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Taize Services Encourage Prayers for Peace and Quiet Reflection
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Sunday, December 3, 2023
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

With the days shortening and the darkness growing, St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Sun Valley is again offering its weekly Taize services to Wood River Valley residents.

The first will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 201 Sun Valley Road. They will continue on Tuesdays through Feb. 6, with the exception of Dec. 26 when the service will not be held because of the Christmas holidays.

Taize is a quiet, meditative candlelit service with chanting, spoken prayer and periods of silence for meditation, prayer and reflection.

“This is one of my favorite services we offer here at St. Thomas,” said the Rev. Kathleen Bean. “There is great power and comfort in gathering together for a common purpose, and we welcome all the valley to please come be with us, and pray for peace.”.

The ecumenical practice was founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schutz, a Swiss Protestant. He had been contemplating what it really meant to live a life according to the Scriptures. And he decided to center his effort in Taize, a small village in the Burgundy region of France, which was impoverished and suffering from war.

His home there became a sanctuary to countless war refugees during World War II. And today more than 100,000 young people from around the world make pilgrimages to Taize each year for prayer, Bible study and communal work. There they’re encouraged to live in a spirit of kindness, simplicity and reconciliation.

“Taize has a longstanding commitment to reconciliation, which feels especially relevant right now,” said Elinor Jannotta, a member of the church. “The environment created for this experience is breathtakingly beautiful, with an opportunity to light candles in solidarity with the suffering in the world and for loved ones. The essence of Taizé is its commitment to creating an atmosphere where people can connect with their inner selves, each other, and the divine.

“It does seem to be as needed as ever in our world right now,” Jannotta added. “And this incredible resource is right here in our town and available to all.”


 

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