The Stillness of Taize

This Sunday April 8th we are having a bit of a different worship experience for Ascension & Holy Trinity.  That’s right, the second Sunday of Easter our 10:00 liturgy will have strong elements of Taize-style music.  In fact, we won’t even be using the organ–I know, how adventurous of us!

Dr. Ted Gibboney, A&HT’s Minister of Music, has chosen some beautifully meditative music for this special service.  I met with Ted and three other A&HT guitar players last Tuesday to practice some pretty basic chords.  The hope is that these chords, strummed lightly on the guitars, will facilitate a peaceful, contemplative setting where all may settle their hearts and minds in our sacred space and be touched by the Resurrection in a quieter way.

I love celebrating the sacred mysteries of God’s abounding grace and love on Easter Sunday as much as the next priest, with all of the organ swells and brass music and so forth.  The Easter Sunday liturgy is big, bold, and beautiful as we seek to express our boundless joy for Christ’s resurrection.  And still, I need the quieter experiences, too, of remembering our Lord’s movement from cross to tomb to new life.  I crave the quiet repetition of music that repeats and creates the sense of washing over me.  I’m attracted to knowing that my voice can blend into the fold of the refrains easily, and at the same time, that same voice can humbly sit back and listen, relishing in the sacred sounds surrounding me.

Taize music isn’t for everyone.  You aren’t “less than” anyone else if this style of worship and music doesn’t speak to you any more than if traditional hymnody and organ music doesn’t completely match up with your needs.  Part of the point for me is that our faith community is willing to grow as disciples of the Risen Lord through different methods.  One method isn’t better than another.  They are simply different, and that is all right.

With Holy Eucharist being the theological center of our worship, naturally and fittingly, Communion will be a part of this Sunday’s 8:00 and 10:00 liturgies.  The 10:00 service, with its Taize atmosphere, will not have a homily, giving us more time to be still together.  Our 8:00 worship will have a homily with opportunity for discussion, similar to the way we enjoy our early worship service in the summer months.

I encourage you to invite your friends.  Invite your family.  You never know if someone will come to our worship unless you invite them.  Last Wednesday we had a newcomer for our mid-week Eucharist.  He was in the building doing important outreach preparations.  As I walked from the sacristy where I vested to the Memorial Chapel for worship, I saw him reading over some outreach material.  I wished him a good morning, and I invited him to worship.  The interaction took 45 seconds at the most.  Our Wednesday worship was all the better for his joining us that day.  Would he have joined us had I not invited him?  Maybe, maybe not.  It never hurts to offer, though.

In God’s Grace,