Sometimes virtual travel is almost as good as being there. So it was last evening when a large rowdy band of Christians walked up a hill in Stonington, Maine and was transported from St. Mary’s Church to the chapel at Taizé, France to worship God in song. Not unlike Stonington, Taizé is a tiny town with a stable population of just under 200 people. in the summer, however, over 100,000 people, most of them young pilgrims, descend on Taizé to sing and serve in what becomes for them a spiritual homecoming.
We were lots more than half a hundred, spilling out of pews and finding our places around the sanctuary to sing those same melodies with gusto and devotion – none more devoted and joyous than our “maestro,” Cynthia Bourgeault. It was a glorious session accompanied with piano, harp and base viol.
I thought of how music is often able touch us in places where nothing else can. Last evening was one of those times when community was clearly deepened among us. I was aware also, however, of our monthly gatherings at the Sophia Center in Binghamton, NY where we also pray in the manner of Taizé. We are sometimes only three or four souls singing to recorded music or even just with our own voices. While not as spectacular, we are certainly as fervent in our praise and live by the motto that “Those who sing, pray twice.” I recommend it highly – even if it is a solo song, a simple song, to God.