Dutch Responses to Lockdown Liturgies. Analysis of the Public Debate on Sacraments During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:Discourse analysis, Eucharist, liturgy, COVID-19, lockdown
Analyzing the discourse around sacraments – most notably the Eucharist – in Dutch newspapers in the first months of restrictions issued to combat the coronavirus pandemic, this article categorizes the various manifestations of liturgical life encountered and presents the main theological interests at stake. The article is structured according to the four types of adaptations to liturgical life displayed in the sample of articles, readers’ letters, and opinion pieces included in this study: abstinence, spectator liturgy, private domestic liturgy, and embedded domestic liturgy. This categorization helps to track the theological presuppositions involved, some of which have been explicitly articulated in the sample. These arguments are then collected and discussed. In doing so, this article lists significant responses to the liturgical practices that emerged during the first lockdown of 2020 in the Netherlands and analyses the most important themes involved, formulating some of the implications for the future of liturgical practice and thought.