Evenings of Sung Prayers
Date(s) - 22/12/2019
St. Dunstan’s Anglican church
Many years ago, a friend put a small music book in my hand which contained the songs from the Taizé community in France. She looked at me and said, ‘learn these songs and then lead us.’ I was baffled and surprised. I knew nothing of Taizé and the music that had been emerging from that community since the 1960’s.
Well, I did learn those songs, and began to lead evenings of sung prayer using the songs of Taizé. Those songs began to change my life. Most of them contained just one or two lines that we would sing over and over again. I found these songs waking me up, reminding me of truth and penetrating my heart. Brother Roger, who founded the community, was committed to an ecumenical life-style where people of many backgrounds could pray together through song. He was also committed to living a life of reconciliation and listening to others. The songs of Taizé and the values of Brother Roger changed my life and I became passionate about creating evenings where we could experience prayer together through music no matter what background we came from.
I’ve led these evenings for 20 years now, beginning at Holy Trinity Parish in Decatur, GA and for the past 16 years in various churches throughout the Fraser Valley and Vancouver, including Lutheran, Catholic, Mennonite Brethren, United Church and Anglican denominations. They are currently being held in partnership with St. Dunstan’s Anglican Church in Aldergrove.
In recent years I have begun to write my own prayer chants and spoken prayers that we can share together. I’ve heard it said that when we sing, we pray twice! I’m passionate more than ever about creating these evenings where we can join the ‘collective’ voice and open our hearts together to the Presence of Love.
Interested in a recording of sung prayers? Listen and order here.
For more information about Evenings of Sung Prayer please visit https://cathyajhardy.com/contemplative-evening-prayers/.
Cathy AJ Hardy is a singer-songwriter, poet & spiritual director & retreat facilitator. Rooted in Contemplative traditions, Ignatian & Carmelite spirituality, Celtic Christianity & Jungian psychology, Cathy wields together times of stillness, journaling meditations, experiencing nature, art, poetry, song and much more. For more information about Cathy: www.Cathyajhardy.com