The first Investiture of the Order on Danish soil

The Lieutenancy of Sweden celebrated the Order’s first investiture, on Danish soil, from September 5 to 7

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The first Investiture of the Order on Danish soil The Vigil preceding the Investitures was held in the monastery of Our Lady, near Copenhagen, presided over by Msgr. Anders Arborelius, Grand Prior of the Swedish Lieutenancy (Photo: Davor Zovko)

The celebrations began on Saturday, September 5, with a Vigil celebrated by the Lieutenancy’s Grand Prior, the Bishop of Stockholm, Anders Arborelius of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, KC*HS. The Vigil was celebrated in the monastery of Our Lady, near Copenhagen. The ceremony was celebrated as part of the Holy Mass, concelebrated by all the bishops of the Nordic countries, who gathered in Copenhagen for a meeting of the Nordic Bishop Conference.

According to the Order’s ancient traditions, the new Knights (and Dames) should spend the night before the Investiture in vigil, prayer and contemplation. Today, the ceremony of Vigil is celebrated in the evening before the Investiture and is the last step in the candidate’s preparation for life as a Knight. The candidate receives yet another reminder about what life as a member of the Order means. During the service the candidates sign their vows before the Investiture. After signing the vows, the candidate’s capes and insignia are blessed.

Bishop Anders Arborelius began his homily by asking everyone present if they knew that they were all God’s temple. Bishop Arborelius said that every Christian life is like a brick in the Church’s building. If only one brick is missing, the structure becomes strange and unstable. Every Christian life also is a constant development, and no one knows how close to God one can reach in his or her life. Knights and Dames should be witnesses of Jesus in their everyday living in a holy way, in their families, on their workplaces, in their environment.

On Sunday, the Knights and Dames participated in celebrations of the 250th Anniversary of the Catholic Church in Denmark. The Anniversary was celebrated with Holy Mass and a Vesper service, in which also the Order’s Grand Master participated.

At the Investiture Mass on Monday September 7, four new Knights, among them the Bishop of Copenhagen Czeslaw Kozon, were included in the worldwide Community of Order’s members.

The main celebrant of the Investiture Mass was the Order’s Grand Master, Cardinal Edwin O’Brien. Several Bishops of the Nordic countries and a number of priests concelebrated the Holy Mass.

Knights and Dames of the Lieutenancy of Sweden participated in the celebrations, together with several guests, including: representatives of the Order’s Grand Magisterium, Lieutenants of Finland, Spain Oriental, and Belgium, Grand Priors of Finland and Norway, representatives from Lieutenancies of Germany, England and Western Spain, representatives of the Sovereign Order of Malta and the German Order of St. John, representatives from a number of other organizations, families and friends of the new Knights and many other guests.

In his homily the Grand Master said that Christ has called us all to follow him. Christ’s call is immediate and total. One cannot follow Christ only in part. All the people whom Jesus called, left their lives completely and followed him without hesitation. Knights and Dames should live a deeper Christian life.

Investiture Mass was followed by a reception and a formal dinner at the Study center Magleås, situated next to Our Lady Convent. The reception and the dinner gave every present person an opportunity for festive and joyful communion with the Order’s Grand Master, members of the Order, friends and guests.

Grand Magisterium’s representative, Bo Theutenberg KGCHS, recounted in brief the history of the Swedish Lieutenancy. He also mentioned that our Lieutenancy supported the Order’s establishment in Norway, the Czech Republic and Croatia, now also in Denmark. During the dinner two paintings of Swedish heraldic artist Davor Zovko KC*HS were sold for the benefit of the Order’s humanitarian work in the Holy Land. One of the paintings was already sold a few years ago. However, after having paid for framing, the buyer donated the painting back to the Lieutenancy, and this is why the Lieutenancy was able to sell it again. At the dinner in Magleås the same occurred: even the new buyer donated the painting back to the Lieutenancy!

(December 13, 2015)