Worship with Children: agentive participation in Dutch Protestant contexts

L.C. van Leersum-Bekebrede

    Research output: Types of ThesisPhD ThesisAcademic


    Children take part in liturgical-ritual activities. In Sunday services, children’s church, Sunday school, and special services, children sit in pews, respond to Bible stories, and perform liturgical actions like singing in a choir, welcoming people, saying a prayer, or participating in the Lord’s Supper.
    Based on participant observations and interviews, this book describes and analyzes the variety of worship practices with children in Dutch Protestant contexts. A central concern is how people adapt worship to suit children and how children contribute to worship.

    The conclusions show children as agentive participants in worship. In addition, the conclusions nuance the debate on intergenerational worship, highlight the importance of spirituality for both adults and children, and explore how the material environment influences worship. This practical theological research gives a better understanding of Dutch Protestant liturgical rituals with children and their theological significance.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Protestant Theological University
    • Barnard, M., Supervisor
    • de Kock, A., Supervisor
    • Sonnenberg, P.M., Advisor
    Award date9 Dec 2021
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    Print ISBNs9789464169034
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2021


    • worship
    • children
    • theology
    • practical
    • Qualitative Empirical Research
    • liturgy
    • congregation
    • church
    • child
    • ritual
    • material
    • netherlands
    • dutch
    • reformed
    • practice
    • socialization
    • kid
    • kids
    • adult
    • liturgical
    • service
    • messy church
    • godly play
    • play
    • education
    • ideal
    • intergenerational
    • normativity
    • formation
    • mystagogy
    • mystagogue
    • baptism
    • story
    • stories
    • bible
    • bibliodrama
    • participation
    • agency
    • activity
    • listening
    • spiritual
    • religion
    • spirituality
    • sacrament
    • lord
    • supper
    • involve
    • morning
    • movement
    • senses

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