Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

A Quick Guide to Quaker Worship

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A picture of a typical Quaker worship room. Come in, be seated, and settle into silent prayer.

Quaker Worship is About Listening to the Inner Light

Quaker worship is a novel experience for many people. Unlike churches that most folks are used to, there is no sermon, there is no hymn singing, there is no preacher providing direction on Sunday mornings. Instead, we join together in communal prayer and meditation. During this time we look inward to our Inner Light (God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, etc.) for revelation. The history of this form of worship is a belief that God continues to share guidance to anyone willing to sit and listen for that guidance. The first video on this page will give you a brief overview.

Giving Vocal Ministry

Sometimes folks will feel led to stand up and provide a message. A question many folks have is, "How do I know this is the Inner Light speaking to me, how do I know this isn't just my own inner voice." That's up to you to determine. A more important question to ask, "Is this message just for me, or is it something I should share?" That's sometimes a tough call for some one to feel confident in making. If you have questions about this you are encouraged to speak to Members of the Attenders Committee. Look for them at the table in the corner at coffee hour after worship. The second video on this page will provide you with better understanding of this part of Quaker Worship.

Meeting for Worship as a Form of Communal Prayer

While many Quakers will worship individually, the core of Quaker experience is the gathering of Friends together and entering into prayer with each other. Part of Vocal Ministry is the belief that the Inner Light gives us messages to share with the worshiping community. Quakerism is just as much about spiritually nourishing each other as it is about being spiritually nourished. The third video on this page will give you a better understanding of what it means to worship with other people.

The Inner Light as Teacher and Guide

Quakers are a spiritually diverse group of folks. While we have many different perspectives on God, Jesus Christ, and the Divine, a common belief is in the Inner Light. The Inner Light is a term early Quakers took from the Bible as the means by which people can grow in their understanding of Truth through prayer. In the fourth video on this page, Quakers describe what the Inner Light is and their experience with the Inner Light.

All three videos are just a little under 20 minutes.