FRAGMENTS OF THE SACRED: SACRAMENTALLY SUSTAINED IN TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY
Keywords:Hymns, Bells, Sacred songs, Covid pandemic
The year 2020 will be remembered for the Covid-19 pandemic, where people were locked into their homes and worship in churches fell silent. Church leaders, ministers, and lay people worldwide turned to social platforms such as Facebook and YouTube for online services and to deliver messages to people. In this article, the gaze is directed outwards and possibilities for encountering the sacred that are broader than what is offered by digital means are investigated. The hymn, Now, thank we all our God (Nun danket alle Gott) is offered as an example of a sacred song that is alive in the public sphere, even if often inconspicuously. The text of the hymn is discussed and its relevancy in uncertain times is shown. The reception history of the hymn is also given to show how it functioned in diverse contexts. Narratives from the public sphere in various countries are then analysed to determine how unobtrusive and seemingly insignificant fragments of the sacred such as bells that ring, carillons that are played, and sacred songs that are sung can communally function in the public sphere and could sustain people sacramentally in times of fear, uncertainty, and loss.
Copyright (c) 2020 Author
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