Friends General Conference

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Silent Worship

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You will find much silence in our Meeting for Worship a silence of expectant waiting, and an opportunity for experiencing the presence of God. The silence is broken occasionally when a worshipper feels led by the Spirit to share a message, reading, or prayer. Every individual present enriches the fellowship, whether speaking or remaining silent.

From Faith and Practice (2014 edition), p. 13:

"[Early Friends] made the discovery that silence is one of the best preparations for communion [with God] and for the reception of inspiration and guidance.

Silence itself, of course, has no magic.  It may be just sheer emptiness, absence of words or noise or music.... But it may be an intensified pause, a vitalized

hush, a creative quiet, an actual moment of mutual and reciprocal correspondence with God."

   --Rufus M. Jones, Spiritual Message of the Religious Society of Friends," 1937