Many ways to take part in Joint Commemoration of the Reformation

LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge takes part in the LWF Wittenberg Pilgrimage, June 2016. He says the Lutheran – Catholic commemoration of the Reformation anniversary offers a beautiful opportunity to express the common hope we all have in Christ. Photo: LWF/Marko Schoeneberg

LWF General Secretary Martin Junge shares details about Lund, Malmö preparations - in English, French and Spanish

"From Conflict to Communion – Together in Hope” is the theme of the Joint Ecumenical Commemoration, which will be held in Lund and Malmö, Sweden, on 31 October. The event brings together Lutherans and Catholics from around the world to jointly commemorate the Reformation and look to the future. LWF President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan, LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge and Pope Francis will jointly host the event. Lutheran World Information asked Junge how people can participate in the event and what the day means for him.

Preparations for the Joint Commemoration are well underway and interest for the event is high. What can you tell the many people who are asking how they can participate and follow the event?
The commemoration event will have two main parts. In the early afternoon of 31 October, a common prayer will take place in Lund Cathedral. The liturgy is based on the report From Conflict to Communion and its Common Prayer, which were jointly developed by Catholics and Lutherans. At the same time there will be an event in Malmö Arena. Those who are there will be able to follow a live stream of the common prayer at the cathedral. After the common prayer the hosts will move to the Arena and join the people gathered there to witness activities showing the commitment to common witness and service of Catholics and Lutherans around the world. Highlights of the joint work of LWF World Service and Caritas Internationalis will be shown, including care for refugees, peace building and advocacy for climate justice.

Attendance in Lund Cathedral will be by invitation only but up to 10,000 people can participate in Malmö Arena. Registration will be necessary and only those registered with tickets will be able to enter the arena.

Where can people get tickets?
Those who want to attend the event in Malmö Arena have to register. Tickets will be sold for a price of SEK 120 (approximately 13 EUR). Tickets will be available early September at the latest. I recommend people sign up for news updates on the Joint Commemoration website ( Updates with further information will be sent in email messages.

What about those who can’t make it to Malmö?
The service in Lund Cathedral will be broadcast on television in Sweden and made available to TV stations around the world. It will also be live streamed on the Internet so that more people and communities can follow the liturgy. We are currently exploring the possibility for the event in Malmö Arena to be live streamed as well. Photos and videos will be available online throughout the day. This means that many more people can participate, follow the event and even share it with others.

Do you see other ways for local communities and parishes to join and participate in the commemoration?
I want to encourage communities and congregations to follow the live stream jointly. This would ideally include Lutheran and Catholic parishes coming together, where applicable. In addition I encourage common Lutheran – Catholic prayers at local and national levels, and the use and/or adaptation of the liturgy mentioned above for the common prayers. Such prayer services could be held on, or around, 31 October 2016.

What do you see as the main meaning of this event?
This year, the centennial anniversary calls for a strong focus on ecumenical accountability – that is, intentionally bringing the ecumenical developments that have taken place through dialogues and cooperation into the commemoration. I am grateful for the support the LWF has received from its bilateral dialogue partners to live up to that timely call. The joint Lutheran – Catholic commemoration of the Reformation anniversary offers a beautiful opportunity to express this call and the common hope we all have in Christ.

In a world of communication breakdowns the Joint Commemoration tells the story of the worth of dialogue. In a world wounded by violence and wars, it tells the story of conflict that can be left behind. In a world often confused about the role of faith and religion, it tells the story of the transformative power and beauty of our shared faith, which leads us to compassionate service and joyful witness.

Further information

Please follow the website for the Joint Commemoration and register for notifications to receive further information as it becomes available

Read From Conflict to Communion and the Common Prayer