The Easter Sunday service in Taizé is absolutely the biggest of the year, the number of people in the church is overwhelming. On a very full summer’s Sunday morning, there can be 12,000 people in the church, but this Sunday there were significantly more than that. I sat as usual near the emergency exits, but as all the aisles were full of people and the exits were blocked with people and wheelchairs, I didn’t fancy anyone’s chances if something had happened. The brothers must have put in place some sort of emergency plan as the church was constantly being patrolled by Red Cross first aiders in uniform with bags of equipment and there were a number of ambulances waiting outside, thankfully I don’t think they were called into action.
The start of the service saw the Easter candle being lit up by the altar, then it was carried around the church by two monks with the children and some other monks following and lighting the candles of the congregation as they went. I find the lighting of candles a very powerful symbol even if it was a mite dangerous in these over squashed conditions. I don’t know if they have changed their candle supplier, if these were special Easter candles or if my memory is not what it used to be, but the candles burned for much more than the six and a half minutes I mentioned in my Saturday night blog – this needs further investigation I think (wearing a watch might help for one thing.. ) In any case I figured out how the candle went out, but I will keep that secret for a future blog!
We were then greeted in French with “The Lord is Risen” and as we all replied “He is risen indeed” and the bells started to ring out. The monks then continued to read out “The Lord is Risen” in a multitude of languages and the replies came from all the corners of the church, sometimes just one or two voices, sometimes large groups. It was obvious that there was a very large Germans contingent, but what some of the smaller groups lacked in numbers, they made up for in volume!
I finally made it back just before 12 o’clock - nearly 3 hours after having left home, but it was a most enjoyable and uplifting morning.
La Tuilerie Website
Saturday, 16 April 2011
We went into La Maison du Charolais to find out the truth. The truth is that the market shut down years ago. Being so close to the market in St Christophe en Brionnais one of these markets had to go and it was Charolles. Ah well, it was a nice trip on a sunny day and it was almost time for lunch so we went in search of a restaurant. We knew of one in
Even though we didn’t see the market, we enjoyed some unexpected sites on our day out.
For details of our holiday accommodation see La Tuilerie Website
Friday, 8 April 2011
With the barbeque weather we are having at the moment, my spice cupboard is running a bit low and as most spices are very expensive in the shops around here (basically because it is only the really adventurous that cook food outside of the standard French repertoire) we are always on the lookout for new places to buy - the UK and The Netherlands are a long way to go just for some coriander! So yesterday morning we headed off for
The market was amazing. There was hardly a European face to be seen and not much French being spoken. It was like being dropped into a market in Marrakech. Arabic music blasting out of the music stalls and with all number of head scarves and long Arab dresses, I felt decidedly underdressed in my shorts and tee-shirt ! The market was big and diverse, in fact it took us nearly an hour just to walk round all the stalls. I found a fantastic spice stall and stocked up at bargain basement prices, for instance I managed to buy 500g of ginger powder for the same price I had paid in Cluny market for only 50g just a couple of weeks ago - having said that when you add the cost of petrol and the price of a lunch, it wasn’t so cheap after all, but it was a great morning out.
Click here for the website about our gites.
Sunday, 3 April 2011
It was lovely to sit in the garden, nice and warm and not wrapped up in our winter woollies, sipping wine whilst eating chicken saté fresh from the barbecue, accompanied by crocking frogs and chirping birds. Paradise in the sun!
La Tuilerie Website
Friday, 1 April 2011
When I saw the news today I was shocked to learn that Luminiţa Solcan, the lady in question, hangs between life and death having been stabbed by her roommate in the mental hospital ( in Dijon) that she has been confined to since that fateful day.
Some would say that Ms Solcan deserves what she has received, comments on newspaper sites that have run the story go along the lines that she deserved it, that you reap what you sow. But whilst those people are saying “an eye for an eye” I would agree more with Mahatma Gandhi when he said "An-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye ... ends in making everybody blind". She should be brought to justice, she should be made to accept what she has done no matter her mental state and that she should apologise and ask for forgiveness, she shouldn’t be stabbed to death.
What will be in the minds of the brothers of Taizé as they hear this news, will she be in their prayers at the moment? Will they be able to repeat the prayer spoken by Brother Alois at Frère Roger’s funeral: “God of goodness, we confide to your forgiveness Luminiţa Solcan, who in an act of illness put an end to the life of our Brother Roger. With Christ on the cross we say: Father, forgive her, she does not know what she has done.” I hope so.
The photo is from the Taizé website. Copyright © Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, 71250 Taizé, France.
La Tuilerie Website