Arv. Nordic Yearbook of Folklore. 2017, 73, 115-133
The year 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. To mark the occasion, academic conferences have been held in all the Nordic countries, and books have been published on the history of the Reformation and the cultural significance of this major process of change. This article is an attempt to understand what happened in the area of ritual, which was of great importance both for the church as an institution and for the people. The main emphasis is on the situation in Norway, where most people were not prepared for these changes and desired them even less. Whereas Norwegian church historians have placed major emphasis on the fact that the Lutheran Reformation came as a response to “religious yearning” among the inhabitants, this article emphasizes the radical change that the Reformation entailed. The radical character of the transformation led to numerous and protracted processes and negotiations in the cultural sphere.