Dear friends, October 20, 2012, is now in the history books and there it will remain as a reminder to all of us who attended the service and investiture, and it´s hard for me to bring justice to all the wonderful things that occurred in this text but I feel that I must at least try.
It all started with a gathering in the Saint Petri basilica for all of us postulants. We were all given lectures in traditional and ceremonial know-how. This is for me important since I feel that in order to maintain a proper respect and humbleness one need to learn history and customs.
The subject for the day was, in so many different ways, gratefulness. Bishop Christina Odenberg spoke about this in a way that appealed to us all I believe. She has a very down-to-earth way of speaking about the important questions and what she says goes to heart. Her message was that even though it is hard to feel gratefulness and happiness all the time when one look on what’s happening in the world around us, one shouldn´t be distressed. If we can feel the love that is given
to all of us from God, we will always have
happiness and for that we will be grateful.
After the service the investiture began. It was a very ceremonial moment and I must admit that I was proud to be a part of it all and a little bit jittery. Having all the Scandinavian Grand Priories present with flags and standards, medieval sword and all the brothers and sisters wearing our Orders ceremonial mantles, gave the situation certain gravity. I was properly initiated together with the other initiates and I am now proud to say that I am a brother of the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem.
After the service and investiture we all took a short stroll to the Sirius Palace were the banquet were to be held. The Grand Prior, General Kent Harrskog, began with a toast for the King of Sweden and we all sang a song to his honour. It is a very nice tradition. After that he also talked about my pilgrimage and by doing so he really fortified this mission with a strong mandate. Having the support from friends within the Order is truly a blessing. At the end of his speech he said something that struck me like a lightning bolt from a clear sky. One of my sponsors in the Order, Vice Chancellor Pär Ola Dahlin, together with his beautiful wife Lotta, had decided to contribute to my pilgrimage by giving the startling sum of 10 000 Swedish Krona! I almost fell off my chair. It truly was one of these rare moments in my life when I was profoundly amazed.
The festivity went on and we had a wonderful time. It was one of those nights when nothing went wrong, the speeches were short and colourful, peoples clothing with uniforms and dresses were fantastic and it feels like a Cinderella story all together…
I went to bed quite late and I did so with a smile on my face. This day will live in my memory until the end of my days.