Taize Sung Prayer Service
- a Prairieland Compassion Network September Days of Compassion event -
— In the spirit of sharing, all of the evening’s donations will go to the Illinois Capital Area Chapter of the Red Cross —
The suffering of innocent people is impossible to understand. In this Taizé-style service we will pray for those who experience tragedy, and we will ask for comfort for one another and for ourselves. The scripture will be read in several languages. Pastor McNeese and Pastor Hayes will offer a an opportunity for healing prayer and anointment with oil.

Taizé-style Sung Prayer at First Presbyterian Church begins as one enters the candlelit sanctuary: melodies from the cello, flute, oboe, French horn, piano, Native American flute, classical guitar and vocalists greet the worshippers, the music representing God waiting for God's people. The glimmering candlelight reminds us of Christ’s love, which shines like a flame in the darkness of suffering.

Jesus said: You are the light of the world. Our action of donating to the local Red Cross can provide a part of that light, and our symbolic act of individually placing lighted candles at the foot of the cross will be a prayer for reconciliation and peace through Jesus Christ. Donation baskets will be at the foot of the cross and in back of the sanctuary. Our hope is that each one of us returns home carrying the light of love and hope and peace. Christ on the Cross icon ©2010 First Presbyterian Church

— About Taizé Sung Prayer —
The simplicity of Taizé Sung Prayer provides an occasion to escape from laborious agendas and persistent conflict. Those desperate for a sabbath often say they feel spiritually replenished after participating in sung prayer. Taizé style of worship provides a musical sequence for the biblical texts and offers them in repetitive form that can be easily sung by multinational, multi-lingual people. The gathered worshippers are called to immerse themselves in the simple and profound harmonies.

Taizé-style prayer is listening prayer: a prayer that listens for God with one's heart. This style of prayer proceeds in a rhythm through song and psalm, prayer and scripture reading, and silent meditation. Silence is an important part of a Taizé-style prayer service. It is as simple, and as complex, as holding oneself in God’s presence and letting the Holy Spirit, through Christ, pray in us.

The chanted prayers of Taizé are sung worldwide. The Taizé community, which is located in a small village in the south of Burgundy, France, was founded as a place of peace and hospitality in 1940 by a young Swiss Protestant seminary student, Roger Schutz. Taizé is an ecumenical community that is committed to promoting and praying for reconciliation, peace, and unity. For more information about the Taizé community, its history and ministry, please visit the Taizé Web site.