Posted by: Philip Rushton | May 19, 2011

The Logic of Liturgy: How Taizé worship creates space for an encounter with the living God.

“We are overwhelmed by a flood of words, by polemics, by the assault of the virtual, which today create a kind of opaque zone,” writes Brother Roger of Taizé. Opaque is a one of those words we don’t hear very often, but I think it is appropriate. Opaque is a word used to describe something that is impenetrable to light or which does not allow light to pass through. I can resonate with Brother Roger’s assessment of the modern ‘zone’ we live in. Our fast paced, virtual world, often dulls our ability to see and hear God. We struggle to find ways for the light of Christ to break into the everyday space we inhabit.

In response to this dilemma, Brother Roger set out to create a form of worship that would help to remove the barriers between us and God. The purpose of Taizé worship is to liberate us from the darkness we live in and create a space for us to encounter the goodness of God. He writes, “goodness is deeper than the deepest evil. We have to liberate that certainty, give it a language. And the language given here in Taizé is not the language of philosophy, not even of theology, but the language of the liturgy.”

As I have been preparing our service for Sunday, I have started to see the logic behind the liturgy of Taizé. It creates space for us to still our hearts and mind through silence, simplicity, reflection and repetition. There is a wisdom to this liturgical form that frees us from the opaque zone that we inhabit day in and day out. I’m looking forward to the opportunity we have on Sunday to break out of the hectic rhythm of life, which so easily prevents us from seeing the light of Christ.


  1. I was struck last night by the word “kingdom” as in “the kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” When we prayed the Lord’s prayer and asked that God make his kingdom come “on earth as it is in heaven” I found it so moving. Lord break into our lives and our world with your kingdom. We do not pray to be taken away from here but that Lord, you would let your kingdom COME! Bring justice and peace and joy HERE, on earth as it already is in heaven. Breathe your Holy Spirit onto us, make us harbingers of your kingdom rule!

  2. thanks for the chance to worship and give praise in a different way.
    stay on course here, don’t fall into the
    western way of looking at sucess, ie, counting noses
    ………………..Peace, Gil………………….

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