I was DREADING attending the Taizé service. This has apparently been going for ten years or so and is well appreciated at Swanvale Halt church because it's quiet and contemplative. However the last time I went to a Taizé service was when I was dragged along by a fellow theological student to one as part of Oxford Mission Week and ended up nearly banging my head on the floor begging God for it to end. Or even for one chant to end.
In fact last night's service was just about bearable, because it was relatively short and you knew what was going to happen. There used to be a couple of attenders who played instruments rather than as we did listening to the chants on CD, and I imagine a flute or violin would have helped, but I remain unconvinced that a handful of middle-aged, middle-class Anglicans sat on plastic chairs trying to get the hang of these strange, often inconclusive tunes can ever replicate the atmosphere of thousands of pilgrims at Taizé itself led by the monks. I think what people need is Benediction. In fact, for the service they put our benediction candelabra on the altar, but clearly don't know what they're for - they're just pretty. God has a sense of humour.