A group of Quakers, also known as the Society of Friends tell the story of the growth of their community.

Members of the Quaker community in Waterford explain the beliefs and practices of the Society of Friends.

The film shows members of the Quaker community, young and old, sitting in complete silence at the meeting. A female member of the community, describes how it is a difficult feeling to explain to those who have never attended a meeting.

The idea is that in a meeting for worship, we believe that by sitting in silence waiting upon God, the spirit which we can call the inward light or the holy spirit, or just God, within us will inspire us, perhaps not to speak but to worship.

The origin of the word 'Quakers' stems from the fact that the speakers actually shook with emotion when they were moved to speak.

A male Quaker explains that the community does not have ordained ministers and that everyone at the meeting is in the position of priest or minister irrespective of gender. 

All members are in the priesthood.

This excerpt from the programme also includes an insight into burials for deceased Quakers. The early Quakers objected to the pagan names of the days of the week and months of the year. Instead, they spoke of the first day of the first month and so on. This is evident on the early gravestones but has since been dropped. As they are not baptised, the early Quakers could not be buried in a church yard and the community had their own burial grounds. Just as there is no baptism ceremony, there are no other outward sacraments. 

Religion is a matter of the spirit, the inner grace, the inner spirit, the feeling and general attitude towards life and that the use of ceremonies, symbols and sacraments was a temptation to turn from the inward reality, the sincerity of life, to the outward trappings to mere symbols.

Ever since the religious Society of Friends was founded by George Fox in the 17th century, its members known as "Quakers", have been prominent in Irish society.

'The Silence Can Be So Living' visits their thriving community in Waterford to learn about their history, beliefs and lifestyles.

'Compass - The Silence Can Be So Living' was broadcast on 6 April 1977.