[Excerpted from “Silence and Speech
For anyone new to Quaker Worship”
by Richard F. Allen]
Preparation for Meetings
It is best to arrive in an unhurried way somewhat before the stated time
of the meeting, and not talk much outside, but go in and sit in silence.
Entering the Silence
Many Quakers would probably say they are waiting….waiting in their utmost
hearts for the touch of something beyond their everyday selves. Some would
call it “listening to the quiet voice of God”….without trying to define
Speaking Out of Silence
Those who speak feel themselves to be in the presence which, however they may
name it or avoid naming it, commands their reverence.
Subject Matter of Ministry
Ideally, in a truly “gathered” meeting the silence itself governs both the
content and the form of what is spoken. It supports those who speak, and
at the same time exerts a gentle discipline on what they say and helps them
to find the right words.