Prayer at Taizé

Singing and silence

We call prayer at Taizé “common prayer,” not the “office,” which suggests a work obligation: “We do our office,” “We do what we ought to do.” That doesn’t correspond to the way we experience prayer in our lives. To say prayer is “common” is to say that it brings us together. Of course, each member of the community tries to find time for personal prayer. But prayer in the church brings us all together.

A lot of people say, “Well, God is close to you anywhere.” Of course, a Christian prays on his own. But prayer brings us together. And a certain attention given to God will have an effect on the way we are with others. If God really is communion—Father, Son, Holy Spirit—then that same communion will have some bearing on the life we live with others.


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