Denmark for sure is a beautiful country in very many ways. When you land at Copenhagen international airport in Kastrup, Zealand, a lot of modernity can be seen. The pulsating beats of this modernity are in tall buildings, neatly trimmed hedges, busy streets and more. As one takes the metro trains headed to Fyn and finally Jutland, a few changes begin. You quickly notice that fewer and fewer settlements lie along the way. Most of the land is vast farmland with wheat, corn, and many more. This country, Denmark though lowkey in practice of religion, still considers some of the practices of Christianity immutable.
In Denmark, going to church isn’t so fashionable, especially among middle-aged people. They would rather go to work than spend hours on end in church. There could be a paradox in this. A pious person may struggle reconciling how Denmark is amazing yet a large number are not active church goers.
Someone from the let’s say the USA or Africa may have something to shudder about. Imagine that in Denmark, most churches only gets quarter or half full with congregants on normal days. It is only during special events such as religious wedding and confirmation ceremonies that people will throng the church.
Any foreigner in Denmark will notice that people relate so differently with the church there. The churches will likely get full attendance on wedding ceremonies, confirmation ceremonies, or requiem services. Such scenes don’t recur during ordinary worship days. In fact, so many old churches in Denmark lie in solitude across every city.
Every country has its own culture which manifests in various ways and Denmark is by no means any different. A foreigner entering Denmark may be interested to learn some pleasant yet surprising aspects of the people’s culture. After all, it’s an important part of the long process of integration in Denmark as a foreigner. Danish people really value wedding and confirmation ceremonies but don’t give a damn about attending church on normal Sundays.
The dominant religion in Denmark is Christianity. To be specific, about 85% of the Danish population is Evangelical Lutheran, 3%-Roman Catholic, and only 5%-Muslim. Internationals who have lived in Denmark for a while too get used to the Danish culture about church going. While most of them may not have much ado about not going to church, they would really be disappointed if you don’t turn up for a confirmation party if an invitation had been made.
Confirmation ceremonies and afterparty are not your ordinary things. Those who have been confirmed ordinarily organize a great party with lots of food. But, you won’t just eat and walk away like it was some kind of philanthropy. An invited guest will have to come with presents and gifts to be presented to the person who has been confirmed.
Parents and guardians will plan the whole confirmation afterparty with only slight involvement of the person to be confirmed. An attendee can come with money, assortment of gifts, flowers and anything that will excite the confirmee. It is all about creating great memories for the confirmee who in most cases are teenagers as is the tradition in Denmark.
What is the confirmation ceremony in Denmark?
Confirmation ceremony is a religious activity which is commonp;ace in Denmark. In Denmark, confirmation ceremonies are colorful. If anyone had always considered Danes as being stone cold, how they cheerfully celebrite Confirmation ceremonies for their family members, friends and acquaintances will probably prove that notion wrong.
In Denmark, confirmation is both ritualistic and right of passage. On the one hand, confirmation serves as a restatement and affirmation of the confirmee’s faith in God. Here young people publicly and in front of a priest lay bare their acceptance of God as their spiritual guide. On the other hand, confirmation is a ritual that marks the confirmation of teenagers to adulthood.
A little recapitulation of the confirmation history in Denmark shows that it started around 1736. In the past, it was a compulsory religious act, and if one was not confirmed at church, he/she would not be allowed to study or work. Fortunately, that’s not the case anymore in present times. For instance, the confirmation ceremony is not all about one saying yes to God and confirming his/her baptism but actually it is God saying yes accepting one as his/her child. Most of all, confirmation is a celebration and a time honored coming of age ritual.
When is the confirmation ceremony done in Denmark?
For one to undergo a confirmation ceremony, he/she should have attained the age between 13 and 15 years. And by this time, 70% of Danish youngsters are eligible for confirmation. The age figure has remained more or less static for the previous number of years.
In Denmark, confirmation is done in the month of April in the church and presided over by a priest and witnesses. The ceremony then culminates into an afterparty where people partake of champagne reception and lunch.
Requirements to qualify for church confirmation in Denmark
- Attend confirmation ceremony classes which are done between the months of November through to April. The classes are planned twice monthly on Sundays following the 11 am service. The confirmation ceremony classes can be attended to in any part of the world then be confirmed in Denmark.
- After confirmation classes on Sundays there is a confirmation camp at the church. The confirmation camp is a Saturday and Sunday, where the confirmands stay at the church and cultural center and prepare their own Sunday service.
Importance of confirmation ceremony in Denmark
For a particular community to preserve its culture, there must be a major reason for the preservation of the culture Denmark for instance, The confirmation ceremony is aimed at making Confirmands learn more about their Christian faith, the church, Christianity and ethics. The confirmands also engage in conversation about the bigger issues of life and faith, they sing, they worship and even laugh by making jokes. At large the confirmation ceremony instills morals into individuals.
Cost of confirmation ceremony in Denmark
Confirmation being a ceremony it calls upon utilization of money so as to make it successful. For a family to invite a number of guests for a confirmation ceremony, it must spend around 30,375 kroner on food, party clothing and presents.
The ceremony being a rite of passage, families do not compromise on the cost. Based on how parents want to make their sons and daughters happy, it has made them to be more concerned with the ceremony hence once to outdo the other and by these competitions arise. The competition is so high to extend lavish celebrations are made which even include limousine or even hiring of a chopper. The more lavish the confirmation ceremony wants to be the more the cost being incurred.
What to do during confirmation ceremony
For most Danish people, this is the biggest event of the day. All the Families and friends are invited to a big party that often has a theme and a three-course menu with so many of speeches and homemade songs. This is aimed at entertaining people.
For one to ensure that the day is successful, he/she must consider the following: –
Arrive on time for the confirmation ceremony
Punctuality should be part of you when you want to attend a confirmation ceremony. Despite being punctual one should not forget to bring a gift for the young person even if it is a bottle of wine for the host family. When you arrive on time, you may have welcome drinks and a snack with other guests that are around.
One can also mingle and talk about how beautiful the ceremony is with others, comment on the decorations and if interested ask about the person’s relation to the star of the party.
Welcome song to be sung and everyone should sing, then the appetizer will be served, after which the parents will give out their speech as each course is served.
At the end of the dinner, the young guest of honor should give a speech or sing a song; thanking his/her parents and the guests.