On September 12th, the Lavalla Catholic College Liturgical Choir supported a Taizé style Prayer Service for the grade six students from Saint Michael’s and Saint Gabriel’s Primary Schools at Saint Michael’s Church in Traralgon. It was a beautifully moving time filled with Taizé chants, silence, gentle voices, personal prayer and a simple ritual action of placing a flower at the foot of the cross to represent a prayer intention.  This was a signal that others might join in prayerful inion with our own need.


The monastic community at Taizé in Burgundy, France, though Western European in origin, has sought to include people and traditions worldwide. They have sought to demonstrate this in the music and prayers where songs are sung in many languages, and have included chants and icons from the Eastern Orthodox tradition. The music emphasizes simple phrases, usually lines from Psalms or other pieces of Scripture, repeated and sometimes also sung in canon.  We are privileged to have added the Gunnai/Kurnai language to the canon of the Taize chants.


There were about 120 grade six students and teachers, approximately 60 choristers from Years 10, 11 & 12 and perhaps 30 or 40 parishioners and visitors in attendance.

One such visitor was a certain Fr Roy, a visiting friend of Fr Aju, who is the Spiritual Director of a ShalomWorld TV, USA.  ShalomWorld, founded in 2014, is an English-language television channel that broadcasts spiritual and religious programs related to the faith. It has 8 million regular viewers in 154 countries… with platforms also in Europe and Australia.


This is what he texted to the choir (via my phone) about his experience: … It was so powerful and harmonious for lifting our spirits to the Lord. You conveyed the emotion within the lyrics as well. I am quite sure that you must have worked a lot as a team to make your voices and rhythm in order. Thoroughly enjoyed! Congratulations to the leader and the team. Fr Roy


He said to Fr Aju after the Taize service, referencing what he had experienced, that this a sign that the faith is vibrant in Australia. 


Article by Michael Hansen