February Taize: “God’s Gonna Trouble the Water”

The words of the Negro Spiritual that opens our service this month tell us “God’s gonna trouble the water.” We gather in February, during African-American History Month, to lament together the stark reality of racism in our world, our country and our local community.

Perhaps you have never prayed bout racism or heard it named aloud in the context of the church. The way we speak about the wounds of racism matters. Words are powerful tools of communication and creativity. We use words to create and we use words to destroy. We must recognize the many ways, intentionally and unintentionally, that our words and our absence of words, contribute to racial division and recognize what is needed to heal these divides.

Our words affect our actions and through our prayer for transformation, may the Holy Spirit inspire us toward action for racial justice.

God’s word in sacred scripture is very clear that all people are equal.

Download a program for the service here: Taizé Service Worship Aid for February 3, 2022.

More to Learn

What is the meaning of our first song, “Wade in the Water”? Conductors on the underground railroad sang “Wade in the water children. God’s gonna trouble the water” as they guided people along the dangerous path to freedom.

Watch this short video from the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., to hear the song and learn its history and meaning.

Read about how these church congregations in Boston and Denver are paying ‘royalties’ when it sings spirituals composed by enslaved Africans.

What is Taizé?

Taizé prayer is practiced throughout the world. It is a meditative candle-lit form of community prayer that includes simple chants sung repeatedly, silence and prayers of praise and intercession. In prayer, we enter the silence, stilling the mind, opening the heart, surrendering to the action of the Spirit ever molding us into the image of Christ. The candles used in the service symbolize the presence of the risen Christ, who conquered darkness and sin and offers new life to all humankind.

Taizé Prayer comes from an ecumenical, monastic community in France and has spread to numerous spots around the world.

From the depths of the human condition, a secret aspiration rises up. Today many are thirsting for the essential reality: an inner life, signs of the Invisible. Nothing is more conducive to communion with the living God than meditative common prayer. When the mystery of God becomes tangible through the simple beauty of symbols, when it is not smothered by too many words, then a common prayer awakens us to heaven’s joy on earth.

All the videos of our Taizé prayer services are available here.


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