Frere or Brother and monk of Taize, Paolo is quoted as explaining their lives at Taize:
“The monastic commitment is to three things: to celibacy – to say as a life commitment that you are not going to have any one person in your life to whom you belong or who belongs to you. To simplicity – not having bank accounts, not always looking to acquire more things. To obedience – accepting the decisions made in community, not looking out for your own career, not living together for convenience: trying to take part in the same creation together, the same work, ministry, whatever you want to call it.
And the thing is that I actually think that this resonates with the experience of young people It is young people’s experience that life is empty and they want it to be filled, and they wonder where that fulfillment is going to come from, where they are going to discover the direction for their lives, and so I think there is something here in our life at Taize that resonates for them.”
Some 'song-prayers' of Taize: Ubi Caritas, the words are a simple chant: 'ubi caritas, deus ibi est'; where there is charity, there is love, god is.
There are many others such as Stay with Me.... and the chant Oh, You, You Are Everything whose sound and images record the simple beauty of the monastery herself.
The voices you hear are not those of professional singers. They are the voices of the many, simple pilgrims who come each day to pray in chant at the worship center. Praying as one voice, chanted in many different languages, the prayers are often spontaneous and many linger an hour or more chanting after the monks have retired to their other tasks, in addition prayer.