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1. religious adoration or devotion
2. the formal expression of religious adoration; rites, prayers, etc.


Chiefly Brit a title used to address or refer to a mayor, magistrate, or a person of similar high rank


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The word comes from "worth-ship," meaning dignity, honor, respect and reverence. In religion it is used in a sense of reverence to deities. Worship is usually a group of people with similar beliefs coming together to give thanks to their deities, often with specific rituals at certain times of the year. In Witchcraft there are the eight main sabbat ceremonies plus the weekly or monthly esbat rites. The gods of life and of nature—the male and female principles of all life are worshiped.

The Old Religion worship is performed in groups, known as covens, and also by individuals or Solitaries. The covens are led by a priest and a priestess who represent the god of nature and the goddess of fertility. In Witchcraft it is believed that all are their own priest or priestess, and so able to worship alone if preferred.

Documentary evidence of the worship of Nerthus, Mother Earth, is found in England well after Norman times, as evidenced by her nude effigies found in more than a dozen eleventh and twelfth century churches. There is also a twelfth century medical treatise (Ms Harl. 1585, fol. 12a) which says: Holy Goddess of Earth, parent of Nature, who dost generate all things, and regenerate the planet which thou alone showest to the folk upon earth. . . Thou givest us food in safety by a perpetual covenant; and when our soul fleeth away, it is in thy bosom that we find our haven of rest. Thou too art called by the lovingkindness of the gods, the Great Mother, who hast conquered the god of Mighty Name.

The need to worship, and the aversion to changing beliefs, is reflected in the

Bible passage (Jeremiah, 44:15-19): Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude,

even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah saying: "As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make our cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men."

This explains the slowness of the New Religion (Christianity) in its efforts to oust the Old Religion. For generations the people had worshiped their ancient deities, seeing the relationship of the gods to the earth and to all life. They had developed a close relationship with these deities and with Mother Earth. There was understandable hesitancy to abandon what had been known for so long for an upstart god, however much his worship was enforced by the authorities. By the tenth and eleventh centuries, many priests continued to lead their people in the worship of both the gods of the Old Religion and the New. In 1282 a village priest at Inverkeithing, Scotland, was severely reprimanded for leading his parishioners in a fertility dance which included a phallic symbol. In 1303 the Bishop of Coventry, Walter de Langton, was accused of paying homage to a deity in the form of a goat. Many local priests would serve their pagan flock during the week and go through the motions of Christian worship only on Sundays.

Worship can give a sense of purpose to life and also a sense of worth to the individual. Wicca has been called the fastest growing religious movement in the United States. Reasons include the form of worship and the freedom from strict rules and rulership. The participants are free to express their feelings for deity in the ways that make most sense to them and which give them the greatest satisfaction.

What does it mean when you dream about worship?

A dream about worship can embody a straightforward religious meaning. It could also be a representation of something that we adore, as in the expression “He worships the ground she walks on.”

References in classic literature ?
As to bowing down in body and spirit, nothing in that way was left for Heaven--which may have been one among other reasons why the worshippers of Monseigneur never troubled it.
Their worshippers were such a precious set of fickle-minded and irreverent heathens, that there was no telling when they might topple one of them over, break it to pieces, and making a fire with it on the very altar itself, fall to roasting the offerings of bread-fruit, and at them in spite of its teeth.
Amongst this noisy crowd of courtiers and worshippers, who did not appear to remember they had conducted to the scaffold at Whitehall the father of the new king, a man, in the garb of a lieutenant of musketeers, looked, with a smile upon his thin, intellectual lips, sometimes at the people vociferating their blessings, and sometimes at the prince, who pretended emotion, and who bowed most particularly to the women, whose bouquets fell beneath his horse's feet.
They turned; and flashing forth, as it were, in a sheet of flame, the fiend worshippers were seen; the smile of welcome gleamed darkly on every visage.
As for those antique floor-cloth & still occasionally seen in the dwellings of the rabble - cloths of huge, sprawling, and radiating devises, stripe-interspersed, and glorious with all hues, among which no ground is intelligible-these are but the wicked invention of a race of time-servers and money-lovers - children of Baal and worshippers of Mammon - Benthams, who, to spare thought and economize fancy, first cruelly invented the Kaleidoscope, and then established joint-stock companies to twirl it by steam.
As for Lucy and Cecil, for whom the temple had been built, they also joined in the merry ritual, but waited, as earnest worshippers should, for the disclosure of some holier shrine of joy.
Lady Dedlock is always the same exhausted deity, surrounded by worshippers, and terribly liable to be bored to death, even while presiding at her own shrine.
The doctor responded, with much dignity, that the moon made her provincial tour every thousand years, feeling the necessity of showing herself nearer at hand to her worshippers.
This did not surprise him, for he was beginning to realise that he was the creature of a God who appreciated the discomfort of his worshippers.
His mind was occupied first with accidental things, such as the women's hair in front of him, the light on the faces, then with the words which seemed to him magnificent, and then more vaguely with the characters of the other worshippers.
Moore, I could manage better; and when my father read "Lalla Rookh" to my mother I sat up to listen, and entered into all the woes of Iran in the story of the "Fire Worshippers.
He had fallen into the hands of descendants of the ancient sun worshippers.