What Does It Mean to Worship God?

I understand there are varying ways to worship God. My question is:

What does it mean to worship God?

Here’s what I fail to understand:

Worship includes giving praise, thanks, and showing reverance, showing joyful praise and thanksgiving (as in the way David does in the Psalms)

So, why does it seem forbidden in many churches to clap or raise your hands in thanksgiving? I am not a big charismatic type, but I wonder if we are repressing the “Joy of the LORD” …which is said to “be our strength”…by getting uncomfortable when someone gets excited and claps, or says “AMEN!” or “GLORY!”

Is this repressing the Spirit of God? I am just not sure where the line should be drawn between “reverence” and “joy” in worship

Thanks for your thoughts on this.

Doreen, the activities you talk about certainly do have a place in worship if it helps people to express their feelings for, to, and about God. Prayer groups and similar often engage in such activites.

They do not, however, have a place in the Mass. The Mass is indeed worship and the Eucharist a sacrament, but it is also a sacrifice. It is in part a continuation of Calvary. Activities which don’t belong at the foot of the cross don’t belong in the Mass in my opinion.

“You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve” Mt 4:10. The Greek word used here for worship is *proskeneseis. *Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon translates it as adoration, obeisance. (I’m not a Greek scholar so if someone else wants to elaborate on this jump right in.)
One way of defining adoration is worshipping or paying homage; great love, devotion and respect. That is somewhat subjective. Some people may feel clapping isn’t the way to convey respect. Obeisance is also a gesture of respect or reverence, like a bow or curtsy; showing deference. It may be difficult for certain individuals to see reverence in clapping, or spontaneous “amens”, etc.

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