Since the COVID-19 pandemics, we have witnessed an increase in online worship services. Nevertheless, HCI has little insight into how technological mediation influences religious experiences and how technology should be designed for use in religious contexts. Therefore, we see a unique opportunity to understand better real-world experiences of technology use in religious rituals and, more specifically, in online worship services. Inspired by contextual design, We virtually observed and interviewed eight persons during and after participation in online worship services. We identified a field of tension between faith, everyday life, individuality, and community.
The data suggests that current online worship service systems do not account for believers’ needs for community, faith, or extraordinariness. We discuss opportunities for future research and design, and aim to contribute to the understanding of online worship service experiences and the design of technology-mediated religious experiences.