Church Services in Corona Times: An investigation into form and experience of church services in the first weeks of the Covid-pandamic

J.H.F. Schaeffer, Mark Joosse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This article presents empirical research on the way local protestant churches in the city of Utrecht organized their Sunday church services during the first weeks of the Covid-19 crisis in the Netherlands. After the first lockdown Sunday, on which many services were cancelled, most members took part in digital services of their own congregation on subsequent Sundays. Connection with one another was missed most, while many still felt connected to God. Online services were considered a fine alternative, but also as one that cannot possibly replace meeting in real life. These findings arguably need theological reflection regarding the phenomenon of digital liturgical community formation. We reflect on the (dis)continuity between digital and offline services as this relates to community formation, embodiedness, and the mediation of salvation. Concludingly, we can state that the Covid-19 crisis increases the necessary awareness within churches to what ‘digital liturgical community formation’ entails.
Translated title of the contributionChurch Services in Corona Times: An investigation into form and experience of church services in the first weeks of the Covid-pandamic
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)135-157
Number of pages23
JournalReligie en samenleving
Volume16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Church Service
  • Liturgy
  • COVID-19

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