Posted on 24 December 2020
When you’re in Quaker Meeting for Worship, be sure to enjoy the silence.
How to define the silence you experience in a Quaker Meeting for Worship is extremely difficult without experiencing it yourself.
The Space Between Prayer And Meditation
For some, silence is the still space between prayer and meditation that Friends seek the Spirit in.
It is to be celebrated and therefore enjoyed.
Silence is precious for Friends. In taking away the noise of pressure from everyday life it helps you to find the flickering flame of the Inner Light – and the silence of the Spirit makes it glow.
In the silence you will find an acceptance among the fellowship of Friends. In this acceptance you may find some release from fear, anxiety, emotional confusion and selfishness.
More Than An Absence Of Sound
This silence is more than an absence of sound: one can be aware of external sounds, such as a dog barking, a car passing, or a child calling.
But these sounds are not distractions. They are absorbed, often unconsciously, as Friends open to the light within. An early Quaker, Robert Barclay, described his experience during a meeting for worship as saying “I found the evil in me weakening and the good raised up”.
The silence is different from that experienced in traditional, solitary meditation – which normally takes place deep inside oneself as a devotional exercise for one’s own spiritual development. The listening and waiting in a Meeting for Worship is a shared experience in which worshippers seek the Spirit in communion.
In the silence you find an open space of freethinking, not an entrapment of closed thought.
Image from mclyte.wordpress.com/