“Quaker” Lexicon

Date Names

The common names of days of the week and months of the year,such as “Sunday” and “January”, were adopted in honor of pagan deities. Friends have traditionally rejected such vocabulary and have called the days of the week and the months of the year by their numbers, as they are called in scripture, thus:

First Day (sunday)First Month (january)Seventh Month (july)
Second Day (monday)Second Month (february)Eighth Month (august)
Third Day (tuesday)Third Month (march)Ninth Month (september)
Fourth Day (wednesday)Fourth Month (april)Tenth Month (october)
Fifth Day (thursday)Fifth Month (may)Eleventh Month (november)
Sixth Day (friday)Sixth Month (june)Twelfth Month (december)
Seventh Day (saturday)

It is interesting that, earlier in the 20th century, Friends began accepting use of the common date names, feeling that any pagan meaning has been forgotten, while in the 21st century, most of us write (or type) dates using their number designations. Perhaps the Quaker usage will catch on in common speech as well.

Meeting for worship

John 4:23 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

When Friends come together to worship God, they do so in obedience to these passages. To a newcomer, the meeting may seem “silent” but in reality it is an experience of intense listening. We gather, in a meeting house, in a private home, in a park, to strengthen each other and to wait, as did the disciples on the day of Pentecost. The Word of God, Christ, is there among us and speaks to us by his spirit, in our hearts. Sometimes no audible word is said, but we are together refreshed and washed clean by the fountain of living waters. Sometimes one Friend may deliver an inspiring sermon. Sometimes several Friends, as the Spirit leads each one, will give a series of brief messages which joined by God’s plan from a complete revelation. Sometimes a Friend will be compelled by the Spirit to speak something that seems to make no sense, only to learn later that it was a divine answer to some one else’s need.

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A witness testifies, or gives a “testimony” – a true and complete accound – of what he or she has seen. It is not hear-say. It is not conjecture. Biblical law required the concurring testimony of two witnesses to establish truth. There are two witnesses for Jesus Christ:

John 15:25-26 But when the comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

To Friends, the Spirit of Truth has revealed certain commands for those who would live in the Kingdom. To these we stand witnesses and give testimony. Our testimony is corroborated by the witness of scripture.

"under the care of"

“Under the care of…”  We, as individuals and as a whole, intentionally and conficently put ourselves under the care of our beloved Lord, Jesus the Anointed Son of God.  In turn, as Christ’s body here on earth, each member must care for, and be cared for by, other members, as Christ directs.  Founded on that relationship,  individual Friends care for each other among those with whom they share regular  worship, fellowship, discipleship, stewardship, and service.  We also care for each other as groups.  Worship Groups are small and immature, and are under the care of Monthly Meetings.  Monthly Meetings are well enough established to take on the reponsibity of meeting houses, marriages and funerals, and other termporal business.  They are, in turn, under the care of Quarterly Meetings, and Quarterly Meetings are under the care of the Yearly Meeting.   The “care” may be compared to parental love, which emphasizes instruction, advice, and council, reserving correction and authority for special cases, and always in a sense of Christian love.  Since Monthly Meetings are made up of all their own members and members of their worship groups, and Quarterly Meetings are made up of all the members of their Monthly Meetings, and the Yearly Meeting is made up of all the members of all the Quarterly Meetings, there is not a true hierarchy.  Rather, as each such group’s strength comes from the unity which they find in  Christ, the larger the group that has found unity, the more power that  unity exerts over the body and its members.