Church of Sweden Archbishop Anders Wejryd, who married Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling in Stockholm's Church of St Nicholas recently, has reminded the couple – they are not indispensable.
In his sermon he told the Princess and her fitness trainer husband, who became a prince after they married, "You'll be taking on tasks that you won’t be able to turn down – but that you can influence. One of you has had many years to prepare for and live this life – and one of you only a few."
The archbishop, who heads the Lutheran church in Sweden, reminded the couple that they will not have total control over their lives. "But you will successfully make your way through life if you keep your focus on people other than yourselves, on wider contexts, on society, on family and on the future".
Wejryd, who was one of four officiating clergy at the Storkyrkan Cathedral, as the church where the wedding took place is also known, said the couple should ask themselves both, what they can do, and what they should do.
"None of us is indispensable, not even a crown princess or a prince. But we're still needed. We can all be called into question, not least if we are public figures," said the archbishop. "Criticism costs nothing, not even when it's spiteful. But we all still need to try to make a positive contribution using our talents."
The usefulness of the royal couple will be most clear when they "can stand up for important values that are under threat, such as gratitude, a sense of belonging during crises and losses, hopefulness in troubled times, and indignation about and commitment to combating breaches of human rights."
Wejryd said their importance to "loyalty and fellowship in society" allowing for "true, vital democracy and debate could be great, while much may be expected of them that does not seem very important.
"Through marriage, a bridge is forged between the most personal side of your lives and the public side," said the archbishop. "You don't need to prove anything to each other – but you do need to focus on each other."
The full text of Wejryd's sermon can be read at: http://www.svenskakyrkan.se/default.aspx?di=436631&ptid=0
[With acknowledgements to ENI. Ecumenical News International is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Conference of European Churches.]