As volunteers, we’ve been feeling a need for some type of reflection or prayer space for the staff at the Cultural Center. Expression of spirituality is a part of the Center’s DNA. Sr. Margie Navarro, the co-founder of the Center, led Friday morning reflection times for women for many years. Both Fr. Angel Torrellas and Sr. Margie were Spirit-filled people, and did all their work here at the Center out of a love for God and for sharing that with others.
Jennifer Ruppelt, who is a volunteer at the CCBN for one year with the Mennonite Central Committee) has been the lead on starting a Taize-style space every other Friday morning. Andrea helps by playing the piano and Jennifer plays her flute. There are spaces for silent reflection, petitionary prayers, ‘Our Father’, Scripture reading and meditative singing. Today was the second gathering, and there has been positive response.
Taize is a small village in France, and also the name of an ecumenical monastic order that started there in the 1950s. Today, “Taize” is recognized world-wide for a unique style of worship, involving songs with simple phrases, silence, Scripture, and minimal speaking. Taize communities are also known for their focus on peace and justice through singing and meditation.
So, how does one integrate this foreign style of worship into Nicaraguan culture? Firstly, everything we sing and read is in Spanish. Secondly, not officially calling it a “Taize” service, we hope to draw from this tradition, but leave room for the inclusion of other types of songs or variations in the service.
In a city with constant noise, and a cultural center with dedicated (sometimes workaholic) staff, it comes as a breath of fresh air to pause in silence…breathe…and pray through song.
Here’s a sample from today’s program: