What is a Devotional Gathering? What should I expect if I am invited to one?
A regular gathering of people from all faiths and backgrounds who come together in a locality to share prayers and worship. Often held in homes in a neighborhood. Devotional gatherings are considered an essential practice of the spiritual wellbeing of a community, and follow NO set form or rituals.
Bahá’ís and friends get together, often in their homes, in an atmosphere of joy and peacefulness, to read and meditate on inspiring teachings from the religions of the world. Each gathering has its own character, and may involve music or the arts if the host so chooses, but the underlying purpose is the same: to commune with the sacred and increase the devotional character of our homes and neighborhoods.
Every human being has a longing at the core of his/her heart to commune with its Maker. Collective worship in a diverse setting engenders spiritual susceptibilities, hence a more healthier and united community.
- The purpose is to strengthen the neighborhood by focusing on friendship and unity.
Bahá’ís around the world are engaged in local grass-roots experiments in devotional gatherings. Devotion, prayer, meditation, and reflection lie at the heart of spiritual life. It is the main cornerstone block of community building activity.
There is no set form for such gatherings. There are no dogmas or rituals. These devotional gatherings are open to all and are intended to embrace that attitude of prayer and devotion that is universal to all religions. Music is often a component in the gatherings.
People are welcome to simply sit, meditate and enjoy the spiritual atmosphere, or participate by reciting some of the readings or prayers. It may include reflection on the readings and normally ends with socialization and refreshments.