CONWAY—Candles and the sound of flowing water enhanced the atmosphere at St. James Church, as approximately 80 people gathered for a Taizé service on March 16.
The style of worship, which includes alternating periods of chant, prayer, scripture reading and silence, was created by an ecumenical monastic community in Taizé, France.
Brother Roger Schütz founded the community in 1940 as a way for people to come together and worship Jesus. Currently, the Taizé community is visited by people from all over the world.
“It’s a diverse group consisting of mostly young people who go to Taizé to worship our Lord,” said Father Frederick LaBrecque, pastor of St. James.
Father LaBrecque traveled to France in the summer of 2009 and experienced the Taizé community prayer firsthand. He was so taken with their form of worship that he and members of St. James decided to host a Taizé prayer service during Advent.
Father LaBrecque was impressed with the number of people who initially participated, about 40, and decided to host a Lenten worship service also. St. James followed the long tradition of ecumenical Christianity of the Taizé community and welcomed people from other faiths to participate.
Future services are being planned, but no dates have been set.