Media has spread incorrect information in Sweden and internationally about the inclusive language of the new Worship Book of the Church of Sweden, which has just been adopted by the General Synod of the same denomination. In the same article, Rev. Dr. Sofia Camnerin, vice president of Uniting Church in Sweden has not been correctly quoted. The Church of Sweden and the Uniting Church of Sweden are two different denominations.
What Rev. Dr. Sofia Camnerin said in a blog 17 months ago is correct that referring to God as Lord could consolidate hierarchies. But in the same sentence, which the article is not referring to, she says that using the word Lord also works as liberating for many feminist theologians. She is looking at it in two different ways which is important to fully understand the meaning of her blog. Rev. Dr. Sofia Camnerin has not made any comment around the adoption of the Worship Book last week which has been spread in some foreign news articles.
The Chair of the worship committee of the Church of Sweden, Sofija Pedersen Videke, also clarifies some facts about the new Worship book of the Church of Sweden.
“Of course, the traditional expressions of Christian faith remain in the new worship book. However, some gender neutral ways of addressing God have been added in some prayers”, she says.
”As in Hebrew, the Holy Spirit is now grammatically female also in the Swedish Worship Book, following our Bible translation from year 2000. For example, in the introduction of the worship, there are three different options. Two of them contain the traditional ‘In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit’, using ‘Spirit’ in its female form. The third alternative is ‘In the name of the Triune God’.”
”Finally; in Swedish, there is nowadays an official gender neutral pronoun: ‘hen’. This word is not used at all in the Worship Book”, Sofija Pedersen Videke says.