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Palm Sunday Taize Service w

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Palm Sunday Taize Service w/Order

All information was taken from the Taize website.

In a large congregation it may be necessary for someone to direct, as discreetly as possible, a small group of instruments or singers who support the rest, always remembering that they are not giving a performance for the others. The person who begins the songs is generally up front, together with those who will read the psalm, the reading and the intercessions, not facing the others but turned like them towards the altar.  

 

The Bells of Taize recording played as people are gathering http://www.taize.fr/en_article681.html

Introduction

The Taizé Community, an ecumenical Christian monastic order in France, has spawned a unique style of worship music that reflects the meditative nature of the community. Taizé music emphasizes simple phrases, usually lines from Psalms or other pieces of Scripture, repeated and sometimes also sung in canon, which is intended to aid in meditation and prayer.

The founder of the community, Frère Roger said, “Nothing is more conducive to a communion with the living God than a meditative common prayer with, as its high point, singing that never ends and that continues in the silence of one’s heart when one is alone again.”

Singing is one of the most essential elements of worship. Short songs, repeated again and again, give it a meditative character. Using just a few words they express a basic reality of faith, quickly grasped by the mind. As the words are sung over many times, this reality gradually penetrates the whole being. Meditative singing thus becomes a way of listening to God. It allows everyone to take part in a time of prayer together and to remain together in attentive waiting on God, without having to fix the length of time too exactly.

To open the gates of trust in God, nothing can replace the beauty of human voices united in song. This beauty can give us a glimpse of "heaven’s joy on earth," as Eastern Christians put it. And an inner life begins to blossom within us.  These songs also sustain personal prayer. Through them, little by little, our being finds an inner unity in God. They can continue in the silence of our hearts when we are at work, speaking with others or resting. In this way prayer and daily life are united. They allow us to keep on praying even when we are unaware of it, in the silence of our hearts.

Song

 

Psalm

With all my voice I cry to you, Lord, with all my voice I entreat you, Lord.  I pour out my trouble before you; I tell you all my distress while my spirit faints within me. But you, O Lord, know my path.  On the way where I shall walk they have hidden a snare to entrap me.  Look on my right and see: there is no one who takes my part.  I have no means of escape, not one who cares for my soul.  I cry to you, O Lord, I have said, “You are my refuge, all I have in the land of the living.” Listen, then, to my cry for I am in the depths of distress.  Rescue me from those who pursue me for they are stronger than I.  Bring my soul out of this prison and then I shall praise your name.  Around me the just will assemble because of your goodness to me. - Psalm 142

Reading

“Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. (…) During supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” - John 13,1.3-5.12-15

Song

 

Silence and prayer Introduction - If we take as our guide the oldest prayer book, the biblical Psalms, we note two main forms of prayer. One is a lament and cry for help. The other is thanksgiving and praise to God. On a more hidden level, there is a third kind of prayer, without demands or explicit expression of praise. In Psalm 131 for instance, there is nothing but quietness and confidence: "I have calmed and quieted my soul … hope in the Lord from this time on and forevermore."

At times prayer becomes silent. Peaceful communion with God can do without words. "I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother." Like the satisfied child who has stopped crying and is in its mother’s arms, so can "my soul be with me" in the presence of God. Prayer then needs no words, maybe not even thoughts.

How is it possible to reach inner silence? Sometimes we are apparently silent, and yet we have great discussions within, struggling with imaginary partners or with ourselves. Calming our souls requires a kind of simplicity: "I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvellous for me." Silence means recognising that my worries can’t do much. Silence means leaving to God what is beyond my reach and capacity. A moment of silence, even very short, is like a holy stop, a sabbatical rest, a truce of worries.

The turmoil of our thoughts can be compared to the storm that struck the disciples’ boat on the Sea of Galilee while Jesus was sleeping. Like them, we may be helpless, full of anxiety, and incapable of calming ourselves. But Christ is able to come to our help as well. As he rebuked the wind and the sea and "there was a great calm", he can also quiet our heart when it is agitated by fears and worries (Mark 4). Remaining silent, we trust and hope in God. One psalm suggests that silence is even a form of praise. We are used to reading at the beginning of Psalm 65: "Praise is due to you, O God". This translation follows the Greek text, but actually the Hebrew text printed in most Bibles reads: "Silence is praise to you, O God". When words and thoughts come to an end, God is praised in silent wonder and admiration.

The Word of God: thunder and silence - At Sinai, God spoke to Moses and the Israelites. Thunder and lightning and an ever-louder sound of a trumpet preceded and accompanied the Word of God (Exodus 19). Centuries later, the prophet Elijah returned to the same mountain of God. There he experienced storm and earthquake and fire as his ancestors did, and he was ready to listen to God speaking in the thunder. But the Lord was not in any of the familiar mighty phenomena. When all the noise was over, Elijah heard "a sound of sheer silence", and God spoke to him (1 Kings 19).

Does God speak with a loud voice or in a breath of silence? Should we take as example the people gathered at Sinai or the prophet Elijah? This might be a wrong alternative. The terrifying phenomena related to the gift of the Ten Commandments emphasise how serious these are. Keeping or rejecting them is a question of life or death. Seeing a child running straight under a car, one is right to shout as loud as possible. In analogous situations prophets speak the word of God so that it makes our ears ring.

Loud words certainly make themselves heard; they are impressive. But we also know that they hardly touch the hearts. They are resisted rather than welcomed. Elijah’s experience shows that God does not want to impress, but to be understood and accepted. God chose "a sound of sheer silence" in order to speak. This is a paradox:

God is silent and yet speaking - When God’s word becomes "a sound of sheer silence", it is more efficient then ever to change our hearts. The heavy storm on Mount Sinai was splitting rocks, but God’s silent word is able to break open human hearts of stone. For Elijah himself the sudden silence was probably more fearsome than the storm and thunder. The loud and mighty manifestations of God were somehow familiar to him.

God’s silence is disconcerting, so very different from all Elijah knew before.

Silence makes us ready for a new meeting with God. In silence, God’s word can reach the hidden corners of our hearts. In silence, it proves to be "sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit" (Hebrews 4:12). In silence, we stop hiding before God, and the light of Christ can reach and heal and transform even what we are ashamed of.

Silence and love- Christ says: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:12). We need silence in order to welcome these words and put them into practice. When we are agitated and restless, we have so many arguments and reasons not to forgive and not to love too easily. But when we "have calmed and quieted our soul", these reasons turn out to be quite insignificant. Maybe we sometimes avoid silence, preferring whatever noise, words or distraction, because inner peace is a risky thing: it makes us empty and poor, disintegrates bitterness and leads us to the gift of ourselves. Silent and poor, our hearts are overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit, filled with an unconditional love. Silence is a humble yet secure path to loving.

Time of Silence

Litany of praise

Let us contemplate Jesus the Lord: instead of the joy meant for him, he endured the cross, disregarding its disgrace.
—We worship you, Lord, upon the cross.

O Jesus Christ, born in humility to confound the proud and to raise the humble,
—We worship you, Lord, upon the cross.

You lived among us, healing the sick, proclaiming Good News to the poor and freedom to prisoners.
—We worship you, Lord, upon the cross.

You came to unbind the chains of every slavery, friend of the humble, bread of hungry hearts,
—We worship you, Lord, upon the cross.

Jesus, full of patience and goodness, you showed forgiveness and kindness to the very end.
—We worship you, Lord, upon the cross.

Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, you call to yourself all who are weary and burdened.
—We worship you, Lord, upon the cross.

Jesus, you came into the world to serve and to give your life; you were betrayed for money, dragged before judges and nailed to the cross.
—We worship you, Lord, upon the cross.

Jesus, Lord of the universe, by your resurrection from the dead you are alive at the Father’s side and there you prepare a place for us.
—We worship you, Lord, upon the cross.

Our Father

 

Communion

 

Prayer

Bless us, Lord Christ; you burn away the trials of life in the fire of your presence.

 

Songs

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