The Meeting for Worship is at the core of Quaker practice. There, Friends gather together in an expectant waiting upon God. Friends experience the guidance of the Holy Spirit by waiting in silence. Typically, Meeting for Worship begins when the first worshippers settle into the silence at the appointed place and time. It ends when the Clerk or another designated individual shakes the hand of another person seated nearby. At that signal, Friends generally shake hands and greet one another.
During worship, all share responsibility for vocal ministry. God may call upon any one, regardless of experience or education, age or gender, to be a messenger. No one is excluded from the possibility of such service just as no one is appointed in advance to preach or pray at a particular Meeting for Worship. When someone does offer vocal ministry, Friends seek to be open, notwithstanding any hesitations or imperfection in the speaker's words. An unexpected message may touch hearts, reveal the wisdom from the Source, and encourage the growth of the Seed within.