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5 major world religions: How do they worship?

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Men pray at the Khadeeja Islamic Center in West Valley City on Friday, June 29, 2012.

Men pray at the Khadeeja Islamic Center in West Valley City on Friday, June 29, 2012.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

What does worship look like for the five major world religions? Which religions observe a Sabbath and which worship in other ways? Read on to learn more.



Sabbath for Jews is known as Shabbat and runs between Friday and Saturday evenings. Depending on the Jew, services might start at sundown or later in the evening. Shabbat begins with a meal that includes braided bread and grape juice or wine. A kiddush — or special prayer and blessing — is said Friday evening. Some observe a special service Friday night, Torah reading Saturday morning and Havdalah ceremony Saturday evening to formally end Shabbat observance.

Jews who observe Shabbat view as a time of renewal and peace. It reminds many to take time to live. Some Jews may avoid shopping, others might avoid gardening and other forms of work.

Source: What is a Jew, by Rabbi Morris N. Kertzer, revised by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman.



Muslims are required to offer five prayers daily. Every part of their life is supposed to remind them to worship Allah (the Arabic word for God). They have a special day for congregational prayer on Fridays at noon. These noontime prayers are called Jumah. Muslims are encouraged to come to the mosque for Friday prayers or with other Muslims, while on every other day of the week they have the option of praying at home. Men and women pray separately. Other than having a set day of prayer, Muslims do not observe a Sabbath.

Sources: WhyIslam.org, Muslim Voices, and Islam Question and Answer.



Buddhists do not observe a weekly holy day. Some Buddhists, however, observe Uposatha, or a day of resting, listening to and discussing Buddhist teachings and meditation. The timing and frequency of Uposatha are based loosely off the lunar calendar, and may vary by sect. Depending on the tradition and person, Buddhists attend a temple or worship in their homes. They will also worship during different festivals and observances throughout the year.Buddhists do not worship a deity in the same way as Christians, Jews and Muslims. They venerate and respect the Buddha, but do not see him as a God.

Sources: BBC, BuddhaNet, Access to Insight, and the Buddhist Dharma Education Association and BuddhaNet.



There is no set day for worship in Hinduism. That said, different deities are linked to different days of the week and may be remembered on those days. Worship is less formal than some other forms of religious worship and those attending can come and go as they please. Hindus will often worship in the early morning or evening, at home, in a temple, or during a pilgrimage.

Sources: The Heart of Hinduism and the BBC.



Christians in general celebrate Sabbath and worship on Sunday, a practice for some that began after Biblical accounts of Jesus' resurrection. Christians see this as a day to draw closer to God and will often hold worship services on Sunday.

Ways of observing the Sabbath vary depending on tradition and person. Some Christians will avoid spending money and restrict their activities on this day. Others will spend time in nature and with their families, or take time to visit the sick or those who are in need. Some Christians do not see the need to observe a Sabbath and see it as no longer relevant.

Sources: Today’s Christian Woman and lds.org and Grace Communion International.

Seventh-day Adventism


Seventh-day Adventists observe a Friday night to Saturday night Sabbath.They believe the Bible to be the main authority for practice and doctrine, called Sola Scriptura, and see the bible as setting Saturday as the Sabbath.

Similar to other Christians, Seventh-day Adventists see their Sabbath as being a day of physical and spiritual rest and will attend worship services when possible. They are encouraged to avoid any secular activities and to spend the day with their families, in nature and visiting those in need, among other activities. Adventists are encouraged to refrain from working during their Sabbath, if possible. If not, they are encouraged to do what they can to set the day apart from others.