News Story

Revered Statue is Background for European Mormon Choir Performance

Vocalis, a European young adult choir whose singers are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the first Mormon choir to perform in Our Lady’s Church, the world-famous Lutheran cathedral in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“As Mormons in Copenhagen, we are thankful for other Christians who help us honor and worship the living Christ by allowing us to share this location with them,” said Jesper Paulsen, the Church’s public affairs director in Denmark.

The cathedral houses the original Christus statue, a white marble sculpture of Christ with His hands outstretched created by Danish artist Bertel Thorvaldsen in 1821. Today, it is embraced by Latter-day Saints around the globe as an emblem of their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior of the world.

Eleven-foot, one-inch replicas of the statue have been prominently displayed in many Latter-day Saint temple visitors’ centers around the world. The most famous one has been at the North Visitors’ Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City since 1966.

Vocalis had a scheduled concert in Copenhagen for Church members. Knowing that permission to perform in the cathedral is often given to professional musicians and religious performers, musical director Sonja Sperling contacted Reverend Anders Gadegaard of Our Lady’s Church. The request was approved.

At the feet of the original statue, the chorus presented hymns that testified to the divinity and resurrection of Jesus Christ. More than 160 listeners attended the hour-long program, and many were moved to tears.

“It sounded wonderful and harmonic, very peaceful and organized,” said Lars Peter, an organist for the cathedral. “These songs are not common songs heard by our people. They could use them.”

Vocalis is a chamber choir of 36 young members of the Church from Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Some travel over six hours to attend rehearsals, which normally take place once a month in the chapel next to the Church’s Frankfurt Germany Temple.

The choir was organized in October 2005 by Christian Wolfert and Sonja Sperling.

“The other choirs I sing with are probably more professionally proficient in the sound and quality of musical performance. However, our intention is to help everybody feel the love of God while listening to us,” Wolfert explained.

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