Devotional Worship


Worship at the Gurdwara

Worship at the Gurdwara is held on Friday evengings and Sunday mornings for around two hours. For the duration of those hours, musicians inside the Divan hall (the primary worship space, separated from the Langar hall by a partition) play and sing hymns. Upon entering the Divan hall for the first time in a given day, most worshippers walk to the front of the hall and leave an offering of cash or sometimes food in front of the Guru Granth Sahib before bowing to touch their heads to the floor as a sign of reverence. People of all ages bow to the Guru Granth Sahib. Some parents even lift their babies and small children to gently touch their heads to the floor.

Reverence to the Adi Granth

After offering respect to the Guru Granth Sahib, men sit on the left side of the Divan hall and women sit on the right side. On days when the Divan hall is particularly full of worshippers, this spacial divide is hardly distinguishable, as the floor space that usually separates men and women is needed for seating. This divide is also smoothed by young children, who frequently move between parents, sitting with the opposite gender as they choose. Worshippers sit cross-legged listening to hymns, sometimes closing their eyes, humming or singing along, or following along with the scriptures on their phones (many of which have apps with the scriptures in Punjabi and English). All able-bodied worshippers sit together on the floor, with elders and those with physical limitations sitting on the carpeted benches that border the Divan hall.

Embodied Worship

As the hours of worship progress, increasing numbers of worshippers enter the Divan hall from various spots in the Gurdwara. Worship culminates with a series of prayers spoken by the entire congregation while standing and periodically bowing to the floor. Following these prayers, announcements are made regarding temple news and community events. Finally, Karah Prasad is passed and Langar begins.