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The confirmation ritual in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark: conveyance of a religious experience or play-acting?

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The article explores the meaning of the confirmation ritual in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark. Two cases show two different understandings. In case one the minister holds that the rite is play-acting. Everything belonging to Christian initiation is given in baptism. Case two is in accordance with generation-old tradition reflected in the expectations of confirmands and parents. Here the ritual conveys a special blessing not repeatable. But is it possible to uphold a strict theological view that Christian initiation belongs to baptism and nothing is left for confirmation? Or are the effects of the room, adornment, music, lights, and traditions of the ceremony overwhelming and contain the capacity to sweep away consequent theological thinking? Is the ritual what it expresses; a special blessing in harmony with baptism? The discussion in the article refers back to Luther and the early Reformers and represents a contribution to an ongoing critical conversation.
TidsskriftPractical Theology
Sider (fra-til)581-593
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2020


  • Ritual practices, Confirmation, Christian initiation, Atmospheres, qualitative method, Denmark

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