Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ground Broken for Icelandic Pagan Temple

Back in January I announced that construction plans were underway for a new Pagan temple in Reykjavík, Iceland, which will be the first such place of worship built in any Nordic country in almost a thousand years. Last weekend ground was broken on the project, and the construction phase is now underway. This was preceded by a ceremony timed to coincide with Friday's solar eclipse that fell on the Vernal Equinox.

Ásatrú, which is registered as an official religion in Iceland, posted on Facebook that the chapel marks a milestone in Northern European religious and cultural history.

The chapel will be 350 square meters and have room for 250 people. Construction is expected to be completed in September next year. High Priest of Ásatrú, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson described the breaking ground ceremony as, “A big day for us. This will change everything for us as we have never had facilities big enough for what we do.”

The ceremony began at 08.38, at the start of the eclipse, whereby the boundaries were ceremonially marked out, candles lit in each corner, and local landmarks honored. When the darkness was at its height, at 09.37, a fire was lit in what will be the center of the chapel.

“There we can create an iconic Reykjavík building. It will be a place of congregation first and foremost, but we will also have office facilities,” Vísir quoted.

This is a big step for religious diversity, in Iceland as well as the rest of the world. A dedicated temple facility will enable the Icelandic Ásatrú community to expand services, put on more elaborate events, and operate in a more business-like fashion as its congregation grows. It also will serve as a landmark to raise awareness of the religion. I wish the Ásatrú community the best, and I am happy to see this project underway.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble

No comments: