Christian Songs from around the World, pt.1

This is the Dove pendant you can get from Taizé. It’s a beautiful mix of the Dove symbol and the Cross, evoking the Holy Spirit and God the Son.

Today I am starting a series on music from Christian communities around the world. We’re starting in France, at the ecumenical monastery in Taizé. The community was founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schütz. He left his native Switzerland to live in war-torn France, and to seek out what it meant to follow Christ and live in Christian Community.

The Community’s Church, the Church of Reconciliation, is a good representation of how the community sees their mission. Reconciliation after World War II, reconciliation between Catholics and Protestants, between Vichy France and occupied France, between Germany and the world… There is no end to the world’s need for reconciliation and renewal in relationship to one another and to God, and the monastery at Taizé sees themselves called to supporting that work.

The Community is a place of pilgrimage, service, and silence, especially for young people all over the world. The music is characteristically short and repetitive, meant to be sung over and over, with as many translations as there are visitors from different countries all over the world. Much of the music is derived from the Psalms. It is a wonderful source of music for teaching succinct, Christian messages and practices. The families I know are busy, but I hope this song will be an easily accessible one as well as a relaxing pause in your day.

A recording I made a few months ago for the children’s choir I lead at The Presbyterian Church, Bowling Green, KY. After singing through the chant a few times, I stop to give you a chance to sing on your own and meditate on the music.

Lyrics: Bless the Lord, my Soul and bless God’s Holy Name. Bless the Lord, my Soul, who leads me into Life.

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