CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART, OH GOD, AND RENEW A STEADFAST SPIRIT WITHIN ME
stories church members and participants told about their Taizé-style service experience
This research journey took place in Potchefstroom in a traditional Dutch Reformed Church community. The challenges of the 21st century for this specific congregation are to think anew about religion, spirituality and rituals. In this research project the place of worship was a 100-year-old church in the European Art Deco style, an atmospheric space that accommodated different styles of worship. The members of this specific congregation mentioned during planning sessions that they wanted to renew their worship styles, but the majority were still clinging onto old dogmas and found it difficult to develop new worship rituals. In September 2018 the first evening service in a Taizé-style was held. The focus was on Afrikaans and English Bible readings, hymn singing and prayer. The liturgy further created space for elements such as silence and meditation, listening to music played by a small classical ensemble and solo songs. In the process an atmosphere of calm reflection on the self, life, God and on others things, as well as the experience with a divine presence, was created. The feedback of the approximately 300 members who attended the service motivated the church council to arrange more Taizé-style services. The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to explore the short stories of seven members who told about their lived experiences of Taizé-style services. The members were two men (age 70 and 30), two women (age 45 and 21), the minister and two musicians. I was a participant in this research and used the model of the “learning process for events-centred faith formation”, which involves a cyclical format: prepare, reflect, live and participate (Bringing Faith Formation, 2011:125). In order to write the narrative, I made use of Alice Adams’s story development model (Action, Background, Development, Climax and Ending) as framework.
Bringing Faith Formation 2020 scenarios to Life. (2011). UUA General Assembly Charlotte, North Carolina. Retieved from https://www.lifelongfaith.com › uploads › ff_2020_chapter_4
Post-65 Research, North-West University, South Africa
Retired as an Associate Professor in Music Education at North-West University, Potchefstroom. In 2008 she has founded and was the organiser of the first international conference of MASARA. She was also the editor of the conference proceedings that were published in the The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa. During November 2012 she was a guest of Rev Prof June Boyce-Tillman and attended the première of her community composition that led to another international conference that was presented in April 2015, “Spirituality and Music Education” (SAME).