The message of Easter is not primarily a message about Jesus’ body, although we’ve been trained to limit it to this one-time “miracle.” Sadly, the Western church that most of us were raised in emphasized the individual resurrection of Jesus. It was a miracle that we could neither prove nor experience, but that we just dared to boldly believe.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church — in places like Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Egypt — Easter is not usually painted with a solitary Jesus rising from the dead. He’s always surrounded by crowds of people — both haloed and unhaloed. In fact, in traditional icons, he’s pulling people out of Hades, as you see in the icon in front of you. Hades is simply the place of the dead. It’s where a soul waits for God.
Easter is the feast of hope, direction, purpose, meaning, and community. Easter is an announcement of a common hope. When we sing in the Easter hymn that Christ destroyed death, that means the death of all of us. It’s not just about Jesus; it’s to humanity that God promises, “Life is not ended, it merely changes,” as we say in our funeral liturgy and as we experience in nature around us these spring days. That’s what happened in Jesus, and that’s what will happen in us.
Download a program for the service here: Taize Service Worship Aid for May 5, 2022.
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 Taize prayer services are available here.
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