|In addition to personal prayer and meditation, Bahá'í communities hold regular devotional gatherings for collective worship. These gatherings unite people in prayer and awaken their spiritual susceptibilities.
Because there are no rituals and no clergy in the Bahá'í Faith, devotional gatherings are often held in people's homes, Zooms sessions, or in public places and they are diverse in their form. Prayer and reflection upon sacred scriptures is at the heart of such programs, and music, Devotional Gathering Music singing, and poetry are often incorporated as well.
These gatherings are held in every Bahá'í community to nourish a pattern of life characterized by its devotional character. The spiritual atmosphere created within a devotional meeting imparts a sense of joy, fellowship and love that enriches the relationships among participants.
Bahá'í devotional gatherings are intended to embrace the attitude of prayer and practice of devotion that is universal to all religions, and they are open to people of all beliefs and backgrounds.
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Study circles bring groups of people together to deepen their understanding of the Bahá'í teachings through systematic study. This involves structured group discussion of passages from the Bahá'í writings that encourage reflection on one’s moral purpose and capacities for service.
Participants follow a sequence of courses that address various themes in the Bahá'í writings, such as prayer, the education of children, and the lives of central figures of the Bahá'í Faith.
Each course allows participants to develop new skills, such as organizing devotional gatherings or leading junior youth empowerment groups. As they strive to apply their new insights through a process of action, reflection and consultation, their capacity to offer service to their communities is raised to new levels.
Within a study circle everyone is encouraged to take responsibility for his/her own learning in an environment that is at once serious and uplifting. Study circles are facilitated by trained tutors, who have completed the sequence of courses and now accompany others through the same educational process.
Study circles are one of the core activities of Bahá'í community life, and they are designed to imbue participants with a feeling of personal responsibility for the advancement of their communities, nation and world. They happen in Bahá'í communities all around the country and anyone is welcome to join – regardless of religious or cultural background.
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