Adolescents and the Lord's Supper

On the one hand, in our culture embodied practices play an important role (including various practices of commemoration), and in liturgy and Liturgical Studies (religious) embodiment is important. On the other hand, we notice a tension and hesitance with regard to the embodied liturgical-ritual of the Lord’s Supper/the Meal. In many congregations in the Protestant Church in the Netherlands the Lord’s Supper is four to five times a year. Mostly less people participate in the Meal services than in the Word services. In some congregations adolescents hardly face the Lord’s Supper.

Formation aspects of youth participation in the Lord's Supper

To understand how the cultural tendency of embodied practices relates to the participation of adolescents/young adults in the Lord’s Supper, we will investigate two cases. In one congregation young people can take part in the Lord’s Supper, in the other congregation being confirmed is a condition for taking part.

What formation aspects can be distinguished in the process of preparing the participation (religious education/catechetics) and in the actual participation of young people?

Liturgical formation can refer to the shaping of liturgy and to the religious learning by people. Both are connected of course, but our focus will be on the latter.


  • Sonnenberg, P.M., & De Kock, A. ‘Hoe krijg je jongeren meer betrokken bij het avondmaal?’, see the website van jong protestant (Dutch) 
  • De Kock, A. & Sonnenberg, P.M. (2016), 'Ritual links worship and learning. An empirical and theoretical contribution from the perspective of young people participating in the Lord's Supper', in: Studia Liturgica 46-2, 68-84.


Ronelle Sonnenberg