Many years ago, a friend put a small music book in my hand which contained the songs from the Taizé community in France. She looked at me and said, ‘learn these songs and then lead us.’ I was baffled and surprised. I knew nothing of Taizé and the music that had been emerging from that community since the 1960’s.
Well, I did learn those songs, and began to lead evenings of sung prayer using the songs of Taizé. Those songs began to change my life. Most of them contained just one or two lines that we would sing over and over again. I found these songs waking me up, reminding me of truth and penetrating my heart. Brother Roger, who founded the community, was committed to an ecumenical life-style where people of many backgrounds could pray together through song. He was also committed to living a life of reconciliation and listening to others. The songs of Taizé and the values of Brother Roger changed my life and I became passionate about creating evenings where we could experience prayer together through music no matter what background we came from.
I’ve led these evenings for 20 years now, beginning at Holy Trinity Parish in Decatur, GA and for the past 16 years in various churches throughout the Fraser Valley and Vancouver, including Lutheran, Catholic, Mennonite Brethren, United Church and Anglican denominations. They are currently being held in partnership with St. Dunstan’s Anglican Church in Aldergrove.
In recent years I have begun to write my own prayer chants and spoken prayers that we can share together. I’ve heard it said that when we sing, we pray twice! I’m passionate more than ever about creating these evenings where we can join the ‘collective’ voice and open our hearts together to the Presence of Love.
Evenings of Sung Prayers
Hosted by St. Dunstan’s Anglican Church, 3025 264 St. Aldergrove
Sundays at 7:30pm
2019 DATES & THEMES
September 22 – Opening our Hearts – Posture of Receptivity to Grace
October 20 – Receiving the Grace of Healing
November 17 – Christ, our Friend
December 22 – Mary, our Mother
2020 DATES & THEMES
January – no service – a month of rest from gathering
February 23 – Invitation to Transfiguration
March 29 – Fidelity to Love (Lent)
April 26 – Living the Resurrection
May – A special note about May: The services that have been held at the Abbey at the end of May have come to an end. The Abbot of Westminster Abbey in Mission has made a decision that it is time to end the services that we have held annually for 16 years. We are disappointed and sad in this decision but honour the intention and prayerful consideration with this decision. We have truly loved the ecumenical opportunity this has created in the Fraser Valley to bring many streams together and the opportunity to sing and pray together. May we all continue in ecumenical dialogue and practices! Many thanks to the Abbey for hosting these beautiful gatherings for so many years. We will cherish the memories & we will have a service on May 31st at St. Dunstan’s to continue our monthly rhythm.
May 31 – Grace Abounds
June 28 – Leaning into the Delight of Love
This year we are having a break from our monthly rhythms in January but continuing the services into the month of June! We hope that you enjoy this new rhythm to our gatherings. Cathy (September 2019)