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Banns in Sweden

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Having public banns announced was part of the marital process in Sweden since the Laterankonciliet in 1215.[1] The purpose was to discover any reason why a couple should not be married. The banns were announced from the church pulpit during morning mass for 3 Sundays in a row. The announcement would include the names of the bride and groom and sometimes the date of the wedding.

Reasons that might hinder the marriage might be:

  • One of them is already married
  • Either of them is still bound to a previous engagement
  • Being too closely related (the definition of related varied during time)
  • Either the bride or groom is legally too young

Generally the banns were announced in the parish where the bride’s residence was registered with the church. Any reasons that would hinder the marriage should have been brought forward to the priest before the 3rd announcement. After the 3rd banns was announced the priest would issue a lysningsattest (engagement certificate) and the marriage could be performed at any time. Even if a marriage date was postponed, the engagement was considered valid. Occasionally you might see a fairly long time between the engagement and marriage dates. The minimum of 3 weeks could only be shortened under extreme conditions, for example if the groom had been drafted into military service.

In 1969 the practice of banns became legally optional.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Släktforska steg för steg, page 53

References[edit | edit source]

Clemensson, Per and Andersson, Kjell. Släktforska steg för steg. Falköping, Natur och Kultur/Fakta, 2005

Wikipedia Community. Lysning. Wiki-Rötter, February 2011 See