Taizé 2019 – Day 7 – Experiences
For me, Taize hasn’t been a pilgrimage it has been a lifestyle that I have had to adjust to.
It has been a very eventful and eye-opening experience being in Taizé . The first experience that stood out to me was the welcome that I was given by the Taizé facilitators and it stood out because I had never had so many faces around saying hello in so many different languages!
I felt very welcome and happy that such an event could have happened to me, especially since I am a very shy and contained person, and so being at Taizé has given me a lot of confidence just from the welcome and hospitality. In particular, the services are also very welcoming in that there are people who stand at the doors welcoming you into the church and you are also given your songbook which I thought was very nice. However, the actual service is a whole other story and so I will say one thing... if you don't want to get distracted always use a pillow because there are no chairs during the service and so if you are not careful you could get a really sore backside!
The next experience that truly shocked me was the food. The food is very interesting because it is said to be healthy and very good for the body, but I’ve certainly found it to be really different and something for my body to get used to. So one experience I have had with the food is that it looks very green but then smells insanely mouthwatering, and so I have truly enjoyed eating the food and one thing that has opened my eyes is the way the food is rationed so that it makes a person reflect on how much food you get in your homes. It makes everyone here very humble and fully fed so I am truly happy about getting to come to Taizé and all that I have learnt.
Another amazing experience is the range of different cultures here at Taizé . One example of this would be a girl from Germany in my group who has now become my friend. Each day we all share what we feel about the bible verses twice a day, and it was amazing to hear her experience of her school and church that is so different from mine.
Another interesting experience is a way in which the different cultures are represented through the songs. All of Taizé’s songs incorporate lots of different languages, everyone will sing and join in with a variety of languages and then we all come together for the silence which I would say was one of the best bits. At first, this was quite intimidating, but now I find it’s a great place to reflect and experience peace. The silence is something I will definitely try to take home with me from Taizé , by taking time each day to pause and reflect.