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In the general sense, devotion is the inner concentration, attention ( Attentio ) or concern. In the religious sense, it describes the spiritual gathering of thoughts in prayer as well as a short service that is especially dedicated to prayer.


Devotion refers to both a "religious immersion" and a prayer service. Evidence was found in Old High German anathāht in the 10th century, Middle High German andāht for ' thinking about something, attention, devotion' as an abstract formation to Old High German anathenken 'thinking about something' in the 9th century. The religious reference as 'turning to God ' became predominant in Middle High German of the 12th century and, unlike in Dutch (a devotion for 'attention'), was retained in Low German. At the same time, the more general meaning of 'devotion, inner concentration' developed from this usage. The adjective reverent stands for ' touched , sunk, devoted', derived from the Old High German anathāhtīg in the 11th century, as well as the Middle High German andæhtec 'thinking of something , mindful , devout'.


A Lutheran "home devotion" in the family circle on a window in the Altenburg Brethren Church

In the Christian sense, devotion denotes the spiritual turning ( devotio ) to the triune God as well as the concrete form in which this spiritual gathering takes place. Especially in the Roman Catholic Church , devotions that frame a certain form of prayer are common. Examples of this are devotions on the way of the cross , fasting devotions , May devotions or rosary devotions during the church year . A prayer often appears at the beginning or at the end of a day ("end"), as a year- end prayer also at the end of a calendar year.

Here, as in Protestant Christianity, freer forms, including devotional discussions, gain in importance. Combinations of predetermined forms of prayer and free configurations are also possible. A common form of devotion is meditation , in which a word, image or object becomes the starting point for silent reflection. Devotions can be held by individual believers as well as groups, in and outside of churches . They are often held casually and can also take place, for example, in schools or hospitals or on the radio . Online devotions can take place in the form of chats , in which the participants pray together in the virtual room. The leadership of a prayer is not reserved for a clergyman - even within the church building, any layperson entrusted with this by the parish priest can lead a prayer.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Devotion  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ "Andacht" in, accessed on December 1, 2011.
  2. ^ Etymological dictionary of German according to Pfeifer, online at DWDS , accessed on December 1, 2011.
  3. Hans-Christoph Schmidt-Lauber : Handbuch der Liturgik: Liturgiewwissenschaft in Theologie und Praxis der Kirche , Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2003, p. 923, online on Google books
  4. chat worship on Sunday eternity. (No longer available online.) In: Evangelical Church, 2017, archived from the original on December 1, 2017 ; accessed on November 27, 2017 .