General Overview:

Leader's Format

1. Welcome to the _______________ meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. My name is ______________ . I'll be your leader for the evening.
2. "For those who wish, could we have a moment of silence for those who still suffer, followed by the Serenity Prayer... God - Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
3. "Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety." (Reprinted with permission of the AA Grapevine)
4. I'm going to turn the meeting over to the secretary for announcements, reports, tokens, and anniversaries.
5. "Tonight I have asked ________________ to read a portion of Chapter Five - "How it Works."
6. "Tonight I have asked ________________ to read a portion of Chapter Three - "More About Alcoholism."
7. * The last meeting of the month: "Tonight I have asked ______________ to read the "Twelve Traditions of Alcoholic Anonymous."
8. * The last meeting of the month: "Tonight the Native American traditions pertaining to the use of an eagle feather in a talking circle will be read by the Caretaker of the feather."
9. In May of 1935, Bill W., a New Yorker, away from home on a business trip to Akron, Ohio, sought out another alcoholic, Dr. Bob S., so that in sharing his experience, strength and hope with Dr. Bob Bill W. might remain sober if only for that day. It worked: He stayed sober and they became the first two members of what was to become Alcoholics Anonymous and sharing became the basis for A.A. meetings. Tonight we are gathered together to share our experience, strength and hope with each other so that we might remain sober if only for today. The suggested format for sharing is to relate in a general way what it used to be like, what happened, and what it is like now.
10. "Not to embarrass you, but to get to know you better at the end of the meeting, if you have less than thirty days of sobriety, please introduce yourself by your first name.... Welcome!"
11. "Are there any visitors or first timers with us tonight? .... Welcome!"
12. "At this time, we'll go around the circle and introduce ourselves.... My name is _________________ and I am an alcoholic."
13. "This is an open/closed meeting of Alcoholic Anonymous. We are glad that you are all here - especially the newcomers. The meeting will last until the circle has shared. If you have to leave early, feel free to do so. Please limit your sharing to five minutes to allow the complete circle to share in a timely manner. Tonight I've chosen the topic ____________________ ."
14. After all have shared, announce: "There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership. In accordance with the 7th tradition which states that every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contribution, the basket has been passed for expenses and support of the overall services of A.A."
15. At a convenient time after all have arrived and before anyone leaves, pass the basket.
16. I have asked __________________ to read a portion of the "Big Book" entitled "The Promises".
17. I have asked __________________ to read the "Indian Prayer."
18. Turn the meeting over to the secretary for the closing remarks and prayer.

Leader's Closing

1) Make appropriate acknowledgments. For example, the evening's leader, tokens received, newcomers, etc.
2) All stand in a circle holding hands. Choose someone to lead in the prayer of their choice. The leader for the evening meeting breaks the circle in a clockwise direction, greeting each one in turn with handshake or hug. Others, in like manner, follow.

Secretary's Format

1. Announcements.
2. Are there are any tokens or anniversaries for next week?
3. The bathroom is ______________ . The light switch is located ____________.
4. If desired, obtain a volunteer to lead next week's meeting.
5. The ______________ meeting of A.A. supports incorporating traditional Native American customs into the order of the meeting. These customs include; the burning of sage, singing (with or without a drum), and using an eagle feather. To honor the sacredness of Native American traditions and one's self, please refrain from the use of profanity, swearing, etc.
6. When the eagle feather is passed around, a person may choose to hold it or let the person next to them hold it while sharing. This is completely O.K.
7. The burning of sage is call "smudging". It is traditionally used to prepare and purify a person, place, or thing for a time of openness and truth in the presence of our Creator. Prior to the meeting' the room is smudged. The eagle feather is smudged before use. The sage is passed around the circle for each person to smudge. If you prefer not to smudge, pass it on to the next person in the circle. The sage and a book of matches will be made available for late arrivers to smudge. Please reposition your chairs and enlarge the circle to include them, as they come in.
8. Traditionally, the leader will share, then sharing proceeds around the circle in a clockwise manner. It is believed that through the circle of life we are connected to all things. It is believed that through this manner of sharing, we hear our inner wisdom better.
9. To empower the healing strength of the circle it is suggested that there be no "cross-talk" while the circle is sharing.
10. Return the meeting to the leader.
11. At 9:00 P.M., if it is apparent that the meeting will run late announce, "It's about 9:00 o'clock. The meeting will continue until the complete circle has shared. If you have to leave, we understand - thanks for coming and keep coming back."



1. Holding the eagle feather in a talking circle indicates a hunger and thirst to be truthful and alive - together in Spirit with all our relations.
2. The eagle feather connects strength, wisdom, grace and truth throughout the circle.
3. The eagle feather carries our exact words and thoughts to Grandfather, as we understand Him.
4. The eagle feather grieves when given a message of foul language to carry.
5. The eagle feather connects us to our ancestors and they join us in the circle.
6. The eagle feather, when passed around the circle, conveys positive or negative energy to the Caretaker of the feather and his or her family.
7. The eagle feather carries on the Native American way of life for present and future generations.
8. The eagle feather should not to be touched by a woman during her moon time (a woman's cycle).
9. The eagle feather is to be respected and handled with reverence and gently like a newborn baby.

Indian Prayer

Oh Great Spirit
Whose Voice I hear in the wind.
Whose breath gives life to the world.
Hear me.
I come to you as one of your many children.
I am small and weak,
I need your strength and wisdom;
May I walk in beauty.
Make my eyes behold the red and purple sunset;
Make my hands respect the things that you
have made,
And my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may know the things
That you have taught your children;
The lessons that you have hidden in
every leaf and rock.
Make me strong . . . not to be superior to my
brothers but to able to fight my greatest enemy. . .myself .
Make me ever ready to come to you with
straight eyes so that
When life fades as the faded sunset,
My spirit will come to you without shame .
- Anonymous