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View Full Version : "Worship" vs. "Honour" -- thoughts?



zombi
May 22nd, 2009, 12:55 AM
In my reading of various communities and such business, I've noticed people ask questions about ancestor worship. Invariably someone brings up that they don't view the honour they pay their ancestor -- or the gods -- as worship, but rather as honour or respect, just as they wouldn't say they "invoke" the gods, but rather invite them to share in hospitality and request protection, etc.

I would just like to read some of your thoughts on this matter. Do you worship your deities? Or do you hold more of the honour/respect view, where worship isn't what you'd call your practice?

I'm sure I've worded stuff badly here, but I hope you get the gist of what I'm trying to ask. I'm finding I have a difficult time wording my questions well because my brain is racing and my words kind of take some time to catch up. Also, I looked around, but if this has already been discussed here I'm sorry!

skilly-nilly
May 22nd, 2009, 10:56 AM
Even though I'm generally interested in/ passionate about language use, I find this to be a language quibble that is only meaningful when viewed from the outside.

That is, someone who does not ritually honour their ancestors will view the intensely respectful attitude of honour and call it 'worship'. Often in an argument to denigrate those people who honour their ancestors.

I find communication with my ancestors to be a very intense and deeply meaningful process and emotionally engaging, but I don't really see them as different from myself, only dead. Dead gives them a different perspective from which to comment as well as adding a timeless element to the communication but I think that 'worship' implies that the object of worship is unlike oneself.

odubhain
May 25th, 2009, 09:28 AM
I prefer to use honor or reverence to describe what I do in ritual rather than worship. Though, to get nitty-gritty, in its older English meaning, worship meant to respect or express worthiness, either to a person or a deity, which really isn't at all different from what I do. Today, however, modern culture has an almost exclusively Judaeo-Christian understanding of worship, and I think using worship to describe what I do as a Gaelic Polytheist would confuse people or give the wrong idea.

To me honoring is a more distant act of respect than worshiping. Both are worthy expressions of love which is the ultimate form of worship, honor or respect. Honor is more symbolic while worship is more ritualistic and respect is something that abides among those who are worthy of one another.

Searles O'Dubhain

*~Amora~*
May 25th, 2009, 02:01 PM
In my reading of various communities and such business, I've noticed people ask questions about ancestor worship. Invariably someone brings up that they don't view the honour they pay their ancestor -- or the gods -- as worship, but rather as honour or respect, just as they wouldn't say they "invoke" the gods, but rather invite them to share in hospitality and request protection, etc.

I would just like to read some of your thoughts on this matter. Do you worship your deities? Or do you hold more of the honour/respect view, where worship isn't what you'd call your practice?

I'm sure I've worded stuff badly here, but I hope you get the gist of what I'm trying to ask. I'm finding I have a difficult time wording my questions well because my brain is racing and my words kind of take some time to catch up. Also, I looked around, but if this has already been discussed here I'm sorry!

I hope you don't mind my posting here, as I am not a Celtic Recon, but a Hellenic Recon. IMHO the difference is in how you present yourself and the relationship between you and the deity. In some faiths, one takes the position of a child or supplicant towards a deity - kneeling, sometimes head bent, begging for help. Whereas in others, like Hellenic Reconstruction, one stands with open eyes and hands, and proposes an exchange (sacrifice for blessing) or sometimes gives a gift of sacrifice or libation in homage to the deity like one would to a patron or matron. The former is worship, and the latter is honoring.

odubhain
May 25th, 2009, 05:06 PM
I hope you don't mind my posting here, as I am not a Celtic Recon, but a Hellenic Recon. IMHO the difference is in how you present yourself and the relationship between you and the deity. In some faiths, one takes the position of a child or supplicant towards a deity - kneeling, sometimes head bent, begging for help. Whereas in others, like Hellenic Reconstruction, one stands with open eyes and hands, and proposes an exchange (sacrifice for blessing) or sometimes gives a gift of sacrifice or libation in homage to the deity like one would to a patron or matron. The former is worship, and the latter is honoring.

Being in the presence of deity makes clear the difference between worship and honor. These can become confused when the unlimited is placed within the limited.

One can honor one's mate; one can love one's mate; one can worship one's mate. The same is true for ancestors, spirits and deities. How limited or unlimited does one wish to be?

Searles O'Dubhain

zombi
May 26th, 2009, 11:04 PM
Today, however, modern culture has an almost exclusively Judaeo-Christian understanding of worship, and I think using worship to describe what I do as a Gaelic Polytheist would confuse people or give the wrong idea.

I agree with this.

Amora: I like the way you put your distinction between honour & worship. Thanks for answering!