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Lost in a Taize October 16, 2005

Posted by fajita in Uncategorized.

Sunday evening I went with a group of friends to a Taize (tay-ZAY or T’ZAY) worship offering at the Holy Communion Church (Episcopal) in Memphis.

We entered the building. Instantly we were greeted by the sound of a flute and harp. A harmony of beauty and peace could not be avoided. We entered the sanctuary from the rear. Lighting was medium-dim with lots of candles, dozens of them, in the front. Their littles lights dancing, speaking almost, the prayers of the saints.

There were about 75 people scattered in a sanctuary that could hold 300 -400.

It was liturgical with lots of repeticious chants. Now, that would sound to me boring, but having been there, it was anything but boring. It was calming, soothing, relaxing. There were moments of silence like I have never experienced in worship, ever. Beautiful moments of silence.

We communed at their open communion. I didn’t know how to do it without the little crackers and juice cups brought to me. But I followed along. We made two lines down the center aisle to receive communion. I took the wafer from the women and she told me that this was Christ’s body broken for me. I then went to another woman who held a goblet of wine (real wine I tell you) and she told me that this was Christ’s blood. Watching the people commune before me I learned that there were sippers and there were dippers. Sippers drank winde from the goblet while dippers dipped their wafer into the wine. I learned tonight that I am a dipper and definitely not a sipper.

At another point in the service we lit candles representing our prayers. I thought of someone I know who needs to know of God’s love. I let my prayer for her go up to God in the candle. I really liked doing that for her.

Every single word was not only written and read, it was available to us in a brochure. We sang in English and Latin.

This was a healing and refreshing experience for me.

Sadly, I couldn’t help but think that the different kind of communers – dipper and sippers – would have created a split in some restoration churches with a fight over whether Jesus dipped or sipped at the last supper. There is evidence that goes ways you know.

In the prayers and words spoken, there was a real sense of love and peace and reconciliation. It was a real departure from the “bless me” mentality that is so easy to fall into in evnagelical worship.

This was a rich experience and without powerpoint. I felt this connection to God that could never have happened in my church gathering.

God, thanks for this wonderful communion with you and with friends and with your church.



1. DJG - October 17, 2005

This sounds wonderful.

I wonder sometimes if I need a change just to regain my focus. I love how different experiences in different “cultures” will enhance my walk.

I think I might be a fellow dipper.

2. Brandon Scott - October 17, 2005

Sounds cool, man! Wish we’d been with you.

Thanks for your encouraging words. We love you guys so much. Maddie and Ella keep saying, “How much longer til Caanan and Sierra come back??”

Minnesota? Really???

3. TCS - October 17, 2005

that sounds Tayzee.. I hope I would be a sipper.

Thanks for sharing that. I think I will try the candles at our next group gathering. Candles and any flame has a unique power.

4. judy thomas - October 17, 2005

Taize is a uniquely beautiful service. We did it at Highland for several years, and it made me hungry for the next one. I miss that, although Otter’s Wed. night Vespers is very much like Taize. We actually set aside a time for silence. Sweet. That could be done in every worship service. Are we too anxious to get out in an hour to set aside time for silence?

5. Anonymous - October 17, 2005

Aw… did you delete my post because it said Satan? Wow.. you guys are like… WAY TOO religious. Sure.. but I’m only twelve.. what do you care?

6. Fajita - October 17, 2005

Dear Anon, I deleted the comment, and this is the truth, because I thought it was spam. It didn’t make sense to me. No offense intended.

Feel free to join the conversation.

7. Danny Freeman - October 18, 2005

When I lived in Houston I went to a Saturday night Taize service at Christ the King Lutheran (ELCA) near the Rice Campus. Every time I went I was lost in wonder and awe. I have never felt so drawn to God and so “right” in worship before or since (well, with a few exceptions). I still hum a lot of the songs when I am feeling worried, anxious, or just needing to re-focus on God.

I would love to go to France and spend a week at the Taize community. The founder of the community, Brother Roger, was tragically stabbed this summer during a service.

BTW, I was always a sipper! You have to sip to get the full experience!

8. Greg Newton - October 24, 2005

Dipping is called intinction.

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