"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Holy Rolling Laestadians

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Holy Rolling Laestadians

In an OALC church service, the trained ear can detect the onset of "the movement" in an increasing gravity and humility in the preacher's voice. At last he repents, and some folks move toward the altar while others stand and reach for each other, and others look at their shoes, and still others (you know who you are) sneak out for a smoke or a chat. It wasn't always this, well, orderly. Read on:

"An especially salient feature of Laestadianism came to be the experience of ‘being moved’ (liikutus). It was these spontaneous and uncontrolled expressions of emotion that non-Laestadians most opposed in this movement. The liikutukset could take place during the sermon, singing of hymns, or, especially, the Eucharist . . . .Sorrow and grief were due to feelings of sinfulness that were so overwhelming that people were unable to talk, pray, cry, or even sigh; they felt as though they were suffocating and could only let out some unarticulated sounds of despair, feeling that they were going to die. As the preachers then powerfully proclaimed that all sins were forgiven in the name and blood of Jesus Christ, this resulted in such relief that it made people hop and jump and cry out loud . . . "

"The liikutukset were manifested most importantly in the form of sounds. They were preceded by heavy breathing and sighing. . . In a liikutus people sobbed, moaned, wailed, wept, howled, or sighed, hollered, bellowed, and cried out of pain of or of joy. Also laughing, hiccupping, and imitations of animal voices are know as signs of liikutus. Secondly, various bodily motions, such as clapping of hands, stomping of feet, and jumping and swinging around, are usual manifestations of a liikutus. Some even jumped on the table or bench, starting to dance or leap. Some were shaking, convulsing, and waving their hands; especially in the liikutukset of sorrow people could even fall to the ground. Liikutukset could set on all of a sudden, without any preceding signs, and people’s ability to control them varied both individually and according to the situation."

(Click on title for more from this scholar.)

1 comment:

  1. In the Finnish Apostolic Church it is called "rejoicing" and loud wailing and shouting is now more the exception than the rule. I left the church quite a few years ago. I still get moved to tears by a good sermon or when the Holy Spirit moves over me. However, sometimes it seems that the wailing etc is "crowd or group" mentality. Like it spreads the way if one woman cries tears will flow from almost all women around her. Especially during communion. Sometimes now I can't help beaming during communion. Yes my sin weighs heavily on me but what a treasure that my Lord gave his life so I could be acceptable! One can't help but just smile at the joy of it all!
    I think a Christian can be happy and joyful! Do you think He gave his life so we could all be gloomy Gusses? Just my two cents on the subject.