Monday, 29 April 2013

A few "firsts" to start the week

2009 organ
The Taizé organ
The alarm woke me at 06.30 - yes I know, very uncivilised, but it was a big day for me – and I was out of the door before 07.30 waiting for my lift. A detour via the boulangerie to get croissants which we ate in the car, then on to Taizé for my first ever early morning service. I have always said I should go, just to see what it was like, but well mornings and me don’t really go together. During the service came my second first of the day. I actually heard someone play the organ ! I have wondered what it sounded like since it was installed 4 years ago – it has never been played on a Sunday when I have been there for some reason. To be honest, it was not really worth waiting for, but then again, I have at least heard it being played.

The morning service starts between 08.20 and 08.30 and is simple and relatively short, similar to the lunchtime service but with communion laid on. The bread and wine are actually blessed in a separate service which takes place at about 07.45 in the crypt. Those who want to, can join in this service, but we were just a tad too late for that. Just an aside, I have heard that this service is held in the main church in the summer months, as the crypt is not very big. After the main service, no one hangs around as you have to queue for breakfast and eat it, in time to get to the Bible instructions which start at 10.00.

Breakfast - Taizé style
So my third first of the day was my first ever Taizé meal and yes, as everyone says, it was “simple”. A choice between tea (which my companions strongly advised against) or hot chocolate which was made without milk. We had a small bread roll, a pat of butter (real butter I might add, not margarine) and two sticks of chocolate. No cutlery - no one told me to bring my own – so I had to rip open the roll and squidge the butter on the surface, too bad it was so cold otherwise this method might have worked a bit better. I put the two sticks of chocolate between the chunks of butter and squashed it all together. Surprisingly tasty and enough for me for breakfast - maybe the croissant helped in that department as well. The “hot chocolate” was lacking in both the hot and the chocolate departments, but it was wet and I managed to drink most of it.

Companions for the morning
Then on to my fourth first of the day and to be honest, the real reason I had gone to Taizé at all this morning. I had heard stories from campers and people in the gîtes about the Bible instruction and I really wanted to see and hear for myself what it was all about and I wasn’t disappointed. We had a very small passage for the day Genesis ch12 v1 – 5 where God tell Abraham to leave and Abraham goes. On the face of it, not very scintillating stuff, but the brother in charge of the session, managed to get us (or should I say me?) to actually think about the words and the meaning behind the story. It is a very long time ago since I had any Bible instruction and my recollections of it are not all positive, but this morning, I was actually hanging on his every word, wondering where he was going with his talk. This is just the start of a week and the theme of “faith” for the week will be developed in the next five days, but I found the 40 minute or so talk very thought provoking and all other things being equal, I would have loved to join for the whole week, but on this occasion, work commitments decree otherwise.

Normally you join in with a discussion group at this point of the morning and you then spend the whole week with the same group to discuss what has been talked about in these sessions. As I was only there for one day, I left when the brother had finished his talk, leaving my companions behind. I then set off on my own and I thoroughly enjoyed my short walk home.

This morning has reminded me of Bruni who stayed in one of our gîtes back in 2010, when she told me that I should “treat myself” to a week of instruction in Taizé. I can now relate to that remark and who knows, one week when we have no one on the site, I might just do that.

For more details of the accommodation we have here at La Tuilerie click here.

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