We Seek Wholeness
Call to Worship: Psalm 130
5)Meditation Reading: Psalm 139:1-14
6)The Lord’s Prayer
Song: "I Love You, Lord"
7)Scriptural Example of Healing: Acts 3:1-10
Song of Praise: "Hosanna"
8)Presentation of the oil
Song of Petition: "Jesus, Remember Me"
9)Invitation to administration /
Prayers for wholeness
Ministry of Music: "Face to Face"
*Song of Affirmation: "Santo, Santo, Santo"
*All who are able may stand.
HS = Hymns of the Saints, large burgundy book
SP = Sing for Peace, small burgundy book
NS = Sing a New Song, small gold book
R-x = By Request: Songs for the Community of Christ, small book with Temple
"We Seek Wholeness" – Annotations
This service is based upon the worship
style of the Taizé community in France, founded in 1940. It may be
appropriate to announce the worship service as a Healing Service, rather
than a Taizé worship, to avoid confusion over the meaning of the name.
The worship style can then be explained in the introduction. Information
on the Taizé community and worship resources can be found on the internet
(in many languages) at http://www.taize.fr/,
or from a Christian bookstore or library.
Usually Taizé chants are sung without printed words, as they are
repetitive and the congregation can quickly learn them. Depending upon the
setting and the congregation, a choir can be used to introduce the chant
with the congregation invited to join in after a couple of repetitions.
There are audio samples of Taizé songs available on the internet (http://www.taize.fr/en_article681.html?var_recherche=audio+sample)
and on CD.
Attention must be given to the worship setting. Subdued lighting and
candles may assist in creating a safe and sacred space for congregational
participation. This style of worship service is more powerful when the
people are informed beforehand as to the purpose of the worship. An
optimum occasion would be an evening service and especially during a
Reunion experience. This is intended to be a healing service, where people
come forward without prior request, for prayers of administration, and an
invitation can also be given for people to come forward and kneel to offer
The presider welcomes the congregation
and explains the flow of the service, preparing those present for the
invitation to come for prayers of administration later in the service. An
explanation of Taizé worship can be included.
During the singing, it may be helpful
to have a song leader, as the songs are usually repeated, and volume of
the singing may be increased or decreased according to the direction of
The opening prayer includes an
invocation of God's spirit. It may contain statements of praise and
thanksgiving, preparing the people to be present and aware of the presence
of God’s spirit. The prayer could be given in a language other than the
usual language of the congregation (e.g. a prayer in French in an English
speaking congregation) to remind the people to listen to the voice of the
Spirit, rather than just the words of the prayer.
Use several readers for this scripture
with a variety of voice timbres.
The Lord’s Prayer can be shared by
the congregation, as printed in the Hymns of the Saints, or offered
in a variety of languages (www.christusrex.org/www1/pater/ has the prayer
in over a thousand languages). Time can also be allowed for personal
silent prayer. Taizé worship usually includes 5-10 minutes of silent
Have two people (Peter and the beggar)
act out the scripture as it is read.
The oil for the anointing during the
administration may be shown ceremonially to the congregation (e.g. one
elder holding the container or bowl of oil) while another elder offers a
prayer or statement of blessing, consecrating the oil in the presence of
Provide guidance as to how the
administrations will occur. Brief statements on the meaning of
administration, including an explanation of the use of the oil and the two
prayers (anointing and blessing) are recommended. The people are invited
to contemplate their need for prayer during the ministry of music and
prepare to come forward to be seated in one of the chairs at the front of
the sanctuary to receive administration.
The congregation is invited to offer silent prayers for those seeking
administration, so they are actively engaged in the healing service. This
is part of the call to community, to support each other in times of need.
Following the ministry of music, a
brief statement of invitation is made, so the congregation knows now is
the time for them to come forward if they seek administration.
The selection of the elders to perform these administrations must be
undertaken prayerfully and with consideration of their spiritual maturity.
They may be asked to pray for people they do not know, relying on the
guidance of the Spirit.
The number of chairs and elders available will depend upon the size of the
congregation. In one worship setting, four chairs were placed at the front
of the sanctuary, facing forward, rather than facing the congregation.
Eight elders took their places behind the chairs, facing the cross at the
front of the sanctuary and the administrations were done one at a time. In
other situations the administrations prayers can be offered concurrently,
quietly audible to the candidate.
Invite the congregation to come forward to light small candles and offer
silent prayers at the front of the sanctuary, either in place of receiving
administration or in addition. This movement of people has several
purposes: it allows people a chance to move, rather than sitting
throughout the prayer time, it may give people more confidence to come
forward for administration, and the candles enhance the worship setting.
Quiet background music would be appropriate during the prayer time. The
intent of offering the administrations in this way is to make them public
but yet private and freely available to all.
The prayer time concludes when there are no more coming forward for
administration and all have completed their private prayers at the front
of the sanctuary.