What is worship?

Category Quotations
Tag worship
This post was published on Sunday 9 December 2018.

Archbishop William Temple put it like this:

To worship is
to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God,
to feed the mind with the truth of God,
to purge the imagination by the beauty of God,
to open the heart to the love of God,
to devote the will to the purpose of God.


I can also find it in this form (which I have to say reads more like I imagine the original must be!):

Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His Beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose – and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.


I can’t find a definitive reference online, so instead I have turned it into a prayer:

Father, as we join together in worship,
we open our hearts to your love,
and we surrender our wills to your purpose.
May your holiness quicken our conscience;
may your truth nourish our mind;
may your beauty purify our imagination.
Teach us to worship you in Spirit and in truth:
turning our self-centred pride into adoration,
submitting all we have and are to you,
and keeping our gaze fixed on Jesus;
to the glory and praise of your holy name.