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Our readers asked:

Is Taize prayer based in Catholicism or another religion?

Rev. Leo A. Walsh, S.T.D. Answers:

The Taize Community, founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schutz, is an ecumenical Christian monastic community with its roots in Catholic and Protestant traditions. The community also makes use of other Christian traditions such as the veneration of icons as in the Eastern Orthodox Church. There have always been Catholic members of the community, which today numbers about 100 men. Brother Roger himself became Catholic late in life.

Most of the lyrical chant which typifies Taize prayer was composed by Jacques Berthier or Joseph Gelineau. It uses simple phrases from scriptures, in four part harmony, usually repeated or sung in a canon (round). It is very appropriate for Catholic worship. The Taize chant, “Veni, Sancte Spiritus” is ubiquitous at Catholic ceremonies which include the invocation of the Holy Spirit such as the dedication of a church or at ordinations. Check out this cool YouTube video

 
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The Author : Rev. Leo A. Walsh, S.T.D.
The Rev. Leo A. Walsh, S.T.D., formerly the Interreligious Affairs specialist at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is now pastor of St. Benedict's Parish in Anchorage, Alaska. Photo Credit: Bob Roller, Catholic News Service (CNS).
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Chris Ruckdeschel

    Is the mere presence of a piece of music proof of its appropriateness?

  • Adam

    I think it’s important to point out that Brother Roger never officially converted to Catholicism. He enjoyed close ties with a number of Catholic figures and a Catholic priest presided at his funeral. However Brother Roger himself never officially became Catholic.

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