It was enough to make your heart hurt.
Eight mature male voices, members of the music group Cantore, opened the monthly Taizé service I attended tonight.
Let thy holy presence come upon us, O Lord...
Emitte Spiritum tuum...
And then a time of silence. Some Epiphany readings. Singing. More silence. Kneeling by a wooden cross on the floor in front of the sanctuary. Placing prayer candle there. More silence. More singing.
Worship is not filling ourselves with something. It is creating a space for the Holy to fill.
It didn't matter that there were only several dozen people in the auditorium of the Park View Mennonite Church. The candlelit space was filled with something that felt dense with mystery and meaning, a sense of presence I felt could have tempted an agnostic to embrace faith.
Abide with me, 'tis eventide, the day is past and gone...
I was glad to be able to walk home in silence, alone under the star-lit heavens. I wanted to take some of that God-graced solitude with me.
The Taizé Community is an ecumenical monastic order in Burgundy, France, made up of about 100 brothers who come from a variety of Christian traditions and from about 30 countries across the world.
The order has a strong commitment to peace and justice which it nurtures through prayer and meditation. Over 100,000 young people from around the world make pilgrimages to Taizé each year, where they are encouraged to live in the spirit of kindness, simplicity and reconciliation.
The service at Park View is held at 8:30 pm on the first Wednesday of each month.