Worship is an act of usually directed towards a . For many, worship is not about an emotion, it is more about a recognition of a God. An act of worship may be performed individually, in an informal or formal group, or by a designated . Such acts may involve .


The word is derived from the weorþscipe, meaning ''to venerate "worship, honour shown to an object'',Bosworth and Toller, Anglo-Saxon Dictionary,
which has been etymologised as "''worthiness'' or ''worth-ship"''—to give, at its simplest, worth to something.

Worship in various religions


Worship in may take innumerable forms given the doctrine of . Worship is evident in Buddhism in such forms as: , , , , the discipline of the fighting monks of , , mantra recitation, tea ceremony, , amongst others. Buddhist Devotion is an important part of the practice of most Buddhists. According to a spokesman of the Sasana Council of Burma, devotion to Buddhist spiritual practices inspires devotion to the Triple Gem. Most Buddhists use ritual in pursuit of their spiritual aspirations. In Buddhism, puja (Sanskrit & Pali: pūjā) are expressions of "honour, worship and devotional attention." Acts of puja include bowing, making offerings and chanting. These devotional acts are generally performed daily at home (either in the morning or evening or both) as well as during communal festivals and Uposatha days at a temple. () is a central form of worship in Buddhism. This practice is focused on the third step of the that ultimately leads to self awakening, also known as enlightenment. Meditation promotes self-awareness and exploration of the mind and spirit. Traditionally, Buddhist meditation had combined (the act of stopping and calming oneself) and (seeing clearly within) to create a complete mind and body experience. By stopping one's everyday activities and focusing on something simple, the mind can open and expand enough to reach a spiritual level. By practicing the step of vipasyana, one does not achieve the final stage of awareness, but rather approaches one step closer. Mindful meditation teaches one to stop reacting quickly to thoughts and external objects that present themselves, but rather to peacefully hold the thought without immediately responding to it. Although in traditional Buddhist faith, enlightenment is the desired end goal of meditation, it is more of a cycle in a literal sense that helps individuals better understand their minds. For example, meditation leads to understanding, leading to kindness, leading to peace, etc.


In , a is a formalized period of communal worship, often but not exclusively occurring on Sunday (or on Saturday in the case of those churches practicing ). The church service is the gathering together of to be taught the "Word of God" (the ) and encouraged in their . Technically, the "church" in "church service" refers to the rather than to the in which the event takes place. In Christianity, worship is reverent honor and paid to . The uses various words to express the concept of worship. The word ''proskuneo'' - "to worship" - means to bow down (to Gods or to kings). is the central act of divine worship in the . The at the Vatican publishes a ''Directory on and the Liturgy''. are "external practices of piety" which are not part of the official of the Catholic Church but are part of the popular s of Catholics. They do not become part of liturgical worship, even if conducted in a Catholic church, in a group, in the presence of a priest. are private prayers and practices used by Christians to promote spiritual growth and communion with . Among members of the , private devotional habits vary widely, depending on personal preference and on affiliation with or es.

Adoration versus veneration

The uses various words translatable as "worship". The word ''proskuneo'' - "to worship" - means to bow down to Gods or kings. , , , and make a technical distinction between two different concepts: * ' or ' (Latin ''adoratio'', Greek ''latreia'', '' ατρεία'), which is due to God alone * ' or ''dulia'' (Latin ''veneratio'', Greek ''douleia'' '' ουλεία'), which may be lawfully offered to the s The external acts of veneration resemble those of worship, but differ in their object and intent. Protestant Christians, who reject the veneration of saints, question whether Catholics always maintain such a distinction in actual devotional practice, especially at the level of . According to 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 as a synonym for veneration as distinct from adoration:
As St. Thomas Aquinas explains, adoration, which is known as in classical theology, is the worship and homage that is rightly offered to God alone. It is the manifestation of submission, and acknowledgement of dependence, appropriately shown towards the excellence of an uncreated divine person and to his absolute Lordship. It is the worship of the Creator that God alone deserves. Although we see in English a broader usage of the word "adoration" which may not refer to a form of worship exclusive to God—for example, when a husband says that he "adores his wife"—in general it can be maintained that adoration is the best English denotation for the worship of latria. Veneration, known as dulia in classical theology, is the honor and reverence appropriately due to the excellence of a created person. Excellence exhibited by created beings 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 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. We must make a further clarification regarding the use of the term "worship" in relation to the categories of adoration and veneration. Historically, schools of theology have used the term "worship" as a general term which included both adoration and veneration. They would distinguish between "worship of adoration" and "worship of veneration." The word "worship" (in a similar way to how the liturgical term "cult" is traditionally used) was not synonymous with adoration, but could be used to introduce either adoration or veneration. Hence Catholic sources will sometimes use the term "worship" not to indicate adoration, but only the worship of veneration given to Mary and the saints.
Orthodox and orthodox hold that for all practical purposes veneration should be considered the same as prayer; Orthodox Judaism (arguably with the exception of some practices), orthodox Sunni Islam, and most kinds of forbid veneration of saints or of s, classifying these actions as akin to . Similarly, assert that many actions classified as by Protestant groups, such as saluting a , count as and are therefore considered idolatrous as well.


Worship in involves invoking higher forces to assist in spiritual and material progress and is simultaneously both a science and an art. A sense of ' 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.


In , worship refers to ritualistic devotion as well as actions done in accordance to Islamic law which is ordained by and pleasing to . Worship is included in the , primarily that of ', which is the practice of ritual prayer five times daily. According to , on his notes in translation on ,
Thus, the innermost purpose of the creation of all rational beings is their cognition of the existence of Allah and, hence, their conscious willingness to conform their own existence to whatever they may perceive of His will and plan: and it is this twofold concept of cognition and willingness that gives the deepest meaning to what the Quran describes as "worship". As the next verse shows, this spiritual call does not arise from any supposed "need" on the part of the Creator, who is self-sufficient and infinite in His power, but is designed as an instrument for the inner development of the worshipper, who, by the act of his conscious self-surrender to the all-pervading Creative Will, may hope to come closer to an understanding of that Will and, thus closer to Allah Himself.
In the Muslim world, the word ''worship'' (in the literal context of ''worshipping'') is forbidden to be used if it refers to an object or action and not exclusively to Allah.


Worship of God in is called ''Avodat Hashem''. During the period when the stood, the conducted there were considered the most important act of Jewish worship. However, the most common form of worship was and remains that of . Other forms of worship include the conduct of prescribed rituals, such as the and waving the , with , as well as various types of .

Worship through mundane activities

Jewish sources also express the notion that one can perform any appropriate mundane activity as the worship of God. Examples would include returning a and working to support oneself and one's family. The (, Chapter 231) cites (3:6), "in all your ways, know him" (: בכל דרכיך דעהו (''b'chol d'rachecha dei'eihu'')), as a biblical source for this idea.


In , worship takes place after the , which is the work of the 10 Sikh Gurus all in one. Sikhs worship God and only one God, known as "One Creator", "The Wonderful Teacher" (), or "Destroyer of Darkness".


n worship commonly takes place during a full moon or a new moon. Such rituals are called an and may involve a which practitioners believe will contain energy and form a sacred space, or will provide them a form of magical protection.


is one of the duties and worships of , which is performed in order to always pay attention to the religious commandments and to give thanks to (God).

Modern worship

In modern and , some writers have commented on the ways that people no longer simply worship recognised deities, but also (or instead) worship consumer brands, sports teams, and other people (). Sociology therefore extends this argument to suggest outside of a religion worship is a process whereby society worships itself, as a form of self-valorization and self-preservation.

See also

* * * * * * * * * * - an offering of propitiation or of worship


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