A rule of life is a statement of how to integrate every aspect of a person’s life into a spiritual whole. Individuals and religious communities have written these kinds of rules as a guide for their individual and corporate lives. This pilgrimage will include visits to monasteries as a way of seeing how some of these rules were implemented in the past.
For the last sixty years the ecumenical monastic community of Taizé has influenced countless people, especially young adults to take a serious look at Christian spirituality. The founder, Brother Roger, wrote extensively of how "God is love alone" and is present in us and around us; we need only to recognize the divine presence. This understanding of the nature of God is consistent with the Celtic spirituality that is an important component of all PilgrimQuests pilgrimages. A five-night stay at Taizé will be the destination of this pilgrimage and each pilgrim will receive the tools the write his or her own rule of life.
Brother Roger drew on some of these traditions in 1949-1952 while establishing a spirituality and Rule of Taizé that is uncomplicated, non-judgmental, and emphasizes one’s personal relationship to the sacred. This can be experienced in the simple rhythm of daily life in the Taizé community and especially in the Taizé liturgy and music that is used in churches of all kinds all over the world. Perhaps the most remarkable element of every Taizé worship service is an extended period of silence held by the many people present in the church.
While at Taizé visitors will be expected to participate in the life of the community helping in the kitchen or some other task appropriate to one’s ability. The accommodations may be single or double occupancy and are simple rooms usually with a shared bathroom. Some are as much as ½ mile from the center of the campus. If you have mobility issues, you will be assigned a room closer in. You also have the option of camping with your own gear.
Saturday, April 28 Dijon
We gather at the Hotel Kyriad Dijon Gare, a couple of blocks from the train station in Dijon at 5:30 PM for a get together over a glass of Burgundian wine followed by dinner at a nearby restaurant. Overnight Dijon.
Sunday, April 29 Dijon, Taizé, Cluny, Dijon
After breakfast at 7:30 AM, we drive to Taizé for the 10:30 AM Holy Eucharist that will offer a taste of what the Taizé community and worship are like.
After lunch in Cluny, we will have a private guided tour of the site of the remarkable abbey that was the largest church in the world until the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Although there is very little of the abbey still standing, the massive column bases can offer an idea of the scale of the abbey.
we will then drive to a nearby village to see La Chapelle des Moines where murals have been preserved that can give us an idea of what the interior of the Cluny Abbey looked like.
Afterwards we will have Sunday dinner and return to Dijon. Overnight Dijon.
Monday, April 30 Dijon, Montard, Vézelay, Dijon
After breakfast we drive to the UNESCO world heritage site Fontenay Abbey for a guided tour of this well preserved 12th Century Cistercian abbey. It is possible to envision daily life for the monks who lived here and understand how their spiritual and physical lives were integrated under the Benedictine rule.
Lunch will be on your own in nearby Montard.
We then drive about an hour to Vézelay, an ancient community where a Benedictine monastery was first established in the 10th Century and subsequently became a pilgrimage destination. The 12th Century abbey was the starting point for two of the Crusades as well as pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostella. After a guided tour, we return to Dijon for dinner on your own. Overnight Dijon.
Tuesday, May 1 Dijon, Beaune, Taizé
This is Labor Day in France, so we have not scheduled any organized touring activities for this day. We will leave our hotel in Dijon and spend several hours in Beaune where one can visit the Hospice de Beaune, wine producers, shops, and have lunch. In the afternoon we go a short distance to Taizé to begin our five-day stay. Overnight Taizé
Wednesday, May 2 – Saturday May 5 Taizé
While at Taizé you will be part of a community with worship at 8:15 AM, 12:20 PM and 8:30 PM and meals at 9:00 AM, 1 PM, and 6:30 PM. The Friday night service includes prayers around the cross and the Saturday night service celebrates the light of the Resurrection. There will be a daily Bible study class led by one of the Brothers at 10 AM and conducted in several languages. You will have plenty of open time for meditation and prayer and the option of remaining in silence. See the Taizé website for more details. Overnight Taizé.
Sunday May 6 Taizé, Dijon
After the 10:30 AM Eucharist, we will have a picnic then return to Dijon where you can catch a train or spend the night. (not included).
Notes to pilgrims regarding Taizé:
from the Taizé website:
Coming to Taizé is to be invited to search for communion with God through community prayer, song, silence, personal reflection and sharing. A stay in Taizé can help one step back from daily life, to meet a wide variety of people and consider one’s commitment in the Church and in society.
Taizé is the focus and destination for this pilgrimage, and the three daily worship services are the centerpiece of life at Taizé. If you have never experienced Taizé music and would expect to be uncomfortable with an extended period of silence during a worship service, then you should seek a Taizé style service in your area before signing on to this pilgrimage. Like any form of meditation or prayer, the Taizé style does not work for everyone. On the other hand, if you are spiritually curious and adventurous, then this is for you.
Also, while we will be staying in excellent hotels and enjoying excellent cuisine prior to going to Taizé, the accommodations and food at Taizé are simple.
Taizé Pilgrimage 2018
April 28 – May 6, 2018
$1,590 double occupancy; $1,790 single
$50 discount for Haden Institute faculty and staff
$100 discount if added to Iona Pilgrimage 2018 with Jerry Wright
minimum 5; maximum 12