”Orden med krona och fågelsång” Om språk och stil, genre och drama i förslaget till ny kyrkohandbok


  • Eva Hættner Aurelius CTR


”The Words with a Crown and with Bird Song” On Language and Style, Genre and Drama in the Proposed Kyrkohandbok  for the Church of Sweden

The proposal for a new service book for the Church of Sweden is scrutinized from the perspectives of normative linguistic, stylistics, theory of genre, hermeneutic, and theory of drama. The main concepts used are “style”, “genre” and “drama”. The gains and losses for the Swedish language and for the liturgy are assessed.

The main gain is the many alternative, often very skilfully worded opening prayers, which entail another gain, namely that they make the prayer for forgiveness less conspicuous despite its inaugurating position. From the perspective of genre-theory (and the hermeneutic circle) this means that the confession of sins does not place its stamp upon the whole service.

A number of linguistic errors are then mentioned, as well as some very poorly worded phrases that can be classified as stylistically weak.

Viewing the service as drama, the length of the Eucharistic prayers is criticized for breaking off the dramaturgically important connection between the words of institution and the communion itself. Some parts of the Eucharistic prayers could well be used in the intercession instead. The position of the intercession (in the midst of the service, between the sermon and the Eucharist) is also criticized for breaking off the dramaturgically important connection between the sermon and the Eucharist, both together constituting the climax of the drama.

A number of prayers in the proposal are criticized from the perspective of genre: some of them cannot be said to be prayers while others, on account of their content, are arguably in the wrong place.