Taizé is a monastic community located in Taizé, France, founded in the 1940s by a Swiss named Roger Louis Schütz-Marsauche, familiarly called Brother Roger. The “brothers” of Taizé have taken a vow of celibacy and are committed to a lifetime of simplicity, service, and community. There is an ecumenical emphasis at Taizé, as expressed in their official website, which says the community “wants its life to be a sign of reconciliation between divided Christians and between separated peoples.” Brother Roger was especially eager to bring Catholics and Protestants together.
Practicing the silence with icons, candles, incense and prayer stations, this very contemplative community is attracting young people from around the world.
“Short chants, repeated again and again, give it a meditative character,” the brothers explain in a brief introduction printed in the paperback songbook. “Using just a few words, [the chants] express a basic reality of faith, quickly grasped by the mind. As the words are sung over many times, this reality gradually penetrates the whole being.”