The following is adapted from Oxford, Ohio Friends Meeting's leaflet,
"Welcome to Oxford Friends Meeting for Worship."

A Quaker meeting for worship is based on silence, a silence of expectant and attentive waiting for the leading of the Divine Spirit. There is no appointed minister to start or conduct the meeting. Everyone present shares in the responsibility for worship; everyone can share in its blessing. All contribute to the common worship as well as to their own renewal.

Anyone may speak if he or she feels moved by the Spirit of God to do so. We enter into the silence with an open mind and receive what is said in a loving spirit. We recognize that our needs differ, but we believe that each sincere spoken message will help someone. Sometimes a message may not "speak to your condition," but our experience is that the spirit behind the words nonetheless holds meaning for us. Coming from many faiths and philosophies, we find in the silence a common meeting ground. Each of us uses the silence in his or her own way to seek inspiration and inner peace. "In the noisy rush of modern life we need periods of quiet when the soul may feed in peace on that which will nourish it for action." (John William Rowntree) The shaking of hands around the circle, initiated by the person who is overseeing the meeting for the day, ends the worship period.

If Quaker meeting is new to you, begin where you are, knowing that you are joining a great company of seekers of the past, present, and future, whose contributions to the world's good are rooted in silent worship.

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