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It was initiated in 1940 by Brother Roger (Frère Roger / Roger Louis Schutz-Marsauche), who remained its Prior until his death in 2005. The community is made up of more than a hundred men from many nations representing mainly the Roman Catholic and Protestant branches of Christianity. Life in the community focuses on prayer and Christian meditation.
Taizé has spawned a unique style of worship music that reflects the meditative nature of the community. Taizé music emphasizes simple phrases, usually lines from Psalms or other pieces of Scripture, repeated or sung in canon. The repetition is intended to aid meditation and prayer. Instrumentation is based around the guitar, recorder, flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, trombone, cello.
The community, though Western European in origin, seeks to welcome people and traditions from across the globe. This internationalism carries through into the music and prayers where songs are sung in many languages and increasingly include chants and icons from the Eastern Orthodox tradition
The Taizé community has become an important destination for Christian pilgrimage. Tens of thousands of pilgrims travel to Taizé each year.
Taizé's daily routine is one of intensive hours of prayer. A typical day includes the following activities:
- Morning prayer
- Large group Bible study
- Small group discussions
- Noon prayer
- Afternoon work or Bible study
- Discussion with the brothers
- Evening prayer
Following the Benedictine tradition Ora et Labora (Pray and Work), all pilgrims are invited to participate in this aspect of the shared life of the community. whether by washing dishes or cleaning shared facilities, the contribution of each works to the benefit of all.
The Taizé Community seeks not only to welcome young pilgrims to itself, but to send out and enable their ongoing pilgrimage through life. The community see this journey as being sustained through prayer and belonging to the life of the wider church. The community's website (see below) provides reflections, prayers, songs and a way of keeping up with the pilgrimage of trust on earth. 
Brother Roger was killed August 16, 2005 when an apparently mentally-disturbed Romanian woman stabbed him multiple times during evening prayer. The woman was arrested but Brother Roger died shortly after the attack. Brother Alois, a German Roman Catholic, was chosen to succeed Brother Roger. Alois had been selected by Brother Roger eight years earlier.