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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article refers to the religious act. For the album by Michael W. Smith see Worship (album). For the style see Worship (style).
Detail from Religion by Charles Sprague Pearce (1896)

Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed to one or more deities. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something.[1]

Evelyn Underhill defines worship thus: "The adoring acknowledgment of all that lies beyond us—the glory that fills heaven and earth. It is the response that conscious beings make to their Creator, to the Eternal Reality from which they came forth; to God, however they may think of Him or recognize Him, and whether He be realized through religion, through nature, through history, through science, art, or human life and character."[2]

An act of worship may be performed individually, in an informal or formal group, or by a designated leader. In a broader social sense, worship may on occasion refer to an attitude towards someone of greatly elevated social status, such as a lord or monarch, or, more colloquially, towards a hero or lover.

Religious worship happens in a wide variety of locations: in purpose-built places of worship, at home or in the open. Many religious traditions place an emphasis upon regular worship at frequent intervals, often daily or weekly. Expressions of worship vary but typically include one or more of the following:

Prayer, meditation, ritual, scripture, sacraments, sacrifice, sermons, chanting, music or devotional song, dance, religious holidays, festivals, pilgrimage, dining, fasting, temples or shrines, idols, or simply private individual acts of devotion.


Adoration versus veneration

Children at a Gospel presentation in Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy distinguish between adoration or latria (Latin adoratio, Greek latreia, [λατρεια]), which is due to God alone, and veneration or dulia (Latin veneratio, Greek douleia [δουλεια]), which may be lawfully offered to the saints. The external acts of veneration resemble those of worship, but differ in their object and intent. Protestant Christians question whether such a distinction is always maintained in actual devotional practice, especially at the level of folk religion.

According to Mark Miravelle, the English word "worship" is equivocal, in that it has been used in Catholic writing, at any rate, to denote both adoration/latria and veneration/dulia, and in some cases even to as a synonym for veneration as distinct from adoration:

Adoration, which is known as latria in classical theology, is the worship and homage that is rightly offered to God alone. It is the acknowledgement of excellence and perfection of an uncreated, divine person. It is the worship of the Creator that God alone deserves. Veneration, known as dulia in classical theology, is the honor due to the excellence of a created person. This refers to the excellence exhibited by the created being who likewise deserves recognition and honor. We see a general example of veneration in events like the awarding of academic awards for excellence in school, or the awarding of the Olympic medals for excellence in sports. There is nothing contrary to the proper adoration of God when we offer the appropriate honor and recognition that created persons deserve based on achievement in excellence. Here a further clarification should be made regarding the use of the term "worship" in relation to the categories of adoration and veneration. Some schools of theology use the term "worship" to introduce both adoration and veneration. They would distinguish between "worship of adoration" and "worship of veneration." The word "worship" (in the same way the theological term "cult" is traditionally used) in these classical definitions was not at all synonymous with adoration, but could be used to introduce either adoration or veneration. Hence Catholic writers will sometimes use the term "worship" not to indicate adoration, but only the worship of veneration given to Mary and the saints.[3]

Orthodox Judaism and orthodox Sunni Islam hold that for all practical purposes veneration should be considered the same as prayer; Orthodox Judaism (arguably with the exception of some Chasidic practices), orthodox Sunni Islam, and most kinds of Protestantism forbid veneration of saints or angels, classifying these actions as akin to idolatry.

Similarly, Jehovah's Witnesses assert that many actions classified as patriotic by Protestant groups, such as saluting a flag, are equivalent to worship and are therefore considered idolatrous as well.

Worship in various religions


Worship in Christianity

Worship in Islam

According to the Qur'an, mankind was created only for the purpose to worship God (Qur'an 51:56). Prayer or pilgrimage are just special forms of worship; obedience to God and the attempt to assume the attributes of God as far as possible (2:138) are forms of worship which should ideally encompass every human action. See [4].

In general, Worship is all inclusive term for everything one says or does which is pleasing to God.The concept and purpose of worship in Islam is unparallel to any other religion in existence. It combines the mundane with the spiritual, the individual with the society, and the internal soul with the external body. Worship has a unique role in Islam, and through worship, a person is regarded as a true Muslim who accords his entire life to the Will of God.

The importance of worship may be seen in the fact that it has been prescribed by God in all religions prior to Islam. God said in the Quran: “And assuredly We have sent among every people a messenger (with the command): worship God…” (Quran 16:36) Worship in Islam has so many facets that it is difficult to describe them all in words. The most general meaning of worship in Islam is inclusive of everything which is pleasing to God, whether they deal with issues of belief, or deeds of the body. It may include everything a person perceives, thinks, intends, feels, says and does. It also refers to everything that God requires, external, internal or interactive. This includes rituals as well as beliefs, work, social activities, and personal behavior, as human being is a whole, such that every part affects every other.

Worship may be classified into two types:

1) Specific Beliefs, feelings and visible acts of devotion paid in homage to God which He has commanded.

2) All other acts of goodness generally encouraged in the life of a Muslim.[5].

Worship in Hinduism

Worship in Hinduism involves invoking higher forces to assist in spiritual and material progress and is simultaneously both a science and an art. A sense of ´Bhakti´ or devotional love is generally invoked. This term is probably a central one in Hinduism. A direct translation from the Sanskrit to English is problematic. Worship takes a multitude of forms depending on community groups, geography and language. There is a flavour of loving and being in love with whatever object or focus of devotion. Worship is not confined to any place of worship, it also incorporates personal reflection, art forms and group . People usually perform worship to achieve some specific end or to integrate the body, the mind and the spirit in order to help the performer evolve into a higher being.[6]

Worship in Judaism

Worship in Sikhism

In Sikhism, Worship takes after the Guru Granth Sahib. In the Guru Granth Sahib is the work of the 10 Sikh Gurus all in one. Sikhs worship God and only one God, known as "One Creator" or (Waheguru) "Destroyer of Darkness". The Guru Granth Sahib is known as the final Sikh Guru by Guru Gohbind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru.

Worship in Buddhism

Worship in Buddha Dharma may take innumerable forms given the doctrine of skillful means. Worship is evident in Buddhism in such forms as: guru yoga, mandala, thanka, yantra yoga, the discipline of the fighting monks of Shaolin, panchamrita, mantra recitation, tea ceremony, ganacakra, amongst others.

Aspects of worship


  1. ^
  2. ^ Underhill, Evelyn, Education and the Spirit of Worship, in Collected Papers, p.193, London, 1946.
  3. ^ Mark Miravalle, S.T.D, What is Devotion to Mary?
  4. ^ "Worship in Islam". Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  5. ^ "Worship in Islam". Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  6. ^ "Worship", Krishna Maheshwari, Hindupedia, the online Hindu Encyclopedia


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Quotes about worship:


  • "O ye men, whoever amongst you worshipped Muhammad, let him know that Muhammad is dead, and whoever amongst you worshipped Allah, let him know that Allah is Living, there is no death for Him." - Abu Bakr's speach after Muhammad's death; Bukhari, Volume 2, Chapter Manaqibe Abu Bakr; zitiert in: Dawat-ul-Amir, English translation: Invitation to Ahmadiyyat, First Edition, pg. 17-21, by Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad

See also

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

This is a disambiguation page, which lists works which share the same title. If an article link referred you here, please consider editing it to point directly to the intended page.

Worship may refer to:

  • Worship, an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • Worship, a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

WORSHIP (i.e. "worth-ship," O. Eng. weorffscipe), honour, dignity, reverence, respect. The word is used in a special sense of the service, reverence and honour paid, by means of devotional words or acts, to God, to the gods, or to hallowed persons, such as the Virgin Mary or the saints, and hallowed objects, such as holy images or relics. In this sense, however, it must be borne in mind that the Roman Catholic Church distinguishes three kinds of worship: (I) latria, the worship due to God alone (from Gr. Xarpeia, service, esp. the service of the gods, worship), and (2) hyperdulia, the worship or adoration due to the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God (from Gr. bir p, above, and SouXEia, service), and (3) dulia, that due to the saints. (See also ADORATION.) The public service of God in church is known as "divine worship" or "divine service" (see LITURGY). In the sense of "revere" or "respect," the verb "to worship" occurs in the English Prayer-book, in the phrase "with my body I thee worship" in the Marriage Service. In this sense the term "worship" is also used as a title of honour in speaking of or addressing other persons of position. Thus a mayor is spoken of as "his worship the mayor," or "the worshipful the mayor." Magistrates are addressed as "your worship."

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also worship


Wikipedia has an article on:





Worship (plural Worships)

  1. (British) A form of address of a mayor and other dignitaries

Usage notes

  • Usually as "Your Worship" or "His Worship"

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

homage rendered to God which it is sinful (idolatry) to render to any created being (Ex 34:14; Isa 2:8). Such worship was refused by Peter (Acts 10:25,26) and by an angel (Rev 22:8,9).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

Worship is a word often used in religion. It means to have much respect. If someone prays to God, people say that they worship God. Worship can also be used as the name for a church service or similar event. This can be called an act of worship.


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