Today, 20 years ago, 8 young ministers where ordained in the cathedral of Lund, by bishop
KG Hammar, who a couple of years later became archbishop and moved to Uppsala.
In Sweden, at the time, the candidates spent a year of ministrystudies in either Lund or Uppsala. Since the choice of university was free, we had students from other dioces, hence the last post. They went on to their own cathedrals, we have 13 dioces in the church of Sweden.
Most of us had been studying for five years and more. Since I had began ministry as deacon, I had yet some more years in my luggage. I served five years as a deacon.
This last year was filled with friendship , travelling ( we went to Prague and Uppsala ), countless of hours with books , countless of services in the cathedral and other churches, praying, singing, arguing, practising, listening to our experienced teachers, comparing our own lifes and choices in the light of Gods grace.
Bishops from the other dioces came to visit their candidates, our bishop came to see us. Of course there had been a meeting back in time, days filled with interviews to make certain you knew what you were up to. Some didn't pass those interviews, that could be painful.
So at last, after a few days of retreat, dinner with the bishop and the last arrangements around the solemn and festive service, we were ready to take our vows and step into the realm of clergy.
The day dawned with shimmering sunlight and the cathedral was filled to the brim, we were all nervous and apprehensive, but happy, heading for the south portal.
By our side we each had an assistant, mine was the minister at our wedding, three years earlier.
And so the bells chimed from the two towers. The procession was long and powerful , there where choirs singing, the organ was loud and mighty, we were happy and proud to say our YES to all the questions and somewhat nervously read our vows out loud. After ordination our assistants dressed us in liturgical clothing and then we spread out in the church to celebrate communion with the congregation, mostly family and friends but also the ordinary parishioners since the dome is their parishchurch.
The vicars of the receiving parishes were present, you spend one year in a parish chosen for you, not of your own choice. After that first year you are free to apply anywhere, but only a ministry, not vicarage. Vicar you can become after a few years, and nowadays, a few more months of studies. I was to be serving in the parish of Sölvesborg, Blekinge so we had to move.
It was a good year, filled with impressions, meetings, high expectations and some disappointments. Friendships were made, still lasting.
I truelly hope no one takes offence by my pictures, There wasn't much to choose from and I really wanted to share this moment with you. I am happy to be serving as a minister in this church, grateful for the trust, the confidence, to carry the gospel out to people, grateful to be intrusted with so many things of such importance, taking part of peoples lifes in joy and sorrow. Trying the best I can to bear witness in word and deed. Carried by grace.
The gathering two weeks ago was joyful indeed, to meet again. Today there will be a gathering for us ordained in Lund.
If you click the film below you can enjoy the cathedral and also take part of what happends in every church of Sweden in general, and the cathedral especially.
|The shepherd walks behind us , to protect. The cross is carried in front together with the standar of Lund, the gridiron of St Lawrence.|
Oh, we are in the highchancel!!
Well, dressed in black we are ready to take on the world, I know my caftan looks borrowed, I lost a good many kilos and forgot to tell the tailor.......
|Trustworthy and sincerelooking, hopefully.|
|Not the news of the world but there we are!|
For me, however, the journey began 7 years earlier, in Ersta church, Stockholm, where I was ordained deacon by bishop Bengt Wadensjö.
|If you are wondering, do they really use those mysterious huts? No no,|
not anymore but once they all did, and they never used any personal clothes after
the ordination. We were among the last to be dressed and ordained this way.