Prayer and Worship
Prayer and worship are central aspects of Bahá’í life, both as individuals and as a community. The Bahá’í Writings state that prayer, in its highest form, is an expression of love and gratitude for one’s Creator. Prayer can be likened to food for the soul and is a means of attracting divine assistance and blessings. Prayer is not limited to words, but is a state of being that, ultimately, finds expression in our deeds.
In diverse settings, Bahá’ís gather with their friends and neighbours to pray and reflect upon the Bahá’í Sacred Texts. These simple gatherings generate a spirit of collective worship that inspire acts of service and increase the spiritual character of neighbourhoods and communities.
Service to Humanity
Service is integral to both individual and collective life. We are each called
upon to be an active participant of social progress. Through our
actions and deeds, and in our work and service to our communities, we strive
to contribute to the betterment of society and to develop our intellectual
and spiritual capacities.
Service in the Bahá’í community finds expression in the mutual support
that we provide one another, as well as in the accompaniment provided
by the community and institutional bodies to each individual.
Education and Capacity Building
The Bahá’í belief in the inherent nobility of each human being is intimately connected with the conviction that education, both material and spiritual, has the power to manifest the potential nobility within each person and, most importantly, benefit society. Over the past few decades, the worldwide Bahá’í community has developed an educational programme that seeks to cultivate the vast and powerful potentialities inherent in every human being. Guided by the principle and goal of universal participation, this educational programme combines personal reflection and group study with acts of service in the community.
Those who participate in this educational programme encompass diverse ages, faiths, worldviews and backgrounds. It is through collaboration with people of all perspectives that greater insights into the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh emerge, furthering the realisation of the oneness of humanity. All are warmly invited to contribute to this process.
Bahá’ís regard children as the most precious treasure a community can possess. In them are the promise and guarantee of the future. The fulfilment of this promise is dependent on the type of education that is imparted to our children. In addition to the pursuit of academic knowledge, the Bahá’í community places great emphasis on the spiritual nourishment of children, focusing on the development of spiritual qualities, such as truthfulness, generosity and kindness.
In localities throughout Switzerland, classes are offered to tend to the moral and spiritual development of children between the ages of 5 and 11 years. These classes include short lessons that make use of stories, games, music and the arts to explore the meaning, significance and practice of spiritual qualities.
Young people play an important role in our society. Although sometimes depicted as problematic, the Bahá’í community sees within them altruism, a keen sense of justice, eagerness to learn and a desire to contribute to a better world. Throughout Switzerland, young members of the Bahá’í community, together with their friends, participate in neighbourhood groups that focus on developing mental and spiritual capacities, fostering the desire for service, and assisting them to navigate through this crucial period of life. Through a participatory mode of learning, these young participants come to see themselves as agents of positive change in the world.
Together with friends and neighbours, Bahá’ís gather in homes and other informal settings to study and reflect upon the Bahá’í teachings pertaining to individual and societal progress. Through the study of a sequence of courses, spiritual insights are gained and practical skills and capacities developed that place service at the heart of our lives.
Participants of the educational and community building process are naturally inspired to translate insights gained into endeavours that contribute to the material and social wellbeing of their communities. In various settings and at all levels of society, Bahá’ís are working shoulder to shoulder with diverse groups to contribute in the areas of social action and public discourse.