Veneration of the sun or its representation as a deity. It appears in several early cultures, notably in ancient Egypt, Indo-Europe, and Mesoamerica, where urban civilizations were combined with a strong ideology of sacred kingship, in which kings ruled by the power of the sun and claimed descent from it. The imagery of the sun as the ruler of both the upper and the lower world, which he visits daily, was prominent. Sun heroes and deities also figure in many mythologies, including Indo-Iranian, Greco-Roman, and Scandinavian. In late Roman history, sun worship was of such importance that it was later called “solar monotheism.” Seealso Amaterasu, Re, Shamash, Sol, Surya, Tonatiuh.
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Worship of Satan, or the devil, the personality or principle regarded in the Judeo-Christian tradition as embodying absolute evil, in complete antithesis to God. Cults associated with satanism have been documented, however sketchily, back to the 17th century. Their central feature is the black mass, a corrupted and inverted rendition of the Christian Eucharist. Practices are said to include animal sacrifice and deviant sexual activity. Worship is motivated by the belief that Satan is more powerful than the forces of good, and so is more capable of bringing about the results sought by his adherents.
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Worship usually refers to specific acts of religious devotion, typically directed to one or more deities. It is the informal term in English for what sociologists of religion call cultus, the body of practices and traditions that correspond to theology.
Religious worship may be performed individually, within informal groups, or as part of a formal meeting. It occurs in a variety of locations including houses, in rented venues, outdoors, or in buildings specially constructed for the purpose, referred to as places of worship. Most religions place an emphasis on regular worship and many organize meetings for this purpose at frequent intervals (often weekly).
In its older sense in the English language of worthiness or respect (Anglo-Saxon worthscripe), worship may sometimes refer to actions directed at members of higher social classes (such as lords or monarchs) or to particularly esteemed persons (such as a lover).
Practices in worship vary between religions but typically include one or more of the following:
These elements may be practiced by all the worshipers, or by a designated leader.
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.
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 the Context of the WCC: The Tradition of "Ecumenical Worship" in Light of the Recent Orthodox Critique
Jan 01, 2002; Like many first-time participants in a large ecumenical gathering, my response to the World Council of Churches assembly in...