Quaker Worship

How Quakers Worship
Worship is at the heart of what it means to be a Quaker. Meeting for worship brings Quakers together in stillness so we can quiet our minds and open our hearts and lives to God. Everyone is welcome to join us.
Quaker worship (we call it 'meeting for worship') normally lasts for an hour. We enter and sit in stillness and waiting. This stillness gives us space and time to listen and reflect. We don't have songs, set prayers or talks you might find in other places of worship. We know that some people may find the silence uncomfortable, but it can be an opportunity to come closer to God.

What happens in the stillness?
We try to be quiet in body, mind and spirit. We don't worship on our own. We look for a sense of connection with those around us, with our deepest selves, with God. As we feel this sense of connection grow stronger, we may begin to see the world and our relationships in a new way. Our worship may take us to a deep place, beyond our own thoughts and ideas and help us respond more creatively to our lives and the world around us.

Who leads the meeting for worship?
We believe all people are equal, we can all have a direct relationship with God and anyone can contribute to worship. Quakers do not have priests or anyone leading the worship.

During worship people may feel prompted to speak, pray or read aloud. They may stand to share their insights and inspirations with the meeting. We call this ministry. Ministry can inspire and enrich; we listen in silence and without judgement. It may also prompt others to say something connected to what they have heard.

What books do you use?
The Bible and copies of a book called Quaker faith & practice – a collection of writing and experiences of Quakers from our 350-year history – are to hand. We also use a small booklet called Advices & queries; a collection of prompts, insights and questions that Quakers read regularly.

How does a meeting end?
Meeting for worship finishes when two Quakers shake hands. The rest of the meeting joins in by shaking hands with those around them. Someone may then share news and information. After meeting has finished, please approach someone if you want to ask questions about the meeting or anything else about Quakers.

Who can come to meeting?
Quaker meetings are open to everyone. You are most welcome and do not need to be a Quaker to attend.

8. Worship is our response to an awareness of God. We can worship alone, but when we join with others in expectant waiting we may discover a deeper sense of God’s presence. We seek a gathered stillness in our meetings for worship so that all may feel the power of God’s love drawing us together and leading us.
9. In worship we enter with reverence into communion with God and respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Come to meeting for worship with heart and mind prepared. Yield yourself and all your outward concerns to God’s guidance so that you may find ‘the evil weakening in you and the good raised up’.
10. Come regularly to meeting for worship even when you are angry, depressed, tired or spiritually cold. In the silence ask for and accept the prayerful support of others joined with you in worship. Try to find a spiritual wholeness which encompasses suffering as well as thankfulness and joy. Prayer, springing from a deep place in the heart, may bring healing and unity as nothing else can. Let meeting for worship nourish your whole life. Advices & Queries .