Worship with Children: Agentive Participation in Dutch Protestant Contexts


Lydia van Leersum-Bekebrede


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.

ISBN printed version: 9789464169034

Graphic design, illustrations & photos by Lydia van Leersum-Bekebrede

Cover reference photos, front and back by Robert Collins, unsplash.com/@robbie36, Linde Dorenbos, lindedorenbos.com

Publisher: University of Groningen Press,
Broerstraat 4, 9712 CP Groningen

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Author Biography

Lydia van Leersum-Bekebrede

Lydia van Leersum-Bekebrede studied cultural anthropology at Utrecht University.

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November 26, 2021


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