Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* Brother Roger of Taizé *


Prince of Peace, we often find ourselves in the wilderness, discouraged, afraid and tired. Give us the grace and the courage to pursue your kingdom, to bring those who are isolated and oppressed into the light, to bring peace to the nations, and to those we meet. Amen.


O sing a new song to the Lord,
sing to the Lord all the earth.
O sing to the Lord, bless his name.

Proclaim God’s help day by day,
tell among the nations his glory
and his wonders among all the peoples.

It was the Lord who made the heavens.
His are majesty and honour and power
and splendour in his holy place.

Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad,
let the sea and all within it thunder praise,
let the land and all it bears rejoice,
all the trees of the wood shout for joy
at the presence of the Lord who comes.

( from Psalm Ninety-Six )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Brother Roger of Taizé: ecumenical pilgrim

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Roger Louis Schütz-Marsauche, better known to the world as Brother Roger of Taizé.

From 1937 to 1940, Brother Roger studied reformed theology in Strasbourg and Lausanne, where he was a leader in the Swiss Student Christian Movement, part of the World Student Christian Federation. He also struggled with tuberculosis during this time.

At the onset of World War II, he felt called to serve those suffering from the war, so he came to Taizé, a small town in unoccupied France and bought an empty house, from which he and his sister ministered to any and all who would come. He helped many Jews as well as Christians to flee from the Nazis. He kept this up for over two years before receiving word that his life was in danger from the gestapo.

In 1944, he returned to Taizé to found the Community, initially a small semi-monastic community of men living together in poverty and obedience, open to all Christians. As their unique approach to spirituality and worship began to spread, they began to attract young people from all over Europe who were searching for meaning in the post war and post-nuclear weapon era. They would come to participate in the life of the Community, to listen and to worship. In the 1960’s and onward, members of the Community were often sent out to lead meetings all over the world.

Brother Roger always kept a low profile while the Community was gaining fame. His goal remained the reconciliation of all Churches into Christ. His focus was on Christian youth. During a Taizé gathering in Paris in 1995, he spoke to more than one hundred thousand young people who were sitting on the floor of an exhibition hall.

“We have come here to search,” he said, “or to go on searching through silence and prayer, to get in touch with our inner life. Christ always said, Do not worry, give yourself.”

Brother Roger was stabbed to death during the evening prayer service in Taizé on the sixteenth of August, 2005, by a young Romanian woman who was later deemed mentally ill. In a highly unusual move, the funeral of this Protestant monk was presided over by a Catholic cardinal, Walter Kasper, the president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who celebrated the Mass with four priest-brothers of Taizé concelebrating.

In his homily he said, "Yes, the springtime of ecumenism has flowered on the hill of Taizé’.”

Scripture. In the "Letter to the Romans," chapter twelve, verses one and two we read:

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect."


For peace in the world and the liberation of all people, Lord, we pray.

That the leaders of the churches may tirelessly seek visible unity among Christians, Lord, we pray.

For honesty in political life, for justice in society, Lord, we pray.

For those who toil to earn their daily bread, Lord, we pray,

For those without work or resources, Lord, we pray.

For those with no family or home, Lord, we pray.

For those who suffer from loneliness or abandonment, Lord, we pray.

For those who are oppressed or maligned, Lord, we pray.

For those who work with the poor, with foreigners and with the excluded, Lord, we pray.

Living God, however poor our prayer is, we search for you with confidence. And your love carves out a way forward through our hesitations and even through our doubts. Amen.


Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.


From "Brother Roger of Taizé: Taizé Writings":

The peace of your heart makes life beautiful for those around you.

Being wracked with worry has never been a way of living the Gospel. Founding your faith on torment would mean building a house on sand (Mt 7:26—27).

At every moment, do you hear these words of Jesus the Christ: “Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. Let your hearts cease to be troubled and afraid.” (Jn 14:27)

This deep-seated peace provides the lightness needed to set out once again, when failure or discouragements weigh on your shoulders.

And sheer wonder comes alive, along with a breath of poetry, a simplicity of life and, for those able to understand it, a mystical vision of the human person.


Almighty God, we praise you for Brother Roger of Taizé, whom you called to renew the life of your church. Inspired by his example, and guided by your Spirit, may we call the church to its tasks in our own day, and proclaim your reign of love; through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


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