Universal Worship

We have scriptures on our altar, more for the principle than for the study. By keeping the scriptures there we set an example of tolerance towards different religions and of our belief that wisdom comes from all sources. Therefore the discussion and arguments over questions, why this scripture and why not another, is of no importance, for it must be known that if the divine scriptures had been kept always authentic, there would not have been so much need for another scripture. But for this reason and for another reason, that is, to give to the world the needed message for the time, the Message has been sent time after time.

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
Pir Vilayat
Pir Vilayat conducting a Universal Worship service

The Universal Worship is the religious activity of the Inayatiyya. It is based upon the unity of religious ideals, and celebrates the underlying truth that is reflected in all the world’s faiths. Hazrat Inayat Khan created a service in which the major religions of both the East and the West are represented by candles and scriptures on a single altar. The service ultimately acknowledges “all those who, whether known or unknown, have held aloft the light of truth through the darkness of human ignorance.” Each service has a theme, which is addressed in readings from the scriptures of the major traditions and amplified upon in a closing sermon.

The Universal Worship ordains ministers, known as Cherags (lamps). A Cherag is empowered to perform marriages and give other sacraments. Ordination follows a long process of study, training, and meditation during which the candidate is also encouraged to connect deeply with his or her own religious roots.

Universal Worship usually takes place 3 times a year, around January, June and September. Please email the office for dates and times.