Put God at 
the center of your life.

 

And as many candles lighted, and put in one place, do greatly augment the light and make it more to shine forth; so when many are gathered together into the same life, there is more of the glory of God, and his power appears, to the refreshment of each individual, for that he partakes not only of the light and life raised in himself, but in all the rest.
                                                               —Robert Barclay, 1678
"Come with hearts and minds prepared." —Faith and Practice

Faith and Practice reminds us to come to meeting for worship with hearts and minds prepared for worship through daily prayer, meditation, and study. Since ours is an unprogrammed meeting, our worship service centers on an expectant silence. The basis for this is the Quaker belief that each person has the capacity to know the will of God, without the interpretation of an intermediary.

Preparation means entering the Meeting House on First Day in a worshipful manner, minimizing extraneous talking and socializing before meeting.

Remember, in Quakerism, the service begins when the first person has sat down in the meeting room. Talking and noise in the Gathering room disturbs those in the meeting room who are worshiping. There’s plenty of time for greeting one another and socializing after meeting.

If you begin to quiet yourself and your family before Meeting for Worship, even during the walk or car ride to meeting, you’ll be able to center more easily when you actually enter the Meeting House. This will deepen the overall quality of our Meeting for Worship for not only yourself, but for everyone present. The responsibility for the spiritual depth of our Meeting for Worship rests with each attender. Those who keep silent, as well as those who speak, do their part when they yield their minds and hearts to the guidance of the Spirit.

The goal of our group worship is to enter the Divine Presence. Often other messages follow the first. It’s possible—and quite acceptable—for a meeting to pass entirely in silence, but messages from the Spirit, through Friends, are the most tangible part of our worship together.

Meeting for Worship isn’t the only time Friends look for "that of God" in everyone. We strive to keep that expectation foremost in all our dealings with others. Attending Meeting for Worship helps us prepare to do that for the rest of the week.

During our silent worship, at intervals, individuals may be moved to rise and share their spiritual insights aloud. We welcome this from anyone present. A brief message can carry deep meaning, reaching many others. After someone has spoken, we allow sufficient time in silence for the meeting to understand the meaning and spirit behind the words.

Worship lasts about an hour, then a designated person turns to their neighbor and shakes hands, followed by a similar action by all present. After Meeting for Worship, we share insights that may not have reached the level of worship. Then we gather for friendly socializing so that members, attenders and visitors can become better acquainted with one another.

We hope that in our Meeting for Worship a consciousness of the Divine Presence will come to every attender, to be a source of direction, strength and comfort after leaving the meeting.

Read the Quaker Information Center Blog Post: "Spontaneous Worship" and the Problem of Orthodoxy

Read about speaking in Meeting.

Interested in conducting Opening Exercises?

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