Quaker?S Friends Meeting: Worship Visiting Essay, Research Paper
For the worship service, I visited one of the Quaker’s Friends meeting houses. Since my family’s religious background is Catholic Christian, This offered interesting views and different perceptions. Quaker’s history and believes were especially brought me interest.
When I went to the Quaker’s Friend’s house I was nervous because I felt I am the first visitor and I did not know what I supposed to do in there. However, people in Friend house was really friendly and kind to guide me what I supposed to do and where to The place for worship was not what I have imagine but small room that but small room that roughly fifteen people can be in.
Here is a brief summary of how the Quakers came into being. The Quaker beliefs are rooted in Christian tradition. The Quaker movement arose in the mid-17th century in England. Its followers called themselves as “ Friends of Truth”, since they thought of themselves as “ Friends”. The name “ Quaker” was a nickname used by others, since it was said that they trembled or Quaked with religious zeal. The Friends have since adopted that term and today the words Friend and Quaker have the same meaning. The formal title of the Quaker movement is now, “ Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)”.
Quaker is one of the religions I have never experienced myself and has several significant differences from my personal background and experiences with Catholic Christian. Through this experience, I found there are a lot different ways of believing in god and the styles of worship between the Quaker and Catholic Christian.
First of all, I found that the worship style of the Quakers is really unique, when compared with the Christian worship style that I familiar with. Quakers usually have a regular worship service every Sunday morning at the Friend’s meeting house. It is not as formal and structured as the Roman Catholic Church service. Usually the seating for the meeting on worship is arranged in a circle or square. When I visited, people were seated in circle. This is to help people both to be aware of one another and to be conscious of the fact that they are worshipping together. As soon as people were seated, there was sudden silence for awhile. I did not understand what was going on but I just sat with them, trying to imagine what would happen next. Later I found out that keeping silent is a way of seeking God’s will in order to make people open to one another. While there was silence, I felt a little uncomfortable because of the long silence. People may worship entirely without words, but usually there will be some brief contribution. The silence could be broken quickly, or sometimes last for the entire meeting, which is usually an hour or so. In Quaker teaching, anyone may feel called to speak: man, women, child, friends, or first time visitor like I was are welcome. There was a very wide variety of sources for spoken, material (biblical or otherwise) and acceptance of them is an important part of Quaker worship.
Next, The Quaker’s belief also caused me significant curiosity. In Quaker belief, silence is greatly valued by people and amongst friends. By removing the pressure and hurriedness to speak, it helps raise awareness of the inner and deeper meanings of their individual and cooperative lives. It enables people to begin to accept themselves as they are and try to find some release from fear, anxiety, emotional confusion, and selfishness. Friends also believe that first-hand knowledge of God is only possible through individual experience or when inwardly revealed the obligations felt by each individual. In addition, at the center of the Quaker faith lies the concept of the Inner Light. This principle stated that in every human soul there is implanted a certain “ element of God”, “ The need of Christ”, and “ the need of light” which means, in the words of John 1:9 “ the light which listens to every human coming into the world. In another words, following the inward light would lead spiritual development and toward individual development
There are several differences between Quakers and my personal backgrounds Catholic Christian. This includes the way of worship and the way in which one view God. This worship service visiting made me realized that there are a lot different kind of religion and ways of believing and way of worship. Through this experience, I found that Quakers have a strong bond among each other when they worship together for soul searching and communicating with god.