"Devotional meetings are occasions where any soul may enter, inhale the heavenly fragrances, experience the sweetness of prayer, meditate upon the Creative Word, be transported on the wings of the spirit, and commune with the one Beloved. Feelings of fellowship and common cause are generated, particularly in the spiritually heightened conversations that naturally occur at such times and through which the “city of the human heart” may be opened. By convening a gathering for worship at which adults and children of any background are welcome, the spirit of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár is evoked in any locality."
-December 29, 2015 Letter of the Universal House of Justice to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors
Doubling Devotional Gatherings
As you know, we have a regional goal of doubling our regular devotional gatherings from 400 to 800 by the Bicentenary at the end of next month. We have now grown to have over 500 regular devotional gatherings reported. As we experience the soul-sustaining effects of an enhanced devotional character individually and collectively, we recognize that devotional gatherings can allow more souls to become familiar with the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. Devotionals may start as family devotionals and through accompaniment, families can build capacity “to become more outward oriented by inviting not only their own kin but also their neighbours, friends, colleagues, and even the entire neighbourhood. The hosts of devotional meetings are also supported in learning not just to share prayers, but to foster profound conversations on Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings, introduce to the attendants the community-building efforts, and invite them to participate.” - May 3, 2018 Message, International Teaching Center
We are optimistic about the possibilities that this period surrounding the Bicentenary offers and the pattern of a growing devotional life that will be sustained afterwards.
“There is, therefore, every reason to expect that the emphasis given to commemorating these Holy Days will have a considerable and cumulative impact on the work of raising vibrant communities—not least on the enrichment of devotional life.”
-Department of the Secretariat, Universal House of Justice, May 18, 2016