Worship and Music

What is Worship?


You often hear people say we are going to worship or people need to worship more. But what do we mean when we say this? The 1979 Book of Common Prayer defines worhsip in the corporate (group) sense: “Corporate Worship – In corporate worship, we unite ourselves with others to ackonwledge the holiness of God, to hear God’s Word, to offer prayer, and to celebrate the sacraments.” (page 857) .

In A Dictionary for Episcopalians, worship is desribed as follows:

The regular services appointed for public worship in the Episcopal Church are the Holy Eucharist, which is the principal act of Christian worship on the Lord’s Day and other major feasts, and daily Morning and Evening Prayer. In these forms of worship, God speaks to us through the Bible, through prayer, and through our actions together. We are reminded of God’s love for us and of the need to join in the redemptive work of reconciling the world to God (page 139).

In An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians, worship is defined as

…the paying of divine honor to God. It is both a verb and a noun, used to translate the Latin verb adorare and the noun cultus and their equivalents in other languages. It is a very broad term concerning acts of adoration, which may be as diverse as private prayer and meditation, public corporate liturgies, prayer services, or cultic sacrifices. Christian worship, both individual and corporate, is offered through and in the name of Jesus Christ (http://www.episcopalchurch.org/109399_15605_ENG_HTM.htm).

So worship is done in group settings and alone, and it involves studying God’s Word, prayer, asking for redemption, and praising God.


Book of Common Prayer, 1979 edition.
A Dictionary for Episcopalians, by John N. Wall, 2000. Published by Cowley Publications, ISBN 1-56101-178-9. page 139.
An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors. Online at http://www.episcopalchurch.org/109399_79309_ENG_HTM.htm