Other commitments had kept me away from Wednesday night Taize at a local Episcopal church for a few months, but tonight I was back. When I first began attending these services last year, it was during the dead of winter. So I was used to darkness and candlelight. But now that the days were long I could actually see the inside of the church for the first time. The candle that I picked up near the entrance to the church was superfluous.
The musical chants were beautiful as always. The readings were from eclectic sources, including a translation of Psalm 150 from Norman Fischer's book of Zen-inspired psalms titled Opening To You:
Praise to you in your holinessDuring the 10 minute period of silent contemplation, I sat in the stillness and sought out a mantra. One came to mind, an intimate plea to God: Grant me peace, You big f***ing mystery. As I silently said the mantra, a smile crept over my lips. I felt that God was smiling along with me. God, in her way, assured me that my use of the obscenity as I addressed her directly was pleasing unto her. We connected, the two of us, God and I, over that crude mantra. The barriers between the Divine and I had briefly broken down.
Praise throughout your expansive realm
Praise for the power of your doing
For your abundance and everywhereness
Praise with the blowing of trumpets
Praise with the psaltery and harp
Praise with timbrel and dance
With stringed instruments and pipe
Praise with clear-sounding cymbals
And with crashing cymbals
Every breath is your praise
I had not felt so connected with God lately. But the peace I asked for was granted. The serenity of quiet contemplation draped over me in the course of the service. When it was over, I walked out into the evening air, where it wasn't quite dark yet, and back to my car.