News and Press Releases

Opening of Parliament, Tuesday, 11 September 2018

6.9.2018

The opening of parliament starts at 13:30 on Tuesday, 11 September with a church service in Reykjavík Cathedral. The president of Iceland, the bishop of Iceland, the speaker of the Althingi, ministers and members of parliament process from the Parliament House to the Cathedral. Rev. Kristján Björnsson, suffragan bishop, delivers the sermon and Rev. Sveinn Valgeirsson, vicar at Reykjavík Cathedral, administers the sacrament with Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir, 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, ministers, members of parliament and other guests process back to the Parliament House.
Gudni Th. Jóhannesson, the president of Iceland, opens the 149th session of the Althingi after which Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, speaker of the Althingi, will deliver a eulogy for a former member of parliament, who recently passed away. A string quartet will play music at the opening of parliament. The speaker of parliament will also give 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 2019 Budget Bill is then distributed.

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

13:25 Members of parliament process to the Cathedral.
13:30 Church service at the Cathedral.
14:05 Members of parliament process from the Cathedral to the House of Parliament.

 The president of Iceland opens parliament and delivers his address.

  • The speaker of parliament delivers a eulogy for a former member of parliament.
  • 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 Announcements, distribution of the 2019 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 and 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, 12 September and a parliamentary debate on the speech will follow.

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Bjarni Benediktsson presents the 2019 Budget Bill on Thursday, 13 September at 10:30.