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Rituals and Worship

Sacred Time

Quakers meet weekly for worship in either "programmed" or liturgical services, or "unprogrammed" services. Both types of service emphasize silence, called "expectant waiting," in order to allow the Spirit to reveal guiding truth to members.

Sacred Space

Friends meet in unconsecrated buildings called meetinghouses that stress simplicity. The meetinghouses have no altars or special seating for ministers or other officials, nor do they have stained glass or elaborate furnishings.

Rites and Ceremonies

There are no specific sacraments or rituals in the Quaker tradition. A believer joins the faith through a process known as "convincement," which follows from a conscious decision to listen to and follow the Inner Light.

Worship and Devotion in Daily Life

Early Friends showed their commitment to sincerity through their dress and speech. Present-day Friends continue to practice simplicity and sincerity in speech and appearance, and in their consumer choices as well.


Early Quakers cultivated symbolic gestures such as the use of "thee" and "thou," and the wearing of simple woolen clothing. These gestures were gradually abandoned, while the ideals of sincerity and simplicity continue to guide Friends' attitudes and behavior.