Sunday, 9 September 2012

Taizé Beamed Across France

It is Sunday today. I always make a full breakfast on a Sunday and I wanted to be in Taizé by 09.00, so I had to get up very early, by my standards. This morning’s service from the Church of Reconciliation was to be televised live. The service was due to start on TV at 10.45 which I found a bit odd, as it normally starts at 10.00. Anyway, at 09.00 the place was heaving with camera crews and technicians. There were at least 5 big lorries outside the church and inside that were cameras, lighting, scaffolding and who knows what other stuff, not to mention the tons of extra equipment lying around waiting to be installed or waiting in the wings just in case.

On France 2, Sunday morning is dedicated to religion. The morning starts at 08.30 with Buddhism, it moves on to Islam, Judaism and then finally the programme I had been waiting for “Le Jour du Seigneur” which covers a Catholic mass from somewhere in France and a couple of short pieces of background. Today it was Taizé’s turn.

Whilst hanging out the washing in the garden, I heard the bells start at 10.00 and they rang until 10.10, so it appeared that the service had been slightly delayed by all the bustle. Off to the TV. I had to wait until 10.45 before the “live” service started - not so live then. But before the actual service, there was an interesting little film about Taizé, interviewing some of the young people who are there for a short stay, some young people who are staying longer - the so-called permanents and a couple of the monks.

The televised service was a normal Sunday morning communion service, but today everything was in French. One thing was different though. Frère Alois has taken to giving “meditations” during the Thursday evening services and he did that this morning as well. I am not sure that this really adds to the service, as in my view, it takes away from the international nature of the whole thing. If you speak French you are OK, but if not, you are excluded, which I would have thought was against everything the Taizé services stand for.

After the service, Frère Alois was interviewed outside the church. It was interesting to hear his views on various things and hear his memories of the earlier years of Taizé and there was some very nice old film footage.

All in all, it was fascinating for me to have an overview of the service and how things operate. When you are down on the floor, you only see your own bit of the church and you miss out on the bigger picture. So I am glad I watched it on TV and not in the church itself, even if I did miss out being on TV yet again.

La Tuilerie Website

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