A is for Andakt
In Sweden, Quakers talk about going to Andakt. In English this means going to Meeting for Worship. The direct translation of andakt is ‘devotion’, or ‘reverence’. For Quakers in Småland, the county in which I live, going to Andakt either involves travelling several kilometres or hosting the Meeting in our own homes.
Småland is a large county in the southern half of Sweden. The 5 members of Sweden Yearly Meeting and the 2 faithful ‘friends of Friends’ who live in it are scattered from north to south and east to west. In order to meet as regularly as possible, we decided to gather in each other’s homes once a month. This decision, taken in January 2011, heralded the birth of the Småland Worship Group (Smålands Andaktsgrupp).
We meet once a month on a Saturday or a Sunday at 11 o’clock. After Andakt we have a simple lunch together, prepared by the host or hostess, spiced with plenty of good conversation. Our number also includes two small children – aged 5 and 3 – and standard poodle Irma (you will read more about Irma when we get to the letter I). We sometimes make music after lunch, or make funny noises together and laugh. Children bring out the children in us.....
Like Quakers in other parts of Europe we meet in silence, for an hour, in a circle. A table with a lighted candle on it is usually in the centre. Spoken ministry might punctuate the hour. It might also be completely silent. Whatever happens, we love being together, worshipping, eating and having fun.
In short, we love going to Andakt.