Front Page Titles (by Subject) QUESTION LXXXIV.: OF THE EXTERIOR ACTS OF DIVINE WORSHIP. - Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 2 (Summa Theologica - Secunda Secundae Pt.2)
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QUESTION LXXXIV.: OF THE EXTERIOR ACTS OF DIVINE WORSHIP. - St. Thomas Aquinas, Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 2 (Summa Theologica - Secunda Secundae Pt.2) 
Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas. A Translation of the Principal Portions of the Second part of the Summa Theologica, with Notes by Joseph Rickaby, S.J. (London: Burns and Oates, 1892).
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OF THE EXTERIOR ACTS OF DIVINE WORSHIP.
§ 1. Reverence is due to God for His excellence, which is communicated to creatures, not so far as to set them on a level with God, but in some measure of participation: and therefore the veneration with which we venerate God—a part of divine worship, or latria—is different from the veneration called dulia, with which we honour certain excellent creatures. Among the marks of reverence that we pay to excellent creatures the greatest is worship;1 but there is one thing that is paid to God alone, namely, sacrifice. Hence Augustine says: “Men are called reverend and venerable, and by a great addition, worshipful. But who ever thought of offering sacrifice except to one whom he either knew to be God, or thought to be, or fabricated as such?”
Article II.—Does worship suppose any bodily act?
R. Because we are compounded of a twofold nature, intellectual and sensible, we owe to God a twofold worship—a spiritual worship consisting in the inward devotion of the mind; and a corporal worship consisting in the outward humbling of the body. The outward worship is for the sake of the inward, that by the signs of humility which we exhibit in the body our heart may be moved to subject itself to God, because it is connatural to us to proceed by way of things sensible to things intelligible.
§ 1. To the text, “True adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth,”2 it is to be said that even corporal adoration is in spirit, inasmuch as it proceeds from spiritual devotion and is directed to it.
§ 2. Worship consists principally in inward reverence to God, but secondarily in certain corporal signs of humility: thus we bend the knee to mark our weakness in comparison with God; and we fall on our faces to profess that of ourselves we are nothing.
§ 3. Though we cannot attain to God by sense, yet by sensible signs our mind is roused to tend to God.
§ 2. A definite place is chosen for adoration, not for the sake of the God who is adored, as though He had local bounds, but for the sake of the adorers themselves, and that on three accounts: first, on account of its being a consecrated place, from which consecration those who pray there conceive special devotion, so as to be the better heard, as appears by the prayer of Solomon;1 secondly, on account of the sacred mysteries and other signs of holiness contained there; thirdly, on account of the concourse of many adorers, which makes the prayer more apt to be heard, as it is said: “Where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”2
[1 ]Adoratio. In Tacitus, Histories, i. 36, a candidate for empire is said adorare vulgus, “to do obeisance to the people.” St. Augustine’s words, that follow, are so far verified in their English dress, that the Worshipful the Mayor takes precedence in his own town of the Reverend Incumbent of the parish, and even of the Venerable Archdeacon. (Trl.)
[2 ]St. John iv. 23.
[1 ]3 Kings viii.
[2 ]St Matt. xviii. 20.