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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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Death in the Meeting

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.


support of the dying and their loved ones

 There was a time when birth and death were home-centered. Today, the hospice movement helps Friends experience and understand the role of family and friends during the time of impending death. Meetings may find it appropriate to provide support to a dying person, their family and close friends over an extended period of time.

 Support from the Meeting may take the form of holding Meeting for Worship at the home of the ill person or listening nonjudgmentally to the wide variety of feelings that the seriously ill person and their loved ones may express. It is always appropriate to offer practical assistance such as food, housekeeping, childcare, and shopping. Members of the Meeting may also help assure that the necessary legal forms are in order, final arrangements have been made, and respite care is available for the caregivers.

  Meeting representatives should make themselves available in an open and reassuring way to respond to the spiritual needs of the individual or the family. It is sometimes important to step in with supportive help, without offending the family, when those most closely involved are unable to make their needs known. It takes great sensitivity and caring on the part of the helping Friends to be appropriately supportive at this critical time.