Asia

World Prayer by Youth in Taipei

TAIZE YOUTH GATHERING IN TAIWAN

Sr. Theresa Su, SMIC

We, fourteen young Sisters of Asian Province, attended the Taize Worship in Taipei from April 28th to 30th. There were more than a hundred young adults joined made up of a diverse group of Christian Churches and two third of them were Roman Catholics. The theme of the event was “Reconciliation in Mercy.”

Before the program started, Br. Han Yol Shin of Taize who were the main coordinator of this event, said, “This is a time to rest in God and release all burdens of our hearts.” He gave us a little introduction of Taize Prayer. I was impressed when he introduced the “Taize Cross.” Br. Shin let us look at Jesus’ hands carefully. He asked, did we see Jesus is trying so hard to stretch out his hands in order to reunite people from two sites. He used his body as intermediary to sacrifice, to bring peace, and to reconnect people. By His example, we could reflect on our daily actions, and identify if we were also

like Jesus as a sacramental instrument for this world.

One of the most important parts of this event is the “Sunday Worship.” After Protestant and Catholic priests’ long discussions and considerations, they came out a reformed “Sunday Worship” which held on the last day of this event; eventually, I can’t tell any difference between our Sunday Mass and this reformed Worship. If I have to recognize something, I would say we use different versions of Gospel readings. The most touched part of the Sunday Worship was when we sang Our Father, everyone sat together, hand in hand; no matter which Churches we belong to. When it was time to receive the Holy Communion during the Sunday Worship, two priests from Episcopal Church and Roman Catholic Churches did the service for all participants. There were two long lines for receiving the Eucharist. It was an incredible moment. I felt it was like a separated body, now reunited.

I learn a lot from these two days and experienced a renewing energy burning in my heart. I pray through our prayers and practice bringing peace and hope to the world.

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TEA CEREMONY LITURGY

A SPECIAL EASTER OFFERING: TEA CEREMONY

On Easter Sunday afternoon here at our Immaculata Spiritual Center, we experienced a very special and different kind of Season Offering “liturgy”. A Japanese Tea Ceremony teacher, Hashimoto Kiquko (橋本喜久⼦) from Kyoto, Japan came to Tainan to hold a Tea Ceremony for Easter.

A cup of tea both in Taiwan and Japan signifies sincerity and honor between friends.

However, Japanese has developed this simple sign into a religious “sacrament.” And whenever people do it, it is done contemplatively and beautifully in silence with great reverence.

On this Easter Sunday afternoon there were about seventy people, believers, and nonbelievers, Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists and Taoists, sat together in the meditation hall.

In the beginning of the ceremony, the first cup of tea was brought to the altar and offered to Jesus Christ the risen Lord. All the participants sat silently and did only the following things: observed the teacher making tea cup by cup; reverently received the tea brought to you by the server; and drank the tea with gratitude.

The entire “liturgy” was carried on in silence and it lasted for two hours.

It was indeed a deep, contemplative experience of life, peace and love of Easter

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