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Quaker Worship

In Meeting for Worship we come together in expectant waiting, seeking and experiencing a communion with God. South Seattle Meeting practices unprogrammed silent worship: with no pastor or leader, those present sit silently together in spiritual communion and reflection, listening and searching, waiting on the experience of the divine. It’s an attentive, shared silence.

Sometimes the hour passes entirely in silent worship. Other times, anyone present may feel strongly and spontaneously moved to speak, sensing and giving voice to a spiritually-derived message. This is vocal (or spoken) ministry. Others present typically don’t respond outwardly to the message, but aim to be inwardly receptive, accepting it as divinely inspired. Afterwards, the group returns to silent worship, in which we may absorb and reflect upon what was said. 

You will say, ‘Christ saith this, and the apostles say this;’ but what canst thou say? Art thou a child of the Light, and hast thou walked in the Light, and what thou speakest, is it inwardly from God?

–George Fox (reported by Margaret Fell, 1694)

At South Seattle Meeting we worship for an hour; the children join the group in the last 10 minutes. At the end of the hour, a designated volunteer brings worship to a close by shaking hands with those nearby; at that point everyone is invited to greet each other with a handshake. The volunteer will then stand to lead introductions and announcements, usually followed by refreshments.


In the gathered meeting the sense is present that a new Life and Power has entered our midst.We are in communication with one another because we are being communicated to, and through, by the Divine presence." 

–Thomas Kelly, 1940