Sveriges Kungahus

The speech of Chief Court Chaplain of the Royal Court

The speech at the Wedding service, 8 June 2013

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

“And the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinth. 13,13). Of faith, hope and love. Of these love is the greatest. But also greater than power and riches. Such is the greatness of love.

Dear Madeleine and Christopher,

Your great day. A whole day for a whole life. This day brims over with beauty and splendour, joy and festivity — all for you, something that you also wish to share with so many. But first of all, this is a day that you share with each other. This is your great day.

You are both deeply committed. As an expression for your commitment you have suggested purposes that you would like to support and you have especially pointed out “MinStoraDag” and “World Child Foundation”. In this way your day will mean something for many children and young people too. You make them participants in your joy. The twofold essence of love shines before you: for others and for each other. You open your hearts for others — that is love. And you have opened your hearts to each other — that is love, and we rejoice with you.

Beauty and celebration go well together, splendour and grandeur. Music of different styles. But in order that it shall not all be shallow, we need to find the nucleus of heartfelt sincerity, of that warm, confident love. Besides that breathtaking, all dominating feeling of love, love is also heartfelt sincerity, tenderness, and loving care. In Swedish we call it tillgivenhet, affection. Tillgivenhet is not a pompous word, but it holds so much of that which is true love.

The Swedish word tillgivenhet says that you are given to each other. That is a bold venture, because it is a question of your whole life. This is what all this day is about.

All great celebrations have a root . Today this root is your “I will”, your “ja” to one another for a life together. This is, of course, a serious matter. But all deep joy has also a serious aspect. You are serious when you give each other your “I will” and your “ja” before the altar of God.

Outwardly, the lively and exhilarated celebration can appear as something essentially different from our everyday life. What is really great, however, is also what is created when all the little words and the warm, tender glances form a web of security and rest in your everyday life. Every day. The numerous moments are joined together into a life, your shared life. Take care of the moments!

The life of the Church appears to be like that too. The simple things hold in themselves what is great, like the water of the Holy baptism; like bread and wine of the Holy communion. This is not a matter for intellectual analysis, but for faith and heart to trust.

Yes, right now we find ourselves in a room of faith and of the heart. The Royal chapel encloses the two of you in God's loving care, and it gives space as well as direction to your life together.

You receive each other in this room of space and divine presence, and we rejoice with you. “MinStoraDag” has as its goal to increase the number of great days for many more. You have kept them in mind when preparing your wedding. The greetings from this wedding service are, however, first of all directed to you so that you will be able to give each other constantly new great days. You have a life before you that will be characterized by many kinds of responsibilities. You will also appear before the public as representatives for our country and for the Royal family.

So, dear Madeleine and Christopher, take care of the moments and the days when you are together,  just the two of you, and can show each other affection, tillgivenhet, and live through that love that bears all things, believes all things, and hopes all things (v. 7).

Consider over and over again: How can I make this day great for Madeleine? How can I make this day great for Christopher? And don't  just think in magnificent terms — think also in little things.

This wedding service is in itself a prayer of intercession for you with wishes of God's blessing. Your “I will” and your “ja” to one another is embedded into this intercession and this blessing. And I wish to add, you are also embedded into the sincere good wishes of your families and friends — and our nation.

The greatest is love. Keep those words in your hearts, trusting that God's love will never abandon you.