Unprogrammed Worship

Lexington Friends continue the 350 year-old tradition of silent worship. We have no clergy, and our worship has no sermon, no order of service, and no sacraments. We sit together in silence, in a circular formation, facing each other. We seek to still our minds in order to “listen” and learn how we are spiritually led. If someone is moved, he or she may speak from the silence. Such spoken messages are usually brief. Some weeks, there may be half a dozen messages spoken during the hour, and occasionally we sit in silence for the whole hour.

In our culture, many people are uncomfortable with prolonged silences. But, we generally find the silence to be rich and a time to slow down and reach for a profound center within. Many times the messages of others speak to our own conditions. It is not unusual for newcomers to find this experience very moving. But of course, this type of worship is not necessarily congenial for all people.

At Lexington Friends Meeting, worship lasts about one hour. The Clerk ends the worship by shaking hands with the persons beside him or her. Everyone then shakes the hands with those around them. Following announcements, each person has a chance to introduce themselves. During these introductions, Friends may simply give their name or speak about a high or low of their week or about a message that came to them during worship but did not quite “gel”. We find this sharing to be a way of getting to know one another that builds community.