Spiritual Church Services
Each organisation will develop their own style of service. However, most contain the same basic elements and have similar needs for what happens before and after the service. Outlined below is some general information that may be useful if you want to review how you run your service or to set up a new service.
Timing and frequency
Most organisations hold their service on a Sunday. However, a spiritualist service can occur on any day or evening of the week. The timing and frequency of a service depends on the requirements of the organisation. Some centres or churches schedule weekly services, others hold them fortnightly or monthly. Some have morning services, others afternoon or evening services.
Length and content
Traditionally, services have been 60 minutes in length, structured around a 20-minute address and 20 minutes of clairvoyance with 20 minutes allowed for introductions, opening and closing prayers, songs or hymns, the reading and notices. However, in recent years some organisations have moved to include spiritual healing within the service. To accommodate the extra activity they either extend the length of the service or ask mediums to give a shorter address.
Aim and atmosphere
The aim of the service is to impart spiritual philosophy by means of an address and proof of life after death by way of messages from those who have passed over. It is important that the energy of the service is uplifting and welcoming, that those who are attending feel relaxed and at home, and that there is an opportunity for attendees, particularly those new to this philosophy, to ask questions after the service.
Preparing a roster at the end of the year for the following year or every six months is a good way to ensure that you are prepared each week. The roster can contain the names of your chairperson, reader and medium. You may also choose to have a roster for your door person, supper duty, librarian and music person.
Some organisations choose to leave spaces for new mediums to step into during the year. As an organisation you can choose whether a medium can arrange swaps with other mediums if they are not available or whether it is done through someone on your committee.
Many organisations also confirm that everyone is available a week before the service date.
Chairperson’s role and responsibilities
The chairperson’s role is particularly important as they bring the service together and maintain momentum during the service. Generally, it is the chairperson’s responsibility to:
- ensure the room is set up appropriately, including providing water and song books for themselves and the medium
- fill in the order of service Sample Order of Service
- select songs and check that music is available (if your service includes songs and music)
- check that that the person rostered for the reading is present and has an appropriate reading with them (it can be helpful to have some readings available in case a last minute substitute is needed)
- check that healers are available
- welcome the medium when they arrive, talk through the order of service, and check that they are happy to talk with people after the service
- facilitate the smooth running and continuity of the service by adding in small comments, introducing the different elements and thanking everyone at the end
- ensure a thank you card, petrol voucher or anything else offered to visiting mediums is made available either before or after the service.
Expectations of mediums
It is reasonable to expect mediums working at your service to:
- arrive before the service starts, dressed appropriately and tuned to work with spirit
- have an understanding of your order of service and your expectations of them
- talk with you before the service starts, if they are wanting to work differently from your usual procedure
- deliver clear, uplifting messages
- not pass on personal information in a public setting.
Order of service
The order of service is flexible and can be adjusted to suit your organisation. It will generally include the following elements.
- Welcome and introductions (chairperson)
- The chairperson welcomes everyone and often includes a request for attendees to turn off their cell phones.
- At this stage some organisations ask attendees to introduce themselves to those sitting beside them, in front of them and behind them. This is a good way for people to get to know each other. It can also help to raise the vibration of the service.
- The chairperson also introduces all those who are helping with the service, eg the medium, reader, door person, the person in charge of the music and not forgetting themselves.
- Many organisations also include advice for attendees to take on board what feels right and to just let go anything that does not fit.
- This is important as our philosophy enables everyone to hold their own beliefs and to change those beliefs at any time.
This element of the service helps to settle people down.
- Opening prayer (usually given by the medium)
- This is either channeled from spirit or from the person themselves.
- It often starts with asking people to go into the healing silence for a few minutes for healing to be sent to all those in need.
- Reading (member of the congregation)
- This is organised in advance to be given by a member of the congregation.
- It is generally an appropriate short reading from a book.
- Address (medium)
- This will either be channeled direct from spirit or will be the medium’s own words, depending on how they work.
- The length of the address is generally between 10 and 20 minutes and will be uplifting, informative and given on a love vibration. This part of the service often focuses on an aspect of spiritual philosophy to help people understand how they can live their life in a spiritual manner.
- Many organisations use this time to collect a free will offering from those attending and, if this is the case, the song is usually sung sitting down.
- Clairvoyance (medium)
- In this part of the service the medium will ask to go to individual members of the congregation and give them messages from spirit.
- The medium should always give the person they are going to the opportunity to say that they don’t wish to receive a message.
- Messages are uplifting and do not include any personal information that could embarrass the person. If the medium is receiving that type of information it is important that they ask to talk to the person privately afterwards.
- The message will often include a description of the spirit and a short message that will help the person receiving it.
- At the end of the clairvoyance, the chairperson thanks the medium and advises that the medium will be available after the service to talk with those who received messages.
- Notices and closure (chairperson)
- The chairperson reads out any notices (about the next service, upcoming events, membership subs, etc), thanks all those who helped with the service and also the congregation for attending, and invites everyone to stay for some light refreshments and discussion.
- If healing is offered after the service, the chairperson explains that healing is available and how to access it.
- The chairperson also invites the congregation to join hands in a circle for the closing prayer and song (although not every organization asks attendees to join in a circle). For examples of the closing song, click here.
- Closing prayer (usually the medium)
- This is either channeled from spirit or from the person themselves.
- Closing song – here areFinal Songs that can be used.
- After the service
- By providing light refreshments at the end of your service, you give the medium the opportunity to talk further with anyone who received a message during the service.
- It also provides an opportunity for members of your committee to circulate among those who have stayed, generally getting to know people and answering any questions that people may have.
- Many organisations have their own library of spiritual books available for the congregation to browse through at the end of the service and make them available for financial members to borrow.
- Some organisations offer spiritual healing after the service.
- When spiritual healing is provided during the service
- This may include a healing meditation either by the medium or a member of the organisation.
- Some organisations have their healers stand around the outside of the congregation, sharing healing while the meditation is happening, or music is played.
- Other organisations invite those wishing to receive healing to move to different chairs with the healers standing behind them and sharing the healing while the meditation is happening, or music is played.
- Some services don’t include any music.
- For those that do, the music is generally pre-recorded either on to a memory stick or through a cellphone and books with the words are distributed amongst those attending – Examples of Songs that can be used.