The act of rendering divine honors, including in it reverence, esteem, and love: this is called supreme, or absolute. The word is compounded or absolute. The word is compounded, of ad, "to," and os oris, "mouth;" and literally signifies to apply the hand to the mouth, "to kiss the hand;" this being in the eastern countries, one of the great marks of respect and submission.
The attitude of adoration, however, we find has not been confined to this mode; standing, kneeling, uncovering the head, prostration, bowing, lifting up the eyes to heaven, or sometimes fixing them upon the earth with the body bending forward; sitting with the under parts of the thighs resting on the heels, have all been used, as expressive of veneration and esteem.
Whatever be the form, however, it must be remembered, that adoration, as an act of worship, is due to God alone, Mat_4:10. Act_10:25-26. Rev_19:10. There is,
what may be called adoration human, or paying homage or respect to persons of great rank and dignity. This has been performed by bowing, bending the knee, falling on the face. The practice of adoration may be said to be still subsisting in England, in the ceremony of kissing the king's or queen's hand, and in serving them at table, both being performed kneeling on one knee. There is also
adoration relative, which consists in worship paid to an object as belonging to or representative of another. In this sense the Romanists profess to adore the cross not simply or immediately, but in respect of Jesus Christ, whom they suppose to be on it. This is generally, however, considered by protestants, as coming little short of idolatry.