Lament in liturgy : a critical reflection from an URCSA perspective

Mahokoto, Marlene S. (2015-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa faces many challenges, as a country. Our communities are struggling with many issues such as poverty, inequality, rape, abuse, violence, corruption and many more. Yet, our faith community seems reluctant to lament these issues during their worship services. This research looks specifically at the practice of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa. The question that this research wrestles with is: “Given the challenging times that we live in, in what way could a re-discovery or a re-claiming of lament in liturgy, against the background of healing and hope, obtain new meaning in our congregations?” The assumption of the research is that if the church wants to be relevant in the lives of their members today, she would need to revisit and reclaim the process of lament in the liturgy. It could further be argued that a re-thinking and a re-introduction of lament in liturgy could have far-reaching and enriching implications in the life of the faith community, especially where the healing of memories is concerned. Part of the research was a literature study while another section consisted of empirical studies. Congregations from the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa, in the Western Cape, took part in the studies. The main focus of the research was descriptive empirical and the information gathered had to be interpreted. Through the normative task, theological reflections could be carried out and finally possible criteria could be deduced in terms of how lament could be re-integrated into existing liturgies of our church.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suid Afrika word gekonfronteer met baie uitdagings. Ons gemeenskappe gaan gebuk onder geweldige druk en word daagliks gekonfronteer met armoede, ongelykheid, verkragting, mishandeling, geweld, korrupsie en nog vele meer. Ongeag hierdie uitdagings blyk dit asof ons geloofsgemeenskap teensinnig is om te weeklaag gedurende eredienste. Hierdie navorsing kyk spesifiek na die praktyk rondom weeklaag in die liturgie van spesifieke gemeentes in die Verenigende Gereformeerde Kerk in Suider Afrika. Die vraag waarmee hierdie navorsing worstel is: “Gegewe die uitdagende tye waarin ons lewe, op watter manier kan die herontdekking of die her-besit van weeklaag in liturgie (teen die agtergrond van heling en hoop), nuwe betekenis aanneem in ons gemeentes?”. Die uitgangspunt van die navorsing is dat as die kerk relevant wil bly in die lewens van haar lidmate, dan het sy nodig om die proses van weeklaag, binne die liturgie, weer te besoek en te eien. Verder kan dit geredeneer word dat ‘n nuwe denkpatroon en ‘n nuwe bekendstelling aan weeklaag in die liturgie verreikende gevolge kan hê in die lewens van die geloofsgemeenskap, veral waar daar na die heling van ons verlede gekyk word. Een deel van die navorsing was ‘n literêre studie terwyl die tweede deel ‘n empiriese studie was. Gemeentes van die Verenigende Gereformeerde Kerk in Suider-Afrika het deel uitgemaak van die empirisie navorsing. Die klem van die navorsing was beskrywendempiries en die data moes interpreteer word. Gedurende die normatiewe deel kon daar teologies gereflekteer word oor die maniere waarop weeklaag weer deel van die bestaande liturgie gemaak kan word in ons kerk. Verskeie moontlikhede het aan die lig gekom in hierdie verband.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97038
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