World Scripture, A Comparative Anthology Of Sacred Texts

Editor, Andrew Wilson


Chapter 16: Worship

1. Prayer
2. The Name of God
3. Meditation
4. Ritual
5. Beyond Ritual

This chapter is devoted to prayer, meditation, chanting, and various rituals through which people worship God, seek God's presence, and find their connection with Ultimate Reality. Through prayer, chanting the name of God, worship, and ritual, a person lifts up his or her heart to God and opens to receive God's guidance, succor, and inspiration. Through meditation, a person may contact and realize the Ultimate Reality that resides within, or make the heart properly receptive to the Transcendent God. We conclude with a section on the limitations of ritual, when it is not accompanied by a sincere and loving heart or when it becomes an end in itself.

Worship is not a matter of practices alone. True worship should be accompanied by a proper attitude of faith by which the soul opens itself to the divine Presence which longs to make itself known. It should also be complemented by humility and acts of sacrifice and self-denial by which selfishness and egoism, the chief impediments to self-transcendence, are destroyed.

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