“Called to witness together to God’s grace in this world”
(LWI) Lund Cathedral in Sweden has not seen a Catholic mass since the time of the Reformation 500 years ago. But starting 21 October this year, the Cathedral where the Joint Catholic Lutheran Commemoration of the Reformation took place in 2016, will open up for the Catholic parish of Saint Thomas to celebrate their Sunday masses there. The invitation is an offer of support to the parish while the parish church of St Thomas is undergoing major restoration work.
Lund cathedral, built in the 10th century, became the centre of attention for Christians around the world in October 2016, when Pope Francis and LWF leadership hosted the joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration of the 500 year anniversary of the Reformation. In the medieval church a joint statement was signed, by Pope Francis and Bishop Dr Munib Younan, then President of The Lutheran World Federation.
This initiative follows on from this historic event, which took place in Lund and in nearby city of Malmö in 2016, says Lena Sjöstrand, chaplain of Lund cathedral and one of the main promoters for this weekly initiative.
“Many were moved by the strong feelings of belonging, hope, and togetherness during the Joint Commemoration. It was not a one-off event but has merely inspired to further efforts of bringing Lutherans and Catholics closer together, for instance during ecumenical Vespers in our churches,” says Sjöstrand.
The coming weekly celebration of catholic masses in Lund cathedral is something beyond a practical solution. It’s a concrete way of bringing Catholics and Lutherans closer together by focusing on what they have in common rather than what separates the two.
More than just a practical solution
“The coming weekly celebration of catholic masses in Lund cathedral is something beyond a practical solution. It’s a concrete way of bringing Catholics and Lutherans closer together by focusing on what they have in common rather than what separates the two,” Sjöstrand emphasizes. “This ecumenical initiative is an important milestone, putting into practise the spirit of the historic encounter in our cathedral.”
“It is wonderful to see how hosting together a global eumenical commemoration has brought the local Catholic and Lutheran communities in Lund closer to one another,” says Rev. Dr Kaisamari Hintikka, LWF Assistant General Secretary for Ecumenical Relations. “The concrete hospitality they are showing to one another is exactly what we say together in the Lund statement, that is, that we are called to witness together to God’s grace in this world.”
Information about Lund Cathedral in English can be found here http://lundsdomkyrka.se/english/