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A Profile of the Bahá'í Faith and its Worldwide Community

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bullet.gif (837 bytes) The Bahá'ís
bullet.gif (837 bytes) Unity in Diversity
bullet.gif (837 bytes) Bahá'u'lláh
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) Social and Moral
Teachings
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) Spiritual Beliefs of
the Bahá'í Faith
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) A System for
Global Governance
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) A Century of
Growth and
Expansion
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) New Approaches
to Old Problems
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) Towards the New
World Order

The Nineteen Day Feast : blend of worship, fellowship, and grassroots democracy.

The centerpiece of Bahá'í community life is the Nineteen Day Feast. Held once every 19 days, it is the local community's regular worship gathering--and more.

Open to both adults and children, the Nineteen Day Feast is the regular gathering that promotes and sustains the unity of the local Bahá'í community. Although its program is adaptable to a wide variety of cultural and social needs, the Feast always contains three elements: spiritual devotion, administrative consultation, and fellowship. As such, the Feast combines religious worship with grassroots governance and social enjoyment.

The use of the word "feast" might seem to imply that a large meal will be served. That is not necessarily the case. While food and beverages are usually served, the term itself is meant to suggest that the community should enjoy a "spiritual feast" of worship, companionship and unity. Bahá'u'lláh stressed the importance of gathering every nineteen days, "to bind your hearts together," even if nothing more than water is served.

During the devotional program, selections from the Bahá'í writings, and often the scriptures from other religions, are read aloud. A general discussion follows, allowing every member a voice in community affairs and making the Feast an "arena of democracy at the very root of society." The Feast ends with a period for socializing.

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"Excerpted from The Bahá'ís, a publication of the Bahá'í International Community."


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