Brother Paolo writes: There are now a number of tents dotted over the camping field in Taizé, and at prayer times there are as many "other people" in the church as brothers of the community. This week there are more than 100 meeting participants, mostly from France and Germany. Visitors in the church need to sit on crosses marked with tape on the floor...
Although the French complain a lot about the government, the lockdown policy here was strong, coherent and well-explained. It will have certainly avoided a lot of deaths. It has dismaying to realise that this has not always been the case in Britain, despite the generosity and self-giving work of so many.
Anti-racism protests took hold strongly in many countries recently, emerging to the fore out of the quiet of the virus lockdown. Can this be one pointer which shows how our "return to normal" must include realising that we need wider and deeper solidarity?
Ten days ago, travelling in a small car, brother Alois and a couple of other brothers went to Rome and back. Brother Alois had, as every year, been invited to go in March for a meeting with Pope Francis, but this was cancelled when the COVID lockdown began.
Taking advantage of having more time available than usual, a large group in the community is currently reading and discussing the encyclical Laudato si' together. What changes could it mean for our life here?
Our stock of pottery (we are continuing to make pottery without selling much at the moment) is at an all-time high :-) Some brothers have tried other occupations. We now have eight beehives (we began too late to get much honey this year), there have been experiments with biscuit-making, and several of us have done some work in local vineyards. The hens have been moved to a larger enclosure and perhaps we shall soon be self-sufficient in eggs. Our shop sells small articles by post, but unfortunately pottery cannot be sent this way!
Prayers streamed online and other resources
* Midday prayers (11.30am UK time) and Evening prayers (7.30pm UK time) are streamed (audio only) every day, Monday to Saturday. The link is below.
* The Saturday evening prayer (7.30pm UK time) is streamed live (video + audio) from the community's Facebook page.
Few families and children will be able to come here this summer, so the "Olinda" team have published an entire week's programme (6 days) in several languages. It includes videos, song-practices and worksheets. Day 1 has the title Noah and his lockdown in the ark. The programme can be used either by one family on their own or by several families together. Check it out!
See other bible introductions, song-practices, etc. on the Taizé youtube page. In particular do not miss Veni Sancte Spiritus being sung by 50+ young adults from across the world.
European Meeting in December
The European Meeting which was planned for Torino (Turin) this winter will be postponed until the end of 2021. Our current idea is to hold a 'European Meeting of Young Adults' in Taizé itself from 27 December 2020 to 1 January 2021. We need, of course, to wait and see how the epidemic situation evolves before announcing firm plans.
WATCH: 54 young people from 36 different countries sing together "Veni Sancte Spiritus" from their homes:
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