Last week we learned about the Ecumenical Monastery in Taizé, France. When my friends went there a few years ago, they spent the first week of pilgrimage in service, washing dishes, work projects, Bible Study, worship, and community time. The second week they had a chance to go on a silent retreat. Retreating into silence is powerful. It’s pretty counter-cultural: we live in a fast-paced and loud world, but some things, like listening for God’s intentions for your life, just can’t be rushed. This song is an invitation to some peaceful quiet. “Come and fill our hearts with your peace” is a prayer we all need right now.
This chant, like last week’s, is meant to be sung over and over, until new words and ideas from the text work themselves into how you sing and pray it. There are lots of resources for Christian meditation and prayer. As a musician, I have been turning to Taizé chants to center myself, especially now as the pandemic worsens. In a time when friends, family, ourselves, and acquaintances are at increasing risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, praying for peace, personally, socially, and interpersonally, is one way to confront the crisis from a Christian perspective. From our inner peace comes new strength and direction, which will be needed before this all is over.
Come, and fill our hearts with your peace, you alone, O Lord, are holy.
Come, and fill our hearts with you peace. Alleluia!
I like to sing this to my son, Theo, at bedtime sometimes. I sing it in the car or on my own. When anxiety about the present and future comes up, centering myself with chants from Taizé has been a way for me to react more positively to these circumstances. I hope you feel invited to sing this week, and find more peace in your day to day life.