Forms of Worship


"The meeting for worship draws us into radical relationship with the divine and one another, gives us the opportunity to see the world differently and to be changed, and propels us out into the world (to enact or live out the insights and changes in the world)."  - Calid & Kristina Keefe-Perry

Two main traditions of Quaker worship

Quaker meetings usually follow one of two main traditions in their worship—"programmed" and "unprogrammed." Some meetings combine aspects of both in "semi-programmed" worhsip.

  • Unprogrammed. Friends sit in expectant waiting for the promptings of spirit. Vocal ministry may be offered by anyone as led. Messages are generally brief and Friends are encouraged to leave ample space between messages. This form is more properly called silent, waiting worship.
  • Programmed. A pastor or minister leads a service that may include spoken prayers, hymn singing, and a sermon. Programmed worship is essentially a simple version of what most Protestant churches practice.
  • Semi-Programmed. A hybrid between the two above forms will include programmed elements such as singing and a sermon. 1/4 to 1/2 of the service will be held in expectant silence.