The Religious Society of Friends holds as the basis of its faith the belief that every human being is endowed with a measure of the Divine Spirit which may be directly experienced. Our manner of worship is an outgrowth of this belief. We gather in quiet assemblies, mindful of the words: “Be still, and know that I am God.” We come together in reverent silence with the desire to draw nearer to God and to understand God’s will.
For Friends a memorial meeting is similar in many ways to a meeting for worship. It is not only a time for sharing feelings of loss, but a time of gratitude for the life of the departed person. We reflect on the value of that life as it relates to the lives of all of us.
All present share in this. We sit quietly; at times an individual may be moved to speak, to offer a prayer or a message that has come out of the silence. All are welcome to do this.
The responsibility for the spiritual depth of the meeting rests with each attender. Those who keep silence as well as those who give a vocal message do their part when they yield their minds and hearts to the guidance of the Spirit. The close of the meeting is signaled by handshakes among those in attendance.
Friends hope that in the meeting for worship a consciousness of the Divine Presence will come to every attender, to be a source of direction, strength and comfort after leaving the meeting.
Originally printed with permission of Wooster (Ohio) Monthly Meeting, Religious Society of Friends.
Revised by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Religious Society of Friends.