Under the theme of “the essential of our life, grant us today”, 800 young men and women from different Churches in Syria, aged between 18 and 25 years old, participated together in an ecumenical youth meeting in cooperation with the French community “Taizé”. This meeting was held for the first time in Syria and lasted for 3 days at the Jesuit Fathers Monastery in Homs Governorate.
The French monastic community "Taizé" held its latest meeting in the Middle East in Down Town Beirut from 22 to 26 March 2019 in cooperation with the Churches of Lebanon and the Middle East Council of Churches. Noting that "Taizé" is an ecumenical community that is characterized with its youth spontaneous prayers, it aims at organizing youth meetings around the world in order to build bridges between the participants and making them closer to the Lord Jesus.
During the meeting, that was held between 28 April and 1st of May 2022, the youths experienced together the grace of joy seeking the blessings of the Lord who is always present between them, “so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11). The participants celebrated their various Christian rites, aiming at getting closer to each other in order to build a better future for themselves and their country.
The meeting included more than 40 workshops focusing on art, dance, music, Christian education and the production of chocolate and soap... The participants had the opportunity to choose their preferable workshops. This is in addition to prayers according to the different Christian rites and other activities helping the participants to spend joyful times together.
Brother Jerry the Jesuit, one of the meeting’s coordinators, said: “the meeting was held under the theme of ‘the essential of our life, grant us today’, which means that we live in God’s presence, accept the past and live the present peacefully embracing the future because it is in God’s hands. Thus, we organized the meeting based on these meanings, and aimed at helping the youths to know how to accept the past with all its experiences and events, especially the war, live the present with peace and love with themselves and others, and build the future with faith in the presence of God. The meeting also aimed at helping youths to live their Christian faith getting to know more the richness of their different Churches”.
He added, "we wanted to hold this meeting in Syria, because many Syrian youths were not able to participate in the “Taizé” meeting held in Lebanon in 2019. In February 2020, the Jesuit Fathers in Homs launched the idea of organizing an ecumenical youth meeting in Syria with “Taizé”. But the implementation of this project was postponed to this year due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic that affected Syria as all the world.”
The youths expressed their joy participating in the “Taizé” meeting, which allowed them, as they said, to spend a great time together, exchanging their experiences and ideas, and most importantly, living the word of God together, hoping to organize such meeting annually.