Encyclopedia > Veneration

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(Latin veneratio, Greek dulia)

In Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, veneration is the act of honoring someone, and through them honoring God who made them and in whose image they are made. This is often shown outwardly in the form of respectful bowing before a saint's icon or relics, usually while making the sign of the cross; kissing an icon or relic, or exchanging the "kiss of peace" with another person in some fashion; or any other culturally appropriate way of showing honor and respect. Animals, plants, and other parts of Nature may also be venerated simply by taking good care of them, thereby showing honor and respect for God who made them. However, these traditions expressly reserve worship for God alone, as expressed both in their doctrinal statements and in the texts of the prayers offered together in the Divine Liturgy or the Mass, Vespers, Matins[?], etc.

Proponents of veneration do not consider this behavior to be idolatry.

See also: worshipprayericonSeventh Ecumenical Council

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