OK, so it was almost inevitable, and I’m sorry that I can’t resist a catchy title.
Yesterday I had my first visit to Lysbotn kapell. Sadly, this was for the funeral. The lady being buried was well loved and there were many expressions of sorrow at how she will be missed. I’ll update the organs page in the next few days about the instrument.
Today were the four weddings. This seems a lot having been in the US, where one wedding would occupy a good proportion of the congregation and most of the facilities for at least a day. However, I’ve been told that here there can be up to 7 in a day!
The ceremony surrounding the wedding is much simpler – a single procession of the bride and groom (or father) at the beginning of the service, and a single procession of everyone at the end. Flowers for the communion table are simple and put in place a matter of minutes before the service starts and removed at he end. There are other differences too. No gangs of bridesmaids, grooms, etc. The couple, bridesmaid and best man sit on chairs at the front, normally with their backs to the congregation. The service is very short, and about half of it is the sermon. Give of rings is relatively recent, and they are worn on the right hand.
Each ceremony today was different. The first finished with a passionate rendition of ‘How great thou art’ by the brides father (in his mid 70s), know as ‘The Voice of the Sea’ (he was a fisherman). The second wedding was of a young couple from Finnsnes, now living in Tromsø, with a four part accapella gospel group and a duet with the grooms sister and her husband. For the third (and fourth) wedding we drove to Rossfjord with extra music from a two more solo singers, and finally a much quieter and more traditional wedding, although it was slightly ironic that the bride was the registrar for Lenvik.
Weather wise today (celebrated as midsummer’s day) has been beautiful with bright sunshine and only light wind. Perfect for weddings.
Here are pictures from the last couple of days, including the centre of Finnsnes this evening.