Orange County Friends Meeting
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Irvine, California

Sacraments

Friends recognize that special moments of particular insight and spiritual awareness do occur, but they do not require prescribed rites or external sacraments.

Like most people, Friends cherish the passages and life experiences often marked by traditional sacramental forms and community recognitions. Friends hold special Meetings for Worship where some of the content is planned in advance, specifically on the occasion of marriage or death. Many Meetings also hold small, usually informal, celebrations for the birth of a child, graduation, new membership or another special event. These often take on the sacred character of a community united in its focus on the divine: a sacrament. Wary of how quickly a spontaneous celebration can become an empty ritual through repetition, Friends have avoided adopting rituals governed by outer rules or supervised by an ordained individual.

"Our experience leads us to emphasize the fact that entrance into the community of Christ's people requires no outward rite, but is to be known only through trust, obedience, love and commitment. As there are brought forth in us, we find ourselves drawn together into a unity with one another in which the presence of the Spirit of God is realized. Similarly we believe that our corporate experience at its best justifies us in claiming, in humility, that Christ's real presence is indeed known by us when even two or three are gathered together, in quite expectancy, in his name. As some Friends would even say that they have come to  know, in Quaker worship and fellowship, a communion with Christ which goes beyond anything they had previously experienced in the sacramental practice of other Christian groups." (Maurice A. Creasey)

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