Published diciembre 13, 2007 | Available In English
Our Lady of Mercy High School’s well-known Taizé choir will offer a unique prayer vigil on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 6:30 p.m. This prayer vigil will reunite present and past members of the choir in a one-hour meditative prayer.
With their beautiful voices and four-part harmonies, the choir will take the audience on a spiritual journey as they enter into song and prayer in the spirit of Taizé. The OLM auditorium will be transformed into a sanctuary illuminated by hundreds of candles and focused on icons that depict the arrival of Christ in this Advent season.
Franck Launay-Fallasse, the choir’s director and head of OLM’s theology department, moved to the United Stated six years ago from France and brought the music and spirit of Taizé with him.
Taizé is named for a small village in the Burgundy region of France where a noted ecumenical group of brothers formed a local community in the 1940s, centered on a special style of singing described as meditative, with chant-like melodies and “prayer songs.”
OLM students knew of Launay-Fallasse’s love of singing and his respect for the sacred, so they approached him with the idea of forming a Taizé choir. The group started with three members and has grown every year. Today, the choir has more than 20 students.
Taizé has become a beautiful and integral part of OLM’s faith-filled tradition. It is not uncommon to hear students in the hallway humming the tunes of Taizé after a school-wide mass. Over the years, many OLM graduates have contacted Launay-Fallasse to tell him how much the choir has meant to them and how it has changed their lives.
“The Taizé choir means so much to me,” commented Katie Garten, a 2005 OLM graduate. “I always jump at any opportunity to return to the choir or learn new songs because it is always such a wonderful experience. Not only does singing the songs bring about a connection to the other choir members, but to know that these same songs are sung all around the world is an awesome feeling. After all, that is what Taizé is about—bringing people together to praise and worship God.”
It was after receiving many similar messages that Launay-Fallasse decided to invite alumni to return to OLM and sing for an Advent prayer service. He was not expecting the response that he received. Over 50 students, both past and present, participated in the Advent prayer vigil last year.
“Going to college made me realize how much the Taizé choir meant to me because it’s hard for me to reflect about my time in the choir without smiling,” said Josh Delaney, a 2007 OLM graduate, who is now a freshman at the University of Georgia, Athens. “Singing some of the songs when I’m alone in my dorm room or listening to the CD while I’m studying really allows me to relive some incredible memories we all created together. I can’t wait to reunite with all of my friends and the Launays in the choir for this prayer service because it will not only be an opportunity relive some great memories, it will also be a great chance to create new ones. Singing with the choir will definitely feel like coming home for Christmas.”
The Taizé choir Advent prayer service is a free event open to the public. Light refreshments will be served immediately following the service.
For questions or directions, call (770) 461-2202. Our Lady of Mercy High School is located at 861 Highway 279 (Evander Holyfield Hwy), Fairbur