Before we discuss the general practices in a Spiritist center, let us state the following facts:

1) the spirit world exists, interacts, and influences the material world continually whether one believes in it, or not;

2) there are people who have problems which may be solely of a spiritual nature but may be unaware of it (many who are in psychiatric institutions);  

3) the study of what we call Spiritism does not, in itself, cause one to become obsessed by spirits; and,  

4) the most important thing is that nothing happens without the Will of God, Who is All-Powerful and All-Love.

People who generally first start a Spiritist group are interested in the study of the Spiritist Doctrine (the study and practice of communication with the spirit world with its philosophical, scientific, and moral implications) and can form an informal group at someone’s home to study the books of Allan Kardec, and similar ones.

A group can be to solely study the Doctrine and another meeting can be for the sole purpose of spirit communications.

Some Centers are very strict about this separation, but some groups have successively combined both these types of meetings. Eventually, among the participants, there may be some who develop the faculty of mediumship, a person who acts as an instrument, in providing for the likely communication between the spirit and material worlds.

A regular place for meetings is preferable so that the spirits can prepare and continue to maintain a harmonious spiritual atmosphere at that location. In addition, a set time is also advisable because spirits are involved with many activities and duties in their own world, and do not just sit around waiting for us to try and communicate with them; this is just common courtesy.  

The frequency of meetings can vary at different organizations, but the well-being and health of the mediums should be taken into consideration, and they should not be overworked; meetings for communication with the spirit world should not be more than once or twice a week according to Allan Kardec in his book Practical Instruction for Spiritist Manifestations, Chapter VIII.      

Meetings can be split up if the organization is big enough to have: classes for mediums, classes for children, regular public meetings, and special meetings to resolve particular spiritual problems. This last type of meeting should be done by experienced mediums preferably, who do what can be called charity work in assisting troubled spirits and/or participants who may not feel well, and, to educate those spirits who may be causing disturbances. Spiritists should always recommend that anyone not feeling well, for whatever reason, should always first go to their physician to see if their problems are of a physical nature before coming to Spiritist Centers for the possible resolving of spiritual problems. (spiritual healing, magnetic “passes”, etc. will be dealt with in another article).   

In the Spiritist Practice there are no clergy. Those who have leadership abilities and are more knowledgeable about the Spiritist Doctrine (many who are mediums) usually end up in charge of the group.

Material titles are not important, what is important is the level of moral, spiritual, intellectual  (and if any mediumship) qualities the leaders have, in order to properly direct and provide for the activities involved with the moral and spiritual education of the rest of the group.

The group generally has a certain amount of confidence in their leaders or, they move on to another group or, they may start their own group.

As groups gain in membership and become large, they should look into whatever particular city, county, state, and federal requirements and laws may apply to them, if they accept donations and become more active and formal.

Further, the Spiritist Practice does not require nor use altars, images, candles, crystals, ashes, processions, talismans, amulets, cards, incense, horoscopes, fortune telling, drugs, or any other items or rituals or any other external forms of worship. None of these items is necessary for the communication with spirits, and none of these have any power, or control over spirits.

There are the people in the material world who sit to study the Spiritist Doctrine and then there are the spirits, working in partnership with them, and, communicating through the mediums to relay messages. Chairs and tables are usually all that is needed for our own physical comfort. Nothing else is required.

When the session, or séance, begins all conversation should stop and all should prepare to receive instruction, and, the mediums to receive the communications.

The group should open and close with a prayer in the name of God, and, to request for spiritual  protection from their spirit guides.

The number of participants is not important, but generally with smaller groups (see The Mediums Book, Chapter XXIX, item 334), it is easier to maintain a more harmonious spiritual environment and unity of purpose.  

The intent, spirituality, and morality of the people in attendance generally determine what types of spirit communications will be received, if any. A high moral and spiritual ambience of the participants, who are in harmony of purpose and have a sincere desire for spiritual truths, provides for the most beneficial types of spirit communications and experiences.

As an example, The Spiritist Society of Florida conducts once a month for each:  a mediumship study class, a children instruction class, and a public meeting for the study of the Doctrine AND for the communication with spirits (this one held on the last Sunday of each month).

The above are the very basics regarding the starting of a sincere and serious Spiritist group. For more information refer specifically to the books by Allan Kardec.

Yvonne Limoges