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Should the ELCD liturgy be renewed?

ELCD is discussing the future of the church service


Should service be the same in every church? To what degree should local congregations be able to form their own worship? Should the liturgical form be freer, or should the church hold on to the forms we already are familiar with? ELCD is addressing the relationship between authorisation and freedom in the Agreement of the ELCD on Church Service.

In March 2017, the Danish bishops referred the issue to three special Committees for further inquiry. Recently a report named “The Liturgy of ELCD – between Freedom and Permanence” has been published. The report is accompanied with concise and easy to read material which is meant to invite further discussion.

The report suggests that there are three possible ways to go:

  1. The conservative approach, keeping ELCD’s current church service order.
  2. The liberal approach, the fundamental structure of the service must be authorised, but formulations and form are decided by the local congregation.
  3. The “middle course”, structure and wording in selected parts of the service must be authorised.

The two other Committees concerning service, baptism, and Eucharist will finish their work in 2019. During and especially once the work of the Committees has finished, everyone in ELCD is encouraged to take part in the discussions and reflections about the future of the church service.

The ambition is to gauge whether there is a will to reform or whether it is best not to change the current forms.