Worthington United Methodist
This week, I attended Worthington United Methodist church on High Street in Worthington. I did not attend this morning (this is a rare Sunday where I SLEPT IN. WHAT.) I attended their Wednesday night Taizé service. They host a Taizé service only once per month, in the evening, and I counted it as my experience for this week.
Shout out to my friend Ashleigh for recommending the service and going with me. Ashleigh is the same friend who took me to Northwest United Methodist with her and her husband earlier this year. Ashleigh is a wonderful friend and coworker of mine, as well as a mozzarella stick enthusiast.
The Taizé service was much like the Good Friday Tenebrae service I attended. It was mostly sung, lit by candles, and included a lot of silent time to communicate with God. According to GotQuestions.org, “Taizé is a monastic community located in Taizé, France, founded in the 1940s by a Swiss named Roger Louis Schütz-Marsauche, familiarly called Brother Roger… A Taizé worship service involves sung and chanted prayers, meditation, a period of silence, liturgical readings, and icons. There is no preaching. The style of prayer practiced at Taizé has attracted many worshipers from around the globe and from many different denominations.” What is interesting is that the GotQuestions article I used to learn more about Taizé argued that this type of worship is inherently not biblical, because “contemplative worship, in general, seeks a subjective spiritual experience apart from the objective truth of God's Word.”
That didn’t seem to be the case at Worthington UMC, but to each their own. I found the contemplative nature of the service relaxing and refreshing. I enjoy the time it allows for pause from an otherwise busy day, and I like that it gives me time to reflect on what I am thinking and feeling in that moment. It also allows me time to try and communicate with God, which is something I don’t make time for currently. I haven’t incorporated regular, individual prayer into my life, I don’t know how I feel about it and if I ever will, but it is a nice exercise to go through within a church setting.
The setting was beautiful. The chapel at Worthington UMC wasn’t as old or gothic or beautiful as St. Joseph, but it was still made of stone and stained glass and pretty. It was lit using mostly candles, and as the service progressed and the light outside faded it created a beautiful ambiance in the chapel.
The middle of the service includes seven minutes of silence, where you are encouraged to “let God speak to you” and to try to silently communicate with him. I did try to take that time to be open, to try to feel some spiritual energy in the room. I didn’t, really, but I did try to focus entirely on being in-the-moment and mindful of the journey I am on, which is a valuable exercise.
I would attend this Taizé service again, or really any Taizé service, because I like the idea of having time to deal with your own stuff with God. Having a sermon explained to you can be helpful just for knowledge and perspective on faith stuff, but being given mindful time to talk with God seems like a separate, but important, part of having faith. I also think if, like GotQuestions implied, contemplative worship is wrong then I don’t want to be right. I love contemplating things.
I have an exam in less than two weeks, so pray for me friends. It also means if my posts seem shorter and not as well-researched as you might expect them to be, then you are right! Thanks for still reading and going on this journey with me.