The immigration of Irish Quakers (Society of Friends) to just about everywhere the Irish settled, means there are millions of us with Quaker ancestors. In our research we often are uncertain of what certain Quaker words and phrases mean in the records.
In this three part dictionary, I set forth some terms. I am drawing from books, online dictionaries, and have limited my list to terms which are not necessarily self-explanatory.
Acknowledgement: Apology by an offending member.
Advices: Ideals stated as a continuing reminder of the basic faith and principles.
Affirm(ation): A legal declaration as opposed to swearing an oath.
Birthright Member: The child of Quakers recorded at birth on the membership rolls.
Center(ing) Down: An endeavor to quite restless thoughts and open the heart in order to hear the Spirit speak directly.
Centered: The state of an individual or group in touch with the divine presence.
Children of Light: A name which early Quakers called themselves.
Christ Within: That of God in everybody. The Inward (Inner) Light.
Clearness: Confidence that an action is consistent with the divine will.
Concern: A spiritual principle or thought brought before a group of Meeting to be tested as truth.
Consistent Friend: Members who are particularly obedient to the outward testimonies.
Convinced Friend: A person who becomes a member of a Monthly Meeting.
Disorderly Walker: Members of a Meeting who are deemed to be acting contrary to the Truth and the Way.
Disownment/Disunity: Termination of membership.
Elder(ing): When used as a verb, “to elder” it is can be used to encourage a member. When used “been eldered” this is to bring into question an individual’s behavior.
Exercise: The exploration of a deep concern that has been brought to a Meeting.
Gathered (Covered) Meeting: A worshipping group when the presence of God is felt.
Hold in the Light: To ask for God’s presence to illumine a person, situation or problem.
In right ordering: Meaning in accordance with Friends practices.
Inward (Inner) Light: This Inner Light guides and directs each person bringing a unity with the Spirit of God. It is a direct, unmediated experience with the Divine.