We´ve got fifteen minutes left before we start. Bálint is doing the preparation and today he finished in time. But he sounds a little bit nervous when he asked me why Michael is still not here. Normally the preparation doesn´t take much time but every day again it´s important to do it well. In the one hand the several parts have to fit to each other to make it sound as a whole, but in the other hand people experience the prayers always in their own unique way. The prayers are the center of our community life.
Ten minutes left and the keys of the church are still with Michael. Normally we open the church half an hour before we start so people can already go in for having a time of calming down in silence. And at six ´o clock Christian starts to ring the bells. In the old St. Elizabeth church it is still done by hand and Christian is the one who is in charge. He tells me that a church service or a prayer without ringing the bells is not complete, and I agree. How lovely is it to have five minutes of silence before the prayer start.
Five minutes and Michael is still not here. Now we get a little bit nervous. Michael is the ‘German’ rock in our community. He knows always where we have to go, what time we have to leave, and is always in time for the prayers. But today he is not.
Living a community life with people you don´t know before is sometimes challenging. Two days before our departure we met and we found out that no one of us is a well talented singer. For an average community this doesn´t influence the community life that much. But our community is scheduled by three prayers a day with a lot of songs.
Finally, two minutes before six Michael shows up. He was forgotten the time because of a personal talk. I´m wondering if he is becoming less and less punctual? Does the living of 24 hours a day, with two easy going guys, influence him that much? It looks like that living in a community is very effective in shaping each other personality. At least for me it is. Where I normally live my life in a very effective way, I now don´t care that much about my precious time and can enjoy more and more the present moments.
When the church finally opens, the people who join the prayer are helping us with lighting the candles. And then the bells starting to ring. I’m going to sit on one of the pillows on the floor in front of the wall of bricks with candles. I try to calm down and telling myself that it doesn’t matter if we make again some mistakes, if I start a song again in the wrong tune, or if the wrong number is again on the sign. Somehow people keep on coming to the evening prayers, to sing together, to be silent and to pray. And it´s true, it´s beautiful.
Tonight I stay a little bit longer in the church. After the prayer we put on the cd-player with the instrumental Taizé songs so people can stay a little bit longer. And also tonight there are some people staying and singing together. It´s totally out of tune but for me it doesn´t matter anymore. This place became a place where we don´t have to do everything perfect, where we don´t have to be successful, and where we don´t have to hide our weakness. This place is as it is in heaven.
Beati voi poveri, perché vostro è il regno di Dio (song of Taizé)