Facebook-sända tideböner som ekumeniskt tecken


  • Jimmy Österbacka Priest in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland, doctoral student in theology, Åbo Akademi


The present article is an attempt to explore receptive or ”convergent” ecumenism at a digital grass-root level during the global covid-19 pandemic. It is a case study of digital Vesper and Compline, live-streamed over Facebook via a personal user profile. In these hours participants pray with a prayer book of daily hours of the office issued by The Ecumenical Community at Bjärka-Säby (EKiBS). By using an ethnographical approach the author has interviewed one of the key persons behind the streamed office hours about this form of prayer in a digital ”room”, the use of daily prayer liturgies during the pandemic, prayer-requests from those participating, and about the book of hours by EKiBS, Tideböner under året. It is important to note that in this kind of research one participates in the generation of data without necessarily knowing where the research process will lead.

The study furthermore explores some of the written prayers in Tideböner under året by Peter Halldorf that explicitly constitute prayers for ”unity”. The author attempts to analyze what kind of unity it is that is prayed for through participation in these hours of the office. In both the interviews and in the study of the prayers it may be observed and demonstrated what kind of ecclesial imaginations and concepts of unity that are at work. It is concluded that a receptive ecumenical spirituality is manifested here, and that it may possibly be seen as something of an ”extension” of the spirituality that emanates from EKiBS, which is interesting since EKiBS have until recently been rather cautious with the use of social media.