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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 periodicals archive ?
But because the church building and property are owned by the diocese, the congregants would be forced either to migrate to one of the mega churches (banish the thought) or to build an entirely new church of their own, one where George Washington did not worship.
Under the scheme places of worship in Cardiff will be alerted by the police, by e-mail, fax or phone, of any relevant crimes in the area.
So far 50 churches and other establishments such as mosques have signed up to Place of Worship Watch.
Ideally, we would like to have every place of worship in Cardiff on the system.
Archbishop of Cardiff, the Most Reverend Peter Smith said: 'I think this is an excellent initiative on the part of South Wales Police to help protect places of worship of all faiths throughout Cardiff.
Any relevant parties interested in signing up to Place of Worship Watch should contact Pc Bob Minton or Pc Malcolm Thomson at the community safety department at Canton Police Station on 029 2057 1539.
What, then, is the living liturgical tradition which worships in "ecumenical" worship?
Like many first-time participants in a large ecumenical gathering, my response to the World Council of Churches assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1998 was thoroughly conditioned by my experience of the assembly's worship life.
Thus, although I am now aware of some of the criticisms of this worship tradition, I begin this study with an affirmation, grounded in my own experience, that the worship in the context of World Council of Churches meetings is genuinely spirit-filled and worthy of a certain apologetic.
Both the experience of worship in the World Council of Churches, and the WCC's discussions about worship, have developed, deepened and changed emphases over the course of the WCC's fifty years.
Worship was on the formal agenda of the World Council from the earliest days, usually as a problem, but sometimes as a source of solutions.
In his most interesting argument, Sheaffer challenges Rand's assumption that her paradigm of femininity as the worship of a superior man would not preclude women from achieving any position except the presidency (which, Sheaffer astutely notes, Rand saw less in real-life terms than as a symbolic pinnacle of authority and accomplishment).