “Taizé Prayer – A Couple Thoughts”

  1. avatar Dr. K says:

    All we gotta do is dress up our traditional Latin hymns as “diversity” and the progressives would gobble it up!

  2. avatar francesca says:

    The community of Taize does not and cannot control who sings their chants and plans a prayer service. They do very good work and John Paul II visited the community and admired their work. It would be a mistake to assume that they admire the type of solipsism that has overtaken believers in some locales such as relatively affluent parts of the U.S. Their prayer is very much in the spirit of adoration, and embraced by young believers from all over the world. Unfortunately for Catholics in certain parts of this country, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a part of our tradition which has been studiously denied us by our supposed leaders. In parts of the country where Bishops do encourage Eucharistic Adoration, particularly for young people, vocations are up, young people are energized. Young people seek a challenge in their faith and they are not getting it in places where the faith is being unjustly compromised. Just a thought.

  3. avatar true faith says:

    I abhor the smugness and elitism of this article . Where has the author been ? To state that the One Church where there are no dissenting voices is ” The Catholic Church ” ? The author must have been living in a vacuum or else have been brainwashed ! There has been constant dissection among factions and orders within The Catholic Church for centuries . There has also been the past scandal of the many European Inquisitions , The Spanish Inquisition , The Mexican Inquisition , The Caribbean Inquisition , and The Inquisitions in South America . There are the more recent scandals of priestly sexual abuse , The Incarceration of ” Poor – At Risk Young Teenage Girls ” in Convent Prisons in Ireland – uncovered – where these women were locked in convent prisons for life because they were poor and at risk of having an illegitimate out of wedlock . There is the money and banking scandal of The Vatican Bank which first came to light in the late 1970s and the connection to The Mafia . The holdings of The Vatican were frozen in European banks just a couple years ago for improprieties and the Head was fired. There is no pure and errorless church in the world as long as it is run by human beings and it exists in a fallen world . The two errors which always existed was : punishing any dissection with violence or silencing those who disagree, covering up any corruption or wrong doing instead of exposing it immediately and dealing with it and being critical of others and judging behaviors in the light of specific regulations instead of approaching others with the gift of charity and spending more time in self introspection.
    The fact that Brother Roger was stabbed during a Taize event speaks more of our fallen world and the sinfulness of men rather than ” an error in his ministry ”
    There have been many Christians and saints who have been executed and murdered because of their faith , both past and present . Bishop Romero was just one of them . This is how the world treated Our Savior , Our Master . Would the world not treat His servants as well ?


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