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The Purpose of Worship

Fulfilling our duty to God


Pope Benedict XVI Incenses Altar at Yankee Stadium Mass (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI blesses the altar during Mass held at Yankee Stadium April 20, 2008, in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankee Stadium Mass concludes The Pontiff's visit to the United States.

(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Why We Should Worship God:

Why do Christians need to worship? God does not need our worship; He is complete in Himself, even without receiving the worship of His creatures.

We, however, aren’t complete. In our fallen state, we have separated ourselves from God. Worship draws us closer to Him. When we worship Him, we imitate the angels and saints who surround His throne in heaven. We are drawn out of this life and catch a glimpse of the next. The Mass and the other liturgies of the Church are not mere human ceremonies or social hours; they are a participation in heaven here on earth.

Fulfilling Our Duty:

While worshiping God changes us for the better, the primary aim of our worship is not self-improvement. In the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the liturgy used by many of the Eastern Rite Catholic churches, the priest at one point chants, “For to You is due all glory, honor, and worship, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto ages of ages.”

While God doesn’t need our worship in order to be complete, our worship is still a duty—something that we owe to God. But it is a duty that we can perform cheerfully, knowing that, in doing so, we are participating briefly in the life of heaven.

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