Understanding Worshiping Mary: What the Bible Says About Honoring Mary

by Sister McCook
Mary With Jesus

Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, has a special place in the hearts of many Christians around the world.

Her powerful intercession and the countless miracles attributed to her have made her an important figure in the Catholic Faith.

However, there is often confusion and even controversy surrounding the role of Mary in Christianity.

Let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Mary and help you understand her significant role in Christianity.

Mary was a chosen vessel, not an object of worship

Bible verses in Luke 1:30-31 reveal that Mary was a chosen vessel to bring forth the savior of humankind.

While this grants Mary an elevated position in our faith, it doesn’t imply that we should worship her as a divine being.

God alone should be worshiped

In several verses across the Bible, we’re taught that there is only one God to be worshiped.

For instance, in Exodus 20:3-5, Christians were instructed to refrain from worshipping any other gods or deities besides God.

Jesus himself is the only mediator between man and God

In 1 Timothy 2:5, the Bible teaches that Jesus is the only mediator between man and God.

While Mary may hold an esteemed position in the faith, she can’t act as a mediator between God and man.

Mary never claimed divinity

While Mary was indeed chosen to bear Christ, she never professed herself as a divine being, nor did she encourage others to worship her.

Jesus himself refrained from excessive veneration of his mother

In Mark 3:31-35, Jesus states that whoever does the will of God is his brother, sister, and mother.

This statement indicates that Jesus saw his mother as an ordinary human being who was blessed to give birth to the Messiah.

Worshiping Mary contradicts the essence of Christianity

Christians believe in the Trinity – God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit – as the supreme forces in Christianity.

Worshiping Mary, therefore, contradicts this fundamental belief and steers Christians off the path of righteousness.

Praising Mary should always be subordinate to praising God

While praising Mary is acceptable in many churches, it should always be done in remembrance of the divine intervention that brought Jesus into the world.

Mary is a role model for Christians

Christians can learn several lessons from Mary, including her humility, obedience, and unwavering faith in God.

She is a great example for Christians everywhere.

Expressing gratitude for Mary is acceptable

It’s permissible to acknowledge Mary’s contribution to Christianity and express gratitude for it.

This acknowledgment, however, should not cross the line and evolve into an act of worship.

Honoring Mary should be done with caution

While honoring Mary is a commendable act, Christians should be careful not to blur the lines between reverence and worship.

The Bible teaches us to worship God above all else, so we must be mindful of the practices that might interfere with this fundamental belief.

Does the Bible tell us to pray to Mary?

Prayer is an essential part of the Christian faith, and the Bible instructs us to pray to God alone.

While some Catholics and Orthodox Christians do pray to Mary, this practice is not outlined in the Bible.

Instead, the Bible instructs us to pray only to God and to ask for His help in all things.

Why should Mary be worshipped?

Mary should not be worshipped. Worship is reserved for God alone.

However, Mary holds a special place in the Christian faith, and some Christians may hold her in high esteem and ask her for intercession.

This practice is more about honoring her as a holy woman and asking for her prayers, rather than worship.

Why is praying to Mary considered right?

Praying to Mary is considered right for some Christians because they believe she is a powerful intercessor to Jesus Christ.

They believe that Mary hears their prayers and can influence the outcome of their situation by interceding on their behalf.

However, it is important to remember that Catholics and Orthodox Christians are not required to pray to Mary, and this practice is not found in the Bible.

Is worshipping Mary idolatry?

Worshipping anyone or anything other than God is considered idolatry.

Catholics and Orthodox Christians do not worship Mary, nor do they teach that she should be worshipped.

They believe in honoring Mary as a holy woman, and they ask for her intercession in prayer.

It is essential to understand there is a difference between worship and honoring someone.

If Mary is so important, why does the Bible say so little about her?

Mary’s importance in the Catholic faith has grown over time, but the New Testament does not contain extensive information about her.

However, the Bible depicts Mary as a central figure in the life of Jesus Christ.

She is shown as the woman who birthed, raised, and played an integral part in his ministry.

The Bible may not have front-and-center teachings about Mary’s life, but it does show her relevance in Jesus’ life and the birth of Christianity.

What does the Bible say about praying the rosary?

The rosary is a set of prayers used by Catholics and Orthodox Christians to honor Mary and ask for her intercession.

The Bible does not speak to the rosary specifically, but it shares prayers that are fundamental to the faith.

While praying the rosary can be a meaningful practice for many Catholics, the focus is ultimately on honoring Mary and seeking her prayers to intercede on behalf of the supplicant.

Understanding Mary’s role in Christianity is essential in gaining clarity around the commonly asked questions about her.

Mary is highly esteemed in the Catholic faith because she played an integral role in the birth of Christianity.

The Bible does not specifically tell us to pray to Mary, nor does it teach that she should be worshipped.

Nonetheless, the honor given to Mary can deepen a Christian’s faith and bring them closer to God.

It ultimately lies with each person to determine the role, if any, they want Mary to have in their personal worship.

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