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Sweden: ecumenical celebration beyond the Arctic Circle to renew the five imperatives of Lund

On the darkest day of the year, Friday 21 December, an Ecumenical service will be held at the old church in Jokkmokk, Sweden, North of the Arctic Circle, to remember that Jesus is the light of the world. The celebration will be jointly presided over by Björn Göransson and Gene Dyer, from the Catholic community of Lulea, and by two leaders of the Lutheran Community of Jokkmokk, Gotthard Nilsson and Elena Veräjä. Since Jokkmokk is a small town marked by Sami culture and language, Gene Dyer will read the Gospel also in Sami. The Diocese of Stockholm which issued the invitation explained on its website that during the service, “we will repeat the ceremony of light held in Lund Cathedral on 31 October 2016”. Five candles will be lit to remember the five ecumenical imperatives signed by Pope Francis and Bishop Munib Younan in Lund. “Thanks to the ecumenical service in Jokkmokk, the imperatives will cross the Arctic Circle. Moreover, on this “day of the year, when no sunlight is seen throughout the day beyond the Polar Circles, we will meet to pray the Nicene Creed and proclaim that Jesus is God from God and Light from Light”. The Ecumenical service in Jokkmokk’s old church will begin at 6.30pm”, and anyone is invited to attend, no matter the community they belong to”.

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