with hearts and minds prepared." —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
Preparation means entering the Meeting House on First Day in a
worshipful manner, minimizing extraneous talking and socializing before
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
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.
about speaking in Meeting.
in conducting Opening Exercises?
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