Taize Prayer Services: Silence and Song

Even with 45,000 people — mostly young adults — gathered in St. Peter’s Square, one could hear the sound of splashing water from the square’s two decorative fountains.

The hush was part of the ebb and flow of silence and song that marked the Taize ecumenical community’s pilgrimage to Rome Dec. 28-Jan. 2, bringing young adults together for quiet prayer, the singing of Taize chants and reflections on Scripture.

The format used for evening prayer service hosted by Pope Benedict XVI Dec. 29 in St. Peter’s Square was repeated twice each day in seven Rome basilicas, where the young adults sat on thin mats or on their coats on the cold marble floor for midday and evening prayer.