Originally, the term "to worship" meant to pay that honor and reverence which are due to one who is worthy. Thus, where our authorized version translates Matthew xix, 19, "Honor thy father and thy mother," Wycliffe says, "Worship thi fadir and thi modir." And in the marriage service of the Episcopal Church, the expression is still retained, "with my body I thee worship," that is, "honor or reverence thee."
Hence the still common use in England of the words Worshipful and Right Worshipful as titles of honor applied to municipal and judicial officers. Thus the Mayors of small towns, and Justices of the Peace, are called Worshipful, while the mayors of large cities, as London, are called Right Worshipful. The usage was adopted and retained in Freemasonry. The word worship, or its derivatives, is not met with in any of the old manuscripts.
In the "Manner of constituting a New Lodge," adopted in 1722, and published by Doctor Anderson in 1723, the word worship is applied as a title to the Grand Master (Constitutions, 1723, page 71).
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