Liturgy without church:
The Amsterdam beguinage after 1578
Meeting HERA project Sound Memory: Prague, 18/19 September 2016
The main topic of our meeting here in Prague is space, religion and liturgy. Of course our main focus has been on existing churches, on liturgy in churches. My paper aims to analyse situations when there is liturgy but no church. This has been the case for about 100 years in the Netherlands, when after the Calvinist reformation catholic churches had been banned and public services other than reformed ones were prohibited. Catholics and other religious groups were tolerated, but their church services had to take place secretly. No churches were allowed that could be recognized as churches from outside. During the 17th century, hidden churches were built inside houses. Therefore this time is called the housechurch-era. The interior of these churches looked very much like that of normal churches. But in the immediate aftermath after the reformation, those house churches didn’t exist yet. Believers had to assemble in other places. This evokes a lot of questions about place and liturgy. In my paper I will present some aspects of liturgy outside the church at the Amsterdam Beguinage from 1578 onwards.