About Quaker worship

Welcome to our MEETING FOR WORSHIP. We will be happy to have you join us as we open ourselves to the Spirit of God in silent worship. When you attend your first Friends Meeting for Worship, you may be interested in knowing what to expect. You will see a group of people sitting silently together. Occasionally a person rises to share a message and sits down again. After about an hour, a designated member closes meeting by shaking hands. Everyone is then invited to introduce themselves.

Our Friends’ Meeting is an adventure in shared worship. It is an adventure because it is not pre-planned and has no leader save for the Light which is in and among us. We are joined with each other and the Divine in a loving unity which nurtures the discovery and growth of truth, understanding and compassion.

We all share the responsibility for silent and vocal ministry. There is no order of service. Friends should remain silent until they feel “compelled” to rise from their seats, and feel “spoken through.” Following each message, a time for reflection is allowed before another speaker rises. Quaker practice expects that no one speak more than once in a Meeting for Worship. While later messages often build on earlier ones, a direct response is discouraged. Meeting for Worship should not be used for discussion.

In its best form, vocal ministry is not intellectual reflections but rather the voice of universal love, speaking through our own deepest feelings and experience.

Written by Mount Toby Ministry and Worship Committee

See also Traditional Quaker Worship | Quaker Information Center
and Online readings