December 17, 2015

“collective worship of God”: An activity “essential to the spiritual life of the community”

...the flourishing of the community, especially at the local level, demands a significant enhancement in patterns of behaviour: those patterns by which the collective expression of the virtues of the individual members and the functioning of the Spiritual Assembly are manifest in the unity and fellowship of the community and the dynamism of its activity and growth. This calls for the integration of the component elements—adults, youth and children—in spiritual, social, educational and administrative activities; and their engagement in local plans of teaching and development... It involves the practice of collective worship of God. Hence, it is essential to the spiritual life of the community that the friends hold regular devotional meetings in local Bahá'í centres, where available, or elsewhere, including the homes of believers.
- The Universal House of Justice (Ridvan 1996 message; compilation: ‘Selected Guidance Concerning Devotional Gatherings’, prepared by the research department of the Universal House of Justice, 2001)