At our Worship Team meeting earlier this month, someone asked an interesting, thought-provoking question: why do we use the word “worship” in our Sunday service (e.g. Call to Worship)? For most of us, the word “worship” invokes images of supplicants kneeling before a higher power. As a non-creedal religion, Unitarian Universalists don’t come together to worship a common god – so what is it that we’re worshiping?
The question reminded me of a sermon Rev. Brosier gave years ago that dealt with that very same question. To find the answer, he looked at the entomology of the word itself: “worship” comes from the Old English weorthscipe, meaning “acknowledgement of worth”. When we worship, we are acknowledging the worth and value of something.
The UUA’s website for visitors explains: We gather in worship to find meaning and live more deeply. Worship creates connections within, among, and beyond us, calling us to our better selves, calling us to live with wisdom and compassion.
When we come together on Sundays (whether online or in-person), we aren’t there to worship a deity; we are there because we find value in, and are valued by, those that are around us. Each of us has “worth” to our community – not just on Sunday mornings but also during team/committee meetings, group activities, and in the friendships that have begun at UUCE.
Thank you for participating in our Sunday services and for being a part of our community – we appreciate and value each of you.
Stephen Day, Worship Team Chair
I enjoyed this message, Stephen! Thanks for teaching me something about why we worship!