As the BSM student body filed into the Great Hall this morning for an Ash Wednesday prayer service, they had no idea the changes that awaited them. Instead of holding a usual mass to mark of the beginning of Lent, the Theology Department, in conjunction with Mrs. Nancy Stockhaus and the choir, held a unique prayer service focusing on reflection and meditation through the use of Taizé prayer.
The Taizé community is a monastic order centered in Burgundy, France and has become one of the most important sites of Christian pilgrimage for young people, as over 100,000 make the journey each year. The Taizé monks formed a specific type of prayer that encompasses quiet time to reflect combined with the use of hymns and chants as a method of meditation.
Taizé prayer was introduced to the BSM community after choir students visited the National Catholic Youth Conference last November, in which over 20,000 young Catholics participated in the prayer. Taizé greatly applies to Ash Wednesday as the holy day marks the beginning of a season of reflection and time of closeness to God for Christians. “[Students’] lives are so busy and noisy all the time that this quiet helped us celebrate as a community of many Christians,” Campus Minister and Theology teacher Ms. Jeannie Judge said.
Erring from a normal prayer service or mass celebrated at BSM, this Taizé service incorporates a different kind of Catholic prayer, not to be forgotten over the course of the Lenten season. “It was important for us to begin Lent in prayer, but we’ll continue to pray throughout and celebrate a legitimate mass in a few weeks,” Ms. Judge said.