The Church of Sweden is encouraging its clergy to use the gender-neutral term “God” instead of referring to the deity as “he” or “the Lord”, The Telegraph reports.
The decision was made on Thursday, November 23, wrapping up an eight-day meeting of the church’s 251-member decision-making body. The decision will take effect on May 20 during Pentecost.
It is the latest move by the national Evangelical Lutheran church to modernise its 31-year-old handbook setting out how services should be conducted.
The decision to update the book of worship gives priests new options on how to refer to God during their services.
Priests can now open their services by referring to the traditional “Father, son and Holy Ghost” or the gender-neutral phrase “in the name of God and the Holy Trinity”. Other gender-neutral options are available for other parts of the Church of Sweden liturgy.