Original Research

Enhancing ecological consciousness through liturgical acts of doxology and lament

Barend J. de Klerk
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 35, No 2 | a859 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v35i2.859 | © 2014 Barend J. de Klerk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 April 2013 | Published: 06 August 2014

About the author(s)

Barend J. de Klerk, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, South Africa


The last few decades have been a time of growing interest and concern about our environment. The extinction of plant and animal species, the pollution of our water supply and the depletion of critical resources have generated a new consciousness about our biosphere. The liturgy of the church must seriously engage with the ecological perspective, and the entire life, worship and praxis of the church should include an ecological dimension and vision. Two very powerful elements in enhancing worshippers’ ecological consciousness are praise or doxology and the important counterpart of doxology, namely song and prayer of lament as well as confession of guilt. This means that believers celebrate the inalienable beauty and dignity of all living kind and bear witness to God’s manifold creation. Believers are also to bear witness to creation’s groaning as the ground suffers from deforestation, mountain-top removal, toxic dumping and rising temperatures. Comfort and new possibilities for rectifying the ecological crisis may develop from grief and lament. The liturgical witness will be that God’s newness will break the cycles of self-destruction and make new life possible.


Ecology; Liturgy; Lament; Doxology


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