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New king of Denmark reveals family evening prayer routine

DENMARK ROYALS Frederick X Queen Mary of Denmark

MIKKEL BERG PEDERSEN | AFP

(L to R) King Frederik X, Queen Mary, Prince Vincent, Crown Prince Christian, Princess Isabella and Princess Josephine greet the crowd after a church service on the occasion of the change of throne in Denmark, in Aarhus Cathedral, on January 21, 2024.

Laura O'Callaghan - published on 01/23/24

Faith, he wrote in his best-selling surprise memoir, is our connection to each other, to God, and to our shared history.
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The new king of Denmark has shared his thoughts about faith, the future, and even his evening prayers with Queen Mary and his children.

The newly inaugurated King Frederik X released a surprise memoir, Kongeord (The King’s Words) that has been flying off the shelves in Denmark. In it, the new king, who succeeded his mother after she formally abdicated on January 14, 2024, argues that Christianity is foundational to Denmark and the Danish people.

Faith, he wrote in Danish, is our connection to each other, to God, and to our shared history. He also revealed that he enjoys attending church services and gets chills when his mother would end her speeches with, “Gud bevare Danmark!” (God bless Denmark!)

Denmark, like many European countries, is overwhelmingly secular. Although 72% of Danes are registered members of the state church, and less than 1% are Catholic, only about 25% report that they believe Jesus is the Son of God and about one-fifth consider that religion plays an important role in their lives. But it seems that the new King is among this last group.

In a surprisingly personal revelation, he also shared that he and his wife, the Australian-born Queen Mary, would always pray the Lord’s Prayer before bed with their children, and still do with their 13-year-old twins.

“For my wife and me – and for many other Danish parents, I would think – the evening prayer is a small but living expression of our faith, which we do not want to do without.”

In this, the new king and queen are like many families around the world.

The Lord’s Prayer, or Our Father as we often call it, is the supreme expression of Christian prayer. The Church Fathers described it as the summary of the whole gospel and St Thomas Aquinas called it, “the most perfect of prayers.” 

In 2016, Pope Francis shared that he always prays the Lord’s Prayer five times before going to bed. He said,

“In the evening, before going to bed, I say this short prayer: “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean!” And I pray five “Our Fathers,” one for each of Jesus’ wounds, because Jesus cleanses us with his wounds.”

Modern royal families today are immensely careful in what they reveal about their private lives. But King Frederik, at the very beginning of his reign, has been remarkably candid about the place of Jesus Christ in his own family life.

Tags:
DenmarkFamilyPoliticsPrayer
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