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Faith and Practice

Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the

Religious Society of Friends

a guide to quaker discipline in the experience of pacific yearly meeting of the religious society of friends.
published 2001

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pym in context
quaker faith & spiritual practice
testimony & experience of friends
organization of the society
activities & organization of the YM
sources of quotations
index of sources
subject index

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Friends who have permitted us to use material for this Faith and Practice.


We sensibly felt the Lord with us and joining us, the sense whereof remained with us all our life.

thomas and mary ellwood, 1669

 Friends recognize that God consecrates marriage. Marriage is the expression of God’s will and purpose functioning in two lives, joined with joy, reverence, faith and an expectation of lifelong partnership. Couples serve as important examples for our children and young adults as they learn about adult relationships. Quaker marriage vows invoke divine assistance. Friends believe that when we know God’s love in our lives, when we are open to receiving direction, we find the divine assistance that our relationships need. This requires openness and a maturity of spirit as we seek to love the other person as he or she actually is.When Friends marry, they are encouraged to do so under the care of the Meeting, in a spirit of commitment for lifelong care of the relationship. Friends act as witnesses to what the Spirit has brought together.

 All marriages need a foundation of commitment, communication, honesty, and integrity. Patience, humor, and a spirit of adventure, guided by a mutual trust in God’s presence, strengthen the present and brighten the hope for the future.

 Marriages pass through many phases, and through all phases the quality of marriage is tested. Respect for each other and the expression of enduring love deepen the bond.With God’s help, each couple finds a true path and a way of living that leads to a strong union. The Meeting can provide guidance and support to marriages through clearness committees, retreats, workshops, and referral when needed. Most important, the Meeting and individuals help couples through prayer and a strong belief in divine assistance in daily life.