Friends General Conference

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Quaker Worship

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Quaker Worship

Worship is central to our faith.
We meet
together in expectant silence to experience
the Divine Presence. We believe the Divine
surrounds us and is within us at the same
time. We do not create the encounter, but
rather open ourselves to it.
We begin by becoming inwardly still,
allowing thoughts that usually fill our
attention to recede. We can help quiet our
thoughts by reciting a prayer, reflecting on a
sacred text, focusing on breathing, or other
means. As the group settles into stillness, we
increase our awareness to include the whole
group and movement of the Spirit within it.
In holy silence, we can go beyond words to
experience the Inward Light or Spirit. When
we worship with others, the awareness is
amplified, just as many candles increase the
light in a room.
Some of the things we may sense during
worship are love, healing and renewal.
Sometimes, we feel as one in the Spirit,
with a sense of timelessness and peace. We
may receive guidance about a problem or a
decision. The experience is different for each
of us.
Worship ends after about an hour when
an assigned person shakes hands with a
neighbor. Others then do the same.
Worship can happen at any time and in any
circumstance — such as in a home or a field.
We carry the experience with us into our daily
lives. You are welcome to join us.

Speaking and Listening
in Meeting for Worship

The aim of our meetings for worship
is communion with the Divine. As we
experience the Divine Presence, messages
from a deep place may arise out of the silence.
Anyone may receive a message from
the Spirit and speak it into the silence.
Messages are not prepared in advance. If
one is unclear about sharing a message, it is
probably best to wait with it.
It is customary for a person to speak no
more than once during a meeting for
worship. A period of silence follows each
message so that listeners can absorb it.
We receive each message with openness. It
may strike a chord within us, though not all
messages will speak to everyone. We do not
respond to an earlier message in affirmation,
conversation, or rebuttal.
Meetings for worship may have spoken
messages or not. Either can nourish, guide
and comfort us. What we seek in worship
is stillness that can open to the deep place
where the loving Spirit dwells.
You are welcome to join us.

(With thanks to Friends General Conference)