Prayer and Worship

Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed towards a deity (a god), The God or a deified ancestor. More generally, prayer can also have the purpose of thanksgiving or praise, and in comparative religion is closely associated with more abstract forms of meditation and with charms or spells.

Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. An act of worship may be performed individually, in an informal or formal group, or by a designated leader. Such acts may involve honoring. Worship means fulfilling God’s commands in one’s daily life and fulfilling the obligations of being His servant, while servanthood is interpreted as living in the consciousness of being a servant.

Novena rites are common in Filipino churches.

Novena

Novena A novena (from Latin: novem, “nine”) is an ancient tradition of devotional praying in Christianity, consisting of private or public prayers repeated for nine successive days or weeks. The nine days between the Feast of the Ascension and Pentecost, when the disciples gathered in the upper room and devote themselves to prayer, is often considered...

Burning of incense during a veneration at Mengjia Longshan Temple, which is dedicated to Guan Yu, Mazu, and others

Veneration of The Dead

Veneration of The Dead The veneration of the dead, including one’s ancestors, is based on love and respect for the deceased. In some cultures, it is related to beliefs that the dead have a continued existence, and may possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living. Some groups venerate their direct, familial ancestors....

Bathing the dieties - 'Abhisheka' at Krishna Janmashtami

Abhisheka

Abhisheka Abhiṣeka or abhisheka in Sanskrit means “bathing of the divinity to whom worship is offered.” It is a religious rite or method of prayer in which a devotee pours a liquid offering on an image or murti of a God or Goddess. Abhiṣeka is common to Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Hinduism An abhiṣeka...

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Aarti

Aarti Aarti also spelled arti, arati, arathi, aarati, aarthi, aarthy, arthy (आरती ārtī) is a Hindu religious ritual of worship, a part of puja, in which light (usually from a flame) is offered to one or more deities. Aarati(s) also refers to the songs sung in praise of the deity, when the light is being offered. Origin Aarati is derived from the...

Building Columns Architecture Pillar Structure

Place of Worship

Place of Worship A place of worship is a specially designed structure or consecrated space where individuals or a group of people such as a congregation come to perform acts of devotion, veneration, or religious study. A building constructed or used for this purpose is sometimes called a house of worship. Temples, churches, synagogues and mosques are examples of structures created...

Shingon Buddhist priests practice homa ritual, which sometimes includes beating drums and blowing horagai (lower, conch).

Homa (ritual)

Homa (ritual) Homa is Sanskrit for a ritual, wherein an oblation or any religious offering is made into fire. A homa is sometimes called a “sacrifice ritual” because the fire destroys the offering, but a homa is more accurately a “votive ritual“. The fire is the agent, and the offerings include those that...

A page from the Vajasneyi samhita found in the Shukla Yajurveda (Sanskrit, Devanagari script). This version of the manuscript opens with salutations to Ganesha and Sadashiva (Shaivism).

Yajurveda

Yajurveda The Yajurveda (यजुर्वेदः, yajurvedaḥ, from yajus meaning “worship“, and veda meaning “knowledge”) is the Veda primarily of prose mantras for worship rituals. An ancient Vedic Sanskrit text, it is a compilation of ritual-offering formulas that were said by a priest while an individual performed ritual actions such as those before the yajna fire. Yajurveda is...

A goat being sacrificed in a Temple festival in Tamil Nadu.

Animal Sacrifice in Hinduism

Animal Sacrifice in Hinduism The modern practice of Hindu animal sacrifice is mostly associated with Shaktism, and in currents of folk Hinduism strongly rooted in local popular or tribal traditions. Animal sacrifices were part of the ancient Vedic religion in India, and are mentioned in scriptures such as the Yajurveda. However they were largely eliminated during the...

An illustration from the Birds' Head Haggadah, c. 1300, illustration of the Book of Exodus. The fleeing Jews are depicted with birds' heads, while Pharaoh and most of the pursuing Egyptians have blank circles with or without eyes as heads; two of them, however, have bird's heads. The Judenhut hats are typical of 14th-century Germany.

Aniconism

Aniconism Aniconism is the absence of material representations of both the natural and supernatural worlds in various cultures, particularly in the monotheistic Abrahamic religions. This prohibition of material representations may extend from only God and deities to saint characters, all living beings, and everything that exists. The phenomenon is generally codified by religious traditions and as such it becomes...

Bhakti (Pali: bhatti[) at a Buddhist temple, Tibet. Chanting during Bhatti Puja (devotional worship) is often a part of the Theravada Buddhist tradition.

Bhakti

Bhakti Bhakti (भक्ति) literally means “attachment, participation, fondness for, homage, faith, love, devotion, worship, purity”. It was originally used in Hinduism, referring to devotion and love for a personal god or a representational god by a devotee. In ancient texts such as the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, the term simply means participation, devotion and...

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Japa

Japa Japa (जप) is the meditative repetition of a mantra or a divine name. It is a practice found in Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Shintōism. The mantra or name may be spoken softly, enough for the practitioner to hear it, or it may be spoken within the reciter’s mind. Japa may be performed while...

Antique Chinese Buddhist Qinan prayer beads (Niànzhū), Qing Dynasty, 19th century, China. Adilnor Collection, Sweden

Prayer Beads

Prayer Beads Prayer beads are used by members of various religious traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Umbanda, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and the Bahá’í Faith to mark the repetitions of prayers, chants or devotions, such as the rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Catholicism, dhikr (remembrance of God) in Islam and jaap in Hinduism. Origins and etymology Beads are among the earliest human ornaments...

Passover sacrifice

Slaughter Offering

Slaughter Offering A slaughter offering in the Hebrew Bible (זָבַח‎, zevakh) is a type of Jewish animal sacrifice. The term specifically refers to the slaughter of an animal to God followed by a feast or a meal. This is distinguished from the burnt offering, shechita, guilt offering, sin offering, korban sacrifice, and the gift offering (Hebrew minchah). A common subcategory of...

Sheep Meadow White Farm

Qurbani

Qurbani Qurbanī (قربانى‎), Qurban, or uḍḥiyyah (أضحية) as referred to in Islamic law, is the ritual animal sacrifice of a livestock animal during Eid al-Adha. The word is related to the Hebrew קרבן qorbān “offering” and Syriac qurbānā “sacrifice“, etymologised through the cognate Arabic triliteral as “a way or means of approaching someone” or “nearness”. In...

Christmas goat sacrifice in Isla de Margarita, Venezuela

Ritual Slaughter

Ritual Slaughter Ritual slaughter is the practice of slaughtering livestock for meat in the context of a ritual. Ritual slaughter involves a prescribed practice of slaughtering an animal for food production purposes. This differs from animal sacrifices that involve slaughtering animals, often in the context of rituals, for purposes other than mere food production....

One of the altars at the Monte d'Accoddi in Sardinia, where animal sacrifice may have occurred.

Animal Sacrifice

Animal Sacrifice Animal sacrificeis the ritual killing and offering of an animal usually as part of a religious ritual or to appease or maintain favour with a deity. Animal sacrifices were common throughout Europe and the Ancient Near East until the spread of Christianity in Late Antiquity, and continue in some cultures or religions today. Human sacrifice, where it existed, was always much more...

New Mexico Land Healing Nature Shamanic Altar

Nature Worship

Nature Worship Nature worship is any of a variety of religious, spiritual and devotional practices that focus on the worship of the nature spirits considered to be behind the natural phenomena visible throughout nature. A nature deity can be in charge of nature, a place, a biotope, the biosphere, the cosmos, or the universe. Nature worship is often considered the primitive source of...

The Gorgon, flanked by lionesses and showing her belt clasp of serpents; the pediment of the 580 BCE temple of Artemis in Corfu. Archaeological Museum of Corfu.

Apotropaic Magic

Apotropaic Magic Apotropaic magic (“to ward off” from από- “away” and τρέπειν “to turn”) is a type of magic intended to turn away harm or evil influences, as in deflecting misfortune or averting the evil eye. Apotropaic observances may also be practiced out of vague superstition or out of tradition, as in good...

Hocus Pocus Halloween Scary Trick Or Treat

Maleficium (sorcery)

Maleficium (sorcery) Maleficium (plural: maleficia) as a Latin term, “An act of witchcraft performed with the intention of causing damage or injury; the resultant harm.” In general, the term applies to any magical act intended to cause harm or death to people or property. Its use in English comes from “Early 17th century; earliest...

Fire worship in Fire Temple

Fire Worship

Fire Worship Worship or deification of fire (also pyrodulia, pyrolatry or pyrolatria) is known from various religions. Fire has been an important part of human culture since the Lower Paleolithic. The earliest known traces of controlled fire were found at the Daughters of Jacob Bridge, Israel, and dated to 790,000 years ago.[1] Religious or animist notions connected to fire are assumed to reach back to such early pre-Homo...

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