Healing as transformation and restoration : a ritual-liturgical exploration

24 Aug 2017

Illness is a reality that affects all people, and healing is the main reason why people attend worship services in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the Ritual Studies scholar Ronald Grimes, illness is a social reality; it is socially imagined and constructed. Healing in the church is something that many believers experience, also in the context of worship and liturgy. In order to explore such healing as it occurs in liturgy a research project was undertaken making use of both empirical work and a literature study. The aim of this research was to take the light off of direct pastoral care and investigate how the liturgy affects individuals within the congregation with regard to healing. A praxis-theory cycle was followed in the research, and a preliminary liturgical theory for praxis was developed based on the insight from the empirical study and ritual theory that healing through worship entails either transformation or reconciliation.