Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church in Cloverdale has an especially spiritual weekend planned, thanks to a guest preacher from a monastery in the Burgundy region of France.
Brother Emile is a monk from Taizé, an ecumenical monastic community that welcomes young people from around the world for prayer and mediation each summer.
The Taizé monastery includes Anglican, Lutherans, evangelicals and Catholics, and has become an international gathering place for thousands of young people.
The French Canadian monk is also taking part in a Taizé chapel service at Trinity Western University at 10 a.m. today (Thursday, Sept. 26), along with a larger day-long youth conference Saturday, Sept. 28 at Christ Church Cathedral, and a regional prayer service at St. Andrews-Wesley United Church that’s open to all ages.
The visit is being sponsored by the Anglican Church of Canada’s Diocese of New Westminster, Vancouver’s Roman Catholic archdiocese and the B.C. Conference of the United Church of Canada.
“I think it is very significant that this event is being sponsored by the Anglican, Roman Catholic and United churches, in addition to Trinity Western University holding a Taizé chapel,” said organizer Reverend Craig Vance of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church in Cloverdale.
“There is something so profound about Taizé. It is not based in dogma, on what you should believe or how you should behave. It is based solely in experiencing a form of prayer and chant rooted in the Christian mystical tradition.”
The Anglican communion service in Cloverdale on Sunday, Sept. 29 includes Taize chants.
And next month, the Cloverdale parish is launching Lift Taizé, a young adult-oriented service at historic Christ Church, Surrey’s first church, built in 1884, and located across the street from Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church at 16613 Bell Road.
Vance says a new community oriented around contemplation, silence, icons, candles and Taizé chants is forming, starting on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.
The community is hoping to be an ongoing place of contemplative spirituality inspired by Brother Emile’s visit, in the tradition of Taizé, says Vance.