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Definition: worship 1 from Merriam-Webster's Collegiate(R) Dictionary

(bef. 12c) 1 chiefly Brit : a person of importance — used as a title for various officials (as magistrates and some mayors) 2 : reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also : an act of expressing such reverence 3 : a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual 4 : extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem 〈⁓ of the dollar〉


Summary Article: worship
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Adoration and service of God or gods. This service involves reverence, awe, and wonder, and may take many different forms. Worship often takes the form of group participation in rituals, though private individual worship is common in a number of religions, such as Sikhism and Hinduism. The purpose of worship is to show respect, remind the believers of their faith and its commitments, and to share that belief in practice with others. In some religious traditions, such as Christianity, the emphasis is on the attitude of the heart as being essential in true worship. Hindu and Buddhist practice includes the repetition of a mantra (a divine sound or saying) to focus the mind or achieve merit. In Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, worship is known as puja.

In a number of religions, worshippers bring gifts, such as flowers or food, to the place of worship, very often a shrine. Candles, lamps, and incense are also used, and sacred texts read, sung, or chanted. Music is also very often an important part of worship. Worship is often lead by a professional priest or minister. In Judaism, the home became the central focus of worship following the Jewish diaspora in AD 70, and it continues to play a formal part in religious observance alongside synagogue.

Some religions set aside a particular day of the week for worship – Sunday in Christianity, the Sabbath (sunset Friday to sunset Saturday) in Judaism, for instance. Sikhs, however, hold their main services on the day of rest of the country in which they are living. Special worship takes place at religious festivals and ceremonies.

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