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Decatur church offers Taizé worship and labyrinth experience

On the third Sunday of every month, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Decatur, Georgia offers a Taizé service and labyrinth walk to the public. The service and labyrinth walk centers around a meditative and reflective worship experience that reflected in song, prayer, and thoughtful spiritual reflection.

Unfamiliar with Taizé worship and labyrinth walking? Here is a background on Taizé worship and labyrinths:

The historical and geographical roots of Taizé worship can be found in post-WWII France where a monastic community was started to assist refugees and other victims of the war. The community eventually grew into a larger and began accepting lifelong commitments to celibacy, simplicity, and communal sharing. Ultimately, the community developed a distinctive style of worship and song. The songs are repetition based, as a few words or phrases are repeated for the purpose of careful and thoughtful reflection. Silence is also valued spiritual practice and an integral part of Taizé worship.

Labyrinths are ancient winding and snaking pathways historically used for meditation and prayer. Some interpret the labyrinth as a way of symbolizing one’s spiritual journey. Though some may associate the practice with “New Age” spirituality, labyrinths have historical roots in the Christian church and were sometimes used as a substitute for pilgrimage and a practice of spiritual penitence. In fact, the Chartres Cathedral in France contains one of the most well known labyrinths dating back to 1200.

The service at Holy Trinity merges together these two spiritual practices to provide an introspective worship experience. The labyrinth walking begins at 6pm and is followed by the Taizé service at 7pm. Visitors may choose to participate in either the labyrinth or Taizé service – some visitors come only for the Taizé service. Participants will find the labyrinth lined with ancient icons and candles, along with recorded Taizé music or other calming music in the background. The Taizé service begins with music accompanied by a guitar and followed by scripture reading, 10 minutes of silence, intercessory prayers, and closing songs.  Including the labyrinth and Taizé, the entire service lasts about two hours (6p-8p).

For more information, visit Holy Trinity’s website: Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

Taizé and Labyrinth links:

http://www.taize.fr/en_rubrique8.html

http://labyrinthsociety.org/resources

http://veriditas.org/about/rediscovery.shtml

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