We gather in prayerful silence with neither clergy nor liturgy. The faith of Friends rests on the belief that each of us has that of God within with which we can connect if we become attentive enough. Stillness is an integral part of the meeting for worship as all of us try to center ourselves into the gathering silence and to be open to the living word of God. Listening together, we experience ourselves and each other as spirit-filled and spirit-led.
Anyone who feels that God calls her or him to share the Light may rise and speak briefly during meeting for worship. The forms of vocal ministry may vary: a query, a poem, or a spoken message being most common. Afterwards, the silence should resume. Speaking in meeting is not an occasion for dialogue or debate, and, normally, a person does not speak more than once during the meeting. We try to enter each meeting for worship resolving neither to speak nor not to speak, but to await the inspiration that grows out of the silence.
Meeting ends when the clerk “breaks meeting” by shaking hands and welcoming the neighbors sitting nearest. Others shake hands with those nearby. Our meeting has an additional short period where we share joys and concerns, greet visitors and ask them to introduce themselves, and make announcements.