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Att rätt fira sin gudstjänst: Gudstjänstens relevans för kyrkan och för den kyrkotillhörige sett ur anställdas och förtroendevaldas perspektiv
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, The Social Sciences of Religion, Sociology of Religions.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The Church of Sweden had barely 6.5 million members in 2012. Just over 1% of the members visit a church service regularly every Sunday. The number of visitors in worship services has diminished continuously for a very long time. From 1990 to 2010, the annual number of visitors at the main worship services has decreased by 50% from 9 million to about 4.5 million. The service activities can still be maintained at the current level because the many passive members still pays their membership fee. According to the national documents from the Church of Sweden the Sunday service is the most important mission. The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between the mission to celebrate divine worship as the official church gives local parishes and how this is perceived by the employees and the elected officials of the local parish. What are the similarities, differences and tensions between the mandate given by the Church of Sweden at the national level and the way performers perceive this? The study was based on three main documents: The Church Order for Church of Sweden (Kyrkoordningen), The theological basic principles for preparations for a new book of Common Prayer (2006), and the Explanations for the Proposal of the Book of Common Prayer. Part 1. Finally I analyzed the documentation (2011-2012) for preparation of the parish structural regulation on Northern Gotland. From these documents I formed 26 claims about the service that was presented to the informants in the attitude survey. The claims were then grouped into eight tentative quality dimensions for a "right celebrated worship", namely practical issues, faith, didactics, emotions, ethics, fellowship, diaconal issues and tradition. The empirical study was made in seven parishes in the North of Gotland. The informants were 34 employees and 40 elected officials. To this survey I added ten semi-structured interviews with the same groups. This study has essentially a religious sociological frame of reference. The main contribution of theories has been given by Grace Davie, Per Pettersson, Ole Riis and Linda Woodhead.  Davie analyzes North European churches which has or has had any ties to the State and where the majority of the population belongs to the Church, but very few members makes use of church services. Davie has described this in terms like "belonging without believing" or “vicarious religion”. Pettersson describes the relationship between the Church and the many members in service theoretical terms. He measures the quality of what the Church of Sweden offers as a service organization and from a theoretical perspective of this service. Riis and Woodhead have mainly contributed to this study through their theories about religion and emotions.

The result of the study was that the elected officials were slightly more satisfied with the service as it is performed today compared with the employees. Overall, it was a surprisingly unanimous group that shall plan and develop the service. The elected officials emphasize the importance of parish church more than the employees while matters of faith are more important to the employees. The national documents often points to the importance of tradition. This ambition was not found in any of the groups in the study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 80 p.
Keyword [en]
Church of Sweden, Sunday service, vicarious religion, service theories, elected officials, employees, emotion, tradition, parish church, didactics, fellowship, faith, diaconal
Keyword [sv]
Svenska kyrkan, anställda, förtroendevalda, gudstjänst, tro, gemenskap, tradition, ställföreträdande religiösa, känslor och religion, kyrklig identitet, serviceorganisation, medlemsundersökning, rätt gudstjänst, funktionell gudstjänst, präst
National Category
Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215762OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-215762DiVA: diva2:688404
Subject / course
Sociology of Religion
Educational program
Master Programme in Theology and Religious Studies
Available from: 2014-01-16 Created: 2014-01-16 Last updated: 2014-01-27Bibliographically approved

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