News and Press Releases

Opening of Parliament, Tuesday, 10 September 2019


The opening of parliament starts at 13:30 on Tuesday, 10 September, with a church service in Reykjavík Cathedral. The president of Iceland, the bishop of Iceland, the speaker of the Althingi, government ministers and members of parliament process from Parliament House to the Cathedral. Rev. Kristinn Ágúst Fridfinnsson delivers the sermon and Rev. Sveinn Valgeirsson, vicar at Reykjavík Cathedral, administers the sacrament with Agnes M. Sigurdardóttir, the bishop of Iceland. Kári Thormar, the cathedral organist, plays the organ and the Cathedral Chamber Choir performs.

Following the church service, the president of Iceland, the bishop of Iceland, the speaker of the Althingi, government ministers, members of parliament and other guests process back to Parliament House.

Gudni Th. Jóhannesson, the president of Iceland, opens the 150th session of the Althingi. Members of the chamber choir Schola cantorum perform music at the opening of parliament under the conduction of Hördur Áskelsson. The speaker of parliament then gives an address.

The opening sitting of the session is adjourned until 16:00. When the sitting resumes the members of parliament draw lots to allocate seats. The 2020 Budget Bill is then distributed.

An overview of the main elements of the opening of parliament:

13:25 Members of parliament process to Reykjavík Cathedral.
13:30 Church service at the Cathedral.
14:05 Members of parliament process from the Cathedral to Parliament House.
• Members of Schola cantorum perform Vorlauf. Music: Hildigunnur Rúnarsdóttir. Lyrics: Thorsteinn Valdimarsson.
• The president of Iceland opens parliament and delivers his address.
• Members of Schola cantorum perform the song Hvert örstutt spor. Music: Jón Nordal. Lyrics: Halldór Laxness.
• The speaker of parliament presides over the sitting, welcomes members of parliament, and gives an address.
14:40 Opening sitting is adjourned until 16:00.

Opening sitting continues at 16:00: 

16:00 Distribution of the 2020 Budget Bill and the drawing of lots to allocate seats to members of parliament.
16:20 Sitting is adjourned.

The church service will be audio broadcast on the Althingi website and the opening sitting of the session will be video broadcast on the Althingi television channel and website. The National Broadcasting Company (RÚV) will broadcast the opening sitting of the session on television. RÚV Radio Channel 1 will broadcast the church service and the opening sitting of the session.

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir delivers a policy speech on behalf of the government at 19:30 on Wednesday, 11 September, and a parliamentary debate on the speech will follow.

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Bjarni Benediktsson presents the 2020 Budget Bill at 10:30 on Thursday, 12 September.