Difference Between Veneration and Adoration

There are many ways for an individual to express their faith. The words veneration and adoration often come up especially in Christianity. While the idea may seem the same for both terms and may be considered synonymous dictionary-wise, the Christian community places a distinction between the two. Here are the differences between veneration and adoration.

Veneration is one of the forms of paying homage to God and the saints. Veneration can be broken down into two types in Greek terms – dulia and hyperdulia. The word veneration in itself is defined as the act of giving honor to a saint or an individual with a high degree of holiness. Dulia is generally the honoring of saints, while hyperdulia refers to giving honor to Mary. Veneration is done as a way to give admiration to virtuous Christians and show respect to them.

However, Christians acknowledge that the admiration and worship reserved for God is different from that of saints and the Mother Mary. In this context, there is adoration, or latria in Greek. Adoration is the act of worshiping God – to praise and worship him him as a perfect being. Adoration is reserved for God alone. The Catechism of the Catholic Church actually defines the term as “the acknowledgement of God as God, creator and savior, the Lord and master of everything that exists, as infinite and merciful love.”

In summary, veneration is a high admiration and honoring of saints and Mary, while adoration is the highest form of worship and homage reserved for God alone.

Comparison Board

Definition The act of paying honor and respect to Mary and/or the saints The act of paying worship and admiration to God as the Supreme Being
Greek term/s Dulia, hyperdulia Latria
Subject Mary, saints God


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4 thoughts on “Difference Between Veneration and Adoration”

  1. Is she (Mary) the Mother of God? Is she conceived without sin? If you answer affirmative in both questions, then she is being worshipped was God.

    • Mother of God does not equal God, nor does immaculate conception. The term Mother of God has theological significance with respect to the nature of Christ. For a full discussion consider reading On the Unity of Christ by Saint Cyril of Alexandria in which he refutes the Nestorian heresy. I don’t know what to make of your assertion regarding the immaculate conception. If you believe it is beyond God’s ability to create a creature without sin, then you don’t believe in the Christian God.

      • Except after calling her the mother of God, attributes of deity get given to her. Pray to her for her answer, and saying heaven obeys her.


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