“Whoever sings [to God, in worship], prays twice.” (Attributed to Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 C.E.)
Quakers are widely known for their practice of silence in worship. At First Friends, “music is as much a vital part of worship as is the message and quiet meditation.” William P. H. Stevens, former pastor (1973-1993)shared these words as he reflected back on more than 50 years of a rich heritage and commitment to music ministry at First Friends.
That rich tradition continues today. As the statement from Augustine of Hippo suggests, we know the ability of music to add another layer to our communion with God. Our Meetings for Worship include instrumental offerings, congregational singing, choral music from the choir, and music that is spontaneously offered during our time of open worship. We sing old hymns of faith as well as new hymns that speak to our calling to love, do justice, and walk peacefully upon the earth. We incorporate music from the Taizé and Iona communities, allowing these short refrains and chants to invite us into deeper communion with God.
We are a community that values music. With varied levels of ability, we offer our gifts both individually and collectively, trusting that through our musical expressions our faith is deepened.