The Taizé Community in France is an ecumenical monastic community of more than 100 Brothers from 25 nations. Their primary ministry is to young adults who come by the thousands from all parts of the world to spend a week of worship, Bible study, and fellowship with the Brothers. The Community has developed the well-known songs and prayers of Taizé; simple meditative chants that have spread to worship services in churches around the world.
A group from Minnesota traveled to Taizé in 2001. One member, Rev. Bob Nervig, a retired Lutheran pastor, was a close friend of Brother Eric. Brother Eric mentioned that in the 1980s he’d made two five-foot hand-painted wooden Taizé Crosses and that the second cross had never been used. Discussions followed, and the duplicate Taizé Cross was sold to the Minnesota group, with the stipulation that it be made available for use by all.
St. Paul’s Monastery, Minnehaha Methodist, Luther Seminary, Westminster, and many others were among its early users.
As can happen, most of the members of the original group moved away, going on to other ministries, and the use and knowledge of this cross diminished. The Cross is now housed at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis and is being made available to all.
The hand-painted wooden Cross is large—59” tall, 52” wide, and 3” deep—but also fairly light as it is not solid wood. It can stand by itself, or be hung on a wall, or laid flat on the floor.
The Cross can be used in a variety of situations, from a full Sunday morning worship service, to a traditional Taizé Morning or Evening Prayer, to Praying around the Cross, to a simple service made up of a short period of silence, a few songs, a Bible reading, and intercessions.
If you would like to welcome Minnesota’s Taizé Cross to your church or community, contact Dr. Rodney Allen Schwartz at Westminster: firstname.lastname@example.org or 612.332.3421. Click for PDF with Cross information and reservation form.