In worship we have our neighbors to right and left, before and behind, yet the Eternal Presence is over all and beneath all. Worship does not consist in achieving a mental state of concentrated isolation from one’s fellows. But in the depth of common worship it is as if we found our separate lives were all one life, within whom we live and move and have our being. (Thomas Kelly, 1941)
We gather together in silence to listen to the inward light. Very often messages arise for individuals in meeting: a few are meant to be shared with the meeting as a whole after a time of deep reflection. Messages come not only as words, but as images, feelings, the fire crackling, thunder, sunshine, the words of others. In others’ messages, listen for what may be meant for you: some messages speak to you directly, call up a feeling or an association; others may call up some resistance. If a message does not speak to you, let it go.
Further reading on Quaker worship
Interim Faith and Practice of New England Yearly MeetingChapter on Worship. Faith and Practice provides guidance for Friends in New England Yearly Meeting.
Worship sharing focuses on a particular question and helps us to explore our own experience and share with each other more deeply than we would in normal conversation. It seeks to draw us into sacred space, where we can take down our usual defenses, and encounter each other in “that which is eternal.” Friends General Conference has some Guidelines for Worship Sharing.