A few years ago, I wrote about my interest in singing meditations and mentioned a local Taizé service, which is an evening prayer service of chanting. I love to sing and had wanted to try the service. Recently, our old UU church started offering its own Taizé service. And last night I attended.
It was lovely. We sat in a semicircle in the darkened sanctuary, facing dozens of lit candles. We had an order of service with the words to the simple chants included. And we sang each chant repeatedly, simple tunes that were easy to pick up. There is something about intoning songs over and over so that the words and sounds become almost abstract. I found it quite peaceful and meditative, really quite lovely.
My favorite song was the last one, "May All Beings Be Happy," which had verses about being happy, peaceful, and free from suffering, just like metta meditation. I found the tune on Amazon and will teach it to the kids.
After all the singing (coupled with some prayer, readings, and silent meditation), we all left the sanctuary quietly. In the parking lot, I said hi to my friends from the old congregation and then headed back home, taking just a little of the peace and quiet with me.