Trons mysterium i Svenska kyrkan

En texts och en melodis öden och äventyr


  • Mikael Löwegren


The Eucharistic Prayers in the latest Service Book of the Church of Sweden, Kyrkohandbok för Svenska kyrkan, ratified in 2017, contain an anamnetical acclamation. After the Words of Institution, the congregation says or sings: “We proclaim your death O Lord, and profess your resurrection, until you come again in glory” (literally: “Your death we proclaim Lord, your resurrection we profess, until you return in glory). This acclamation may be introduced by the priest by a spoken phrase: “Great is the Mystery of Faith.” This essay seeks the origins of the words and sung melody.

The 1969 reformed Roman Catholic Ordo Missæ had a considerable impact on the order of the Mass in most Western churches. The acclamation ‘Mystery of faith’ after the Words of Institution was a novelty that found its way also into the Church of Sweden. One of three acclamation options, Mortem tuam, became established via the Swedish Roman Catholic missals, with a slight adjustment of the translation.

It is demonstrated and argued that the Catholic Movement organisation “arbetsgemenskapen Kyrklig Förnyelse” (The Swedish Church Union) was a key player in this process.

In chronological order, the following has been established in the Church of Sweden:

  1. The acclamation as such,”Din död förkunnar vi …” (”We proclaim your death”). This was proposed in an edition of liturgical texts, entitled Svensk mässa, published in 1971 by the Church Union. It was then adopted by the official 1976 Church of Sweden Alternative Service Book (GO 76)
  2. The sung melody to this text was introduced in the 1977 Church Union Alternative Missal.
  3. The introduction of the priest, ”The Mystery of Faith” (”Trons mysterium”), with its sung melody was introduced in the 1988 Church Union Alternative Missal, that followed the publication of the 1986 Service Book (HB 86).

In all three cases, the liturgical material published by the Swedish Church Union in 1971, 1977 and in 1988, was crucial. Since then, the Church Union has published two consecutive missals, in 2008 and in 2018, and through these the use of the introduction of the priest and the sung melodies have spread throughout the Church of Sweden. This essay indicates the necessity of a more extensive study of the influence of the Catholic Movement on the celebration of the Mass in the Church of Sweden.


Mikael Löwegren

D.Th. student of Practical Theology, Lund University and Director of St. Lawrence’s Student Chaplaincy, Lund.