Heart of the Message - A Journal of Trans-Ethnic Spirituality - click to return to main page
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     The Universal Worship is the religious service of the Church of All and of all churches. It is so named because it aims to promote the unity of religious ideals, to give an opportunity to those belonging to different religions to worship together, and to discover that there is one source from which all scriptures have come. 

     The Universal Worship is not another Church to be included among the variety of existing Churches. It is a Church which gives an opportunity to those belonging to different religions to worship together to pay respect to the great ones who have come from time to time to help humanity. The different     scriptures of those who have taught wisdom are read at the altar of the Church of All. Nevertheless, no Sufi is compelled even to attend this Church of All; a Sufi, to whatever church he goes, is a Sufi. Being a Sufi is a point of view; it means having a certain outlook on life, but not necessarily going to a     particular church. Religion is something which touches the depths of the heart, and everyone has his own conceptions of religion which he holds as sacred. 

  For a lovely description of the Universal Worship Service :

"In the service of the Sufi Universal Worship all services-Christian, Muslim, Hebrew, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, and Hindu --are included. Therefore the blessing of Christ is given from the altar to the seeker for Jesus Christ's blessing; the one who seeks for the blessing of Moses, to him is given the blessing of Moses; for the one who seeks the benediction of Buddha there is the benediction of Buddha; but those who seek the blessing of all these great ones who have come at different times are blessed by all."

...On the altar are placed the scriptures of the religions mentioned above, and there are also candles representing all these religions. The different candles which are lighted mean our adherence and respect to all the different teachers, religions, and scriptures. They teach us that there is one light and many lamps. It is not the lamps which should first be taken to the mind;it is the light which should first be taken to heart.

     It is this religion of unification which Jesus Christ came to teach; the teachings of Moses and the efforts of Mohammed were all towards this one object. All that Buddha has taught, all that Krishna has said, is summed up in one thing: that it is one light that is the divine light, and it is the guidance coming from that light which becomes the path for humanity to tread.

     But although the Sufi ideal is expressed through so many forms, the Sufis also have the formless ideal of worship. The form is to help those who need to see the form, for all education is really an education of names and forms.

     If there were no names and no forms we would not have learned them. But the form is only suggestive of what is behind it, of one and the same truth which is behind all religions. Therefore the Sufi service is also a teaching, yet every Sufi is free either to take up a form or not to take up a form. A Sufi is not bound by any form. Forms are for his use, not to make him a captive.

     In the Sufi Movement there is no priesthood in the ordinary sense, the priesthood is only to conduct the service and to answer the need of a priest which always exists in our everyday life. Those ordained in the Sufi Movement are called Sirajs and Cherags. There is no distinction between women and men. The worthy soul is ordained; this gives an example to the world that in all places--in the church, in the school, in parliament, in court--it is woman and man together who make evolution complete. But at the same time every Sufi is a priest, a preacher, a teacher, and a pupil of every soul that he meets in the world.

     The Sufi prayers such as Saum and Salat are not man-made prayers. They have descended from above, just as in every period of spiritual reconstruction prayers were given. And there is every power and blessing in them, especially for those who believe." (HIK)