I commented that, to me, worship is union with the Divine Beloved, or celebrating the thing we find to be of greatest worth. My concept of worship includes service to the community of life (including animals and the environment).
Worship is variously defined as deep love, reverence, adoration, and devotion.
The Congregation of Abraxas expanded and refined the UU understanding of worship in a 1976 essay, What does worship mean?
“Worship” is sometimes narrowly understood as bowing down to some supposed deity. The etymology of the word, however, leads us to a far more significant activity. The root of “worship” is worthship, considering things of worth. “Religion” (religare) means to bind up, to reconnect, to get it all together. Worship is thus the central activity of religion because through worship we reconnect with worth. Worship is a compelling vision of life in its fullness. Its scope, diversity, coherence and power engender the fundamental meanings, values and relations for our lives. Worship centers us. It gives us a perspective that orders the Void, the chaos of unconnected fragments of experience. Through worship we find our connections and take our place in society and the cosmos. Here beholding and becoming are the same.By this definition, we are worshipping when we live most fully and truly. Worship doesn't only happen in organised religion; it happens in the midst of love-making, gardening, eating and creative activities. "All acts of love and pleasure are My rituals", as it says in The Charge of the Goddess. Or as the lovely Sarah over at Gospel Pagan is fond of saying, "pray without ceasing".
That which is worthy of worship is whatever causes us to live our highest values and our deepest integrity. Perhaps we could call worship a sort of focused attention or meditation as much as the reverence and devotion traditionally associated with it.
Of course, this also raises the question of what we are worshipping. When I worship (in the sense of deep devotion), I am connecting with the ultimate void, the Tao, the divine source; it is beyond personality, has no name, and is only love: a love that includes wisdom, balance, awe, wonder, light and darkness.