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Aug. 26, 2004


LEWISBURG, Pa. — The New Century Singers and the Rev. Elaine Kirkland will lead a Taize service at Bucknell University's Rooke Chapel Friday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m.

"We would like to invite the community to come and experience a beautiful form of sung prayer, inspired by the monastic tradition in Taize, France, that, over the years has developed into a style that is both meditative and easily accessible to all people. It involves singing and listening to the word of God in an atmosphere of silence and peace ,"according to the Rev. Ian Oliver, Bucknell University Chaplain.

Taizé is a tiny village hidden away in the hills of Burgundy in the eastern part of France, which has been the home of an ecumenical community of brothers whose prayer, three times each day, is at the centre of their life since 1940.

Today, Taizé is a place to which visitors of all ages and backgrounds come on pilgrimage to participate in prayer and reflection. With the growing number of young people from all over the world coming to Taizé to participate in worship, a form of song had to be developed that could enable people with no common language to actively participate in the prayer of the community.

Taize worship is characterized by an atmosphere of silence and reflection, where the manner of the leaders is welcoming and the elements of the prayer-space are simply arranged.

The Rev. Kirkland, a United Church of Christ minister from Long Island, N.Y., has long experience leading Taize-style services and composing new Taize-style songs. The choir she conducts, the New Century Singers, will help lead the service.

This Taize-style service is for people of all denominations. The simplicity of the Taize service (no sermon or sacraments) invites people to simply gather and be comfortable with others in a way that is all too rare in our busy world, according to Oliver.

The New Century Singers also will perform a concert of contemporary and classical sacred music on Saturday, Sept. 11, at 8 p.m. in Rooke Chapel.

The visit to Bucknell by the Rev. Kirkland and the New Century Singers is sponsored by the Rooke Chapel Congregation, Office of the President, Association for the Arts, Office of LGBT Awareness, Deans of Students Office, and FLAG&BT.

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