“The idea is not to make a copyStick to what Taizé usually does, because it’s not a real meeting… but rather to have a friendly time with other young people around us! »Églantine is originally from Lyon. With six European meetings to her credit, the 29-year-old young woman, invested in the ecumenical community of Taizé for ten years, knows well how the annual event works. However, this year, the coronavirus crisis has put serious grains of sand in the well-oiled cogs of the rally: there is no question of meeting in Turin, in northern Italy, as initially planned. Instead, the 43e Dating takes place online, via the Zoom and YouTube platforms.
The brothers of the community thus responded to the desire of young European Christians to meet, despite the health context. Using technology and through moments of prayer and various workshops, the virtual gathering this year seeks to radiate the spirit of Taizé from the home of each participant.
The chosen theme, “Hope in good time and in bad weather”, reflects the challenge of this 2.0 meeting. Brother Sébastien, invested with his brothers in the titanic organization of the event, however easily recognizes it: “Getting together at a distance does not offer the same quality of encounter. “ Nevertheless, he is surprised, the virtual event brings unexpected benefits. “On the one hand, the gathering has a more international dimension than usual. We are fortunate to benefit from the participation of high quality foreign speakers, who made themselves available precisely because they did not need to travel. This would not have been possible in normal times! “
In its unprecedented form, the event has 700 individual participants this year, compared to the usual 15,000 to 20,000. There are also 125 connected groups and chaplaincies, some from Latin America or South Asia. “Behind a connected group, there may be 500 young people, as is the case in Bolivia”, remarks Brother Sébastien. The “European” meeting thus counts more than 3,000 participants, all over the world. ” Otherwise, resumes the religious, many families who are not registered for the meeting can still follow our prayers with their child, as they are broadcast on YouTube and KTO. We are delighted! “
For her part, Églantine has decided to adopt a hybrid dating format. With two other friends, the young cultural entrepreneur coordinated Taizé reunion in a small committee, in a village in Isère. She invited foreign students there, isolated during this festive period. On the program: online prayer in the morning, offered by the community, discussions, games and songs in the afternoon.
“For some young people, this European meeting counts a lot, she notices. However, given the circumstances, many find themselves alone at this time of year. I wanted to take things in hand, so that we could meet in spite of everything. ” She also admits not having wanted to spend the five days of gathering with her nose glued to her computer “For me, the main thing is that we live times together. The workshops, I will watch them later, offline. “
For Églantine, as for other young people of the movement, this virtual meeting is above all an opportunity to put into practice a charism specific to the Taizé community. “The brothers often tell us that Taizé is not a movement: we receive a lot of things there, but we must then return to live with this spirit in our homes and in our parish. “
This is confirmed by Martin Robilliard, a young Lyonnais and former volunteer for the community. “Of course, we’re not trying to pretend this online dating is normal. On the other hand, this year there is always the will of the brothers to integrate the participants as much as possible, wherever they come from. ” The 25-year-old architect will lead a workshop on ecology, from a distance, with climatologist Jean Jouzel as guest.