Original Research

Descriptive empirical perspectives on participants’ attitudes on virtual worship services kindle an ineluctable revisiting of ecclesial assumptions in a post-pandemic world

Ferdinand P. Kruger
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a7125 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.7125 | © 2021 Ferdinand P. Kruger | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 September 2021 | Published: 09 December 2021

About the author(s)

Ferdinand P. Kruger, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

When it comes to debating the background of this article, the matter of participants’ attitudes in virtual worship in a post-pandemic world is the central theme. One should always acknowledge that participants in the liturgy and faith communities have to cope with the effects of the pandemic. The physical attendance of worship services is an essential pillar in faith communities understanding of corporeal worship. Because of the lockdown measures and with the insistence on staying away from social gatherings, most people were obliged to adapt to new ways of engaging in virtual worship services. People hope that the previous normal will return whilst participating in virtual liturgy or limited groups of 50 people within church buildings. This article wants to embark on descriptive empirical perspectives to determine whether the virtual environment has not resulted in an inevitable revisiting of ecclesial assumptions regarding people’s understanding of worship. Many complex questions about how worship services will realise when the lockdown measures have been lifted remain unanswered. This article offers a descriptive section on what are the currently concerning aspects related to a topic like this. Secondly, a Likert scale with numerous statements was provided to 60 respondents from three denominations in the Potchefstroom area. The request to respondents was to indicate what their attitudes about certain statements are. This investigation will be conducted from a reformational paradigm and is interested in debating the responses of participants that is related to attitudes on virtual worship services in a post-pandemic world.

Contribution: The article concludes with some practical theological perspectives that could lead to a follow-up article on how this matter could be revisited in the light of more clarity on people’s attitudes.



Keywords

liturgy; worship attendance; virtual engagement in liturgy; ecclesial premises; attitudes

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Crossref Citations

1. Introducing the Scale of Perceived Affect Response to Online Worship (SPAROW): a psychometric assessment of ritual innovation during the pandemic
Andrew Village, Leslie J. Francis
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doi: 10.1080/13674676.2022.2081317