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Heart with Wings

Universal Worship Activity

The Ceremony of Universal Worship | Historic

The Ceremony of Universal Worship is a devotional service which offers reverence, homage and gratitude to the one Source of all light, while symbolically acknowledging all the names and religious forms through which the light of Truth has shone. The Universal Worship was introduced to the world by Hazrat Inayat Khan in an impressive ceremony performed on Saturday, May 7th, 1921, at Tragantha Road, London, England. The religious activity of the Sufi Movement is called the Universal Worship, or the Church of All. Why is it so named? Because it contains all different ways of worship and all Churches.

This Universal Worship which has been organized in the Sufi Movement was the hope of all prophets. The prayer and the desire of all great souls was that the light given in all the different forms such as the Buddhist scriptures, the Quran, the Bible or the teachings of Krishna or Zarathushtra, should be known by everyone. The work of the Sufi message is to spread the unity of religion. It is not a mission to promote a particular creed or any Church or religion. It is a work to unite the followers of different religions and faiths in wisdom, so that without having to give up their own religion they may strengthen their own faith and focus the true light upon it. In this way a greater trust, a greater confidence, will be established in mankind. Behind all wars there is a suggestion of religion. Whenever there has been a war, and even now, in such wars as we have gone through, we always see the finger of religion. People think that the reason for war is mostly political, but religion is a greater warmonger than any political ideas. Those who give their lives for an idea always show some touch of religion.

This religious channel which is Sufism exists in order to gather together the followers of different religions in the understanding of the one truth behind them, so that they may hold in respect all the teachers of humanity who have given their lives in the service of truth.

Religion is something which touches the depths of the heart; and everyone has his own conceptions of religion which he holds as sacred. By expressing one's opinion too freely one may easily hurt that conception which another holds as sacred. Nevertheless, the need of a Universal Worship, a Church of All, has been felt at all times. It has been the ideal of the great prophets to bring the whole of humanity into one religion; but as humanity has a great variety of conceptions, this has never been easy.


Excerpt from Volume IX - The Unity of Religious Ideals, Part VI, Hazrat Inayat Khan.