In the desire to awaken in the students a deep hunger for a vibrant and sustained prayer life, the CARES Program has built into its monthly rhythm a time for Community Prayer meeting held on two Friday evenings every month. While these prayer meetings are primarily for ICLA students, they are also open to their friends and acquaintances.
Praying the Taizé Way
The first two of the series of these Community Prayer Meetings was scheduled on July 11 and July 25 at 7:30-8:30 PM. Fr. Arnold Abelardo, a Claretian priest who serves in the National Orthopedic Hospital, accepted to lead the Taizé Prayer Meetings. The venue for this event is the Fr. Domingo Moraleda Hall.
The Taizé Prayer originated from Taizé, France, the home of an ecumenical community of brothers founded by the late Bro. Roger. The prayer’s main features are meditative atmosphere, candle lights, short repetitive chants /songs with solo verses, reading from Scriptures, simple petitionary prayers, and a long reverent silence in the center. This way of prayer is oftentimes described as “one with a universal and ecumenical appeal, quiets the mind, opens the heart, and feeds the spirit.”
Through these prayer meetings, we hope that our multi-cultural community here in ICLA will experience the presence of the Risen Lord in its midst and catch the vision of unity and reconciliation, which is at the heart of the Taizé Community’s spirituality.
The following photos were taken during the First Taizé Prayer Meeting held on July 11th.
The beautiful sacred space was prepared by Second Year Student Leader Fr. Sittichok Sawaengkarn of Thailand and a small team of helpers.
The community members listen to Fr. Arnold Abelardo’s short introduction to the prayer meeting. The theme of the prayer was Welcoming Christ with Trust and Faith.
Fr. Arnold was assisted by musicians Sr. Rose and Fr. Simone, and other members of the Liturgical team.
It was good for the community to gather together, to sit on the floor side by side—with candle lights scattered all around them, listen to God’s Word read in five languages, and pray and sing in a simple, yet heartfelt way.
The prayer experience has helped the students realize that the Lord Jesus is truly the “centerpiece” of their spiritual journey in ICLA.
The Institute for Consecrated Life in Asia (ICLA) is a center for doing theology to revitalize sprituality and mission in emergent churches, particularly in Asia.