Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg gave his traditional Christmas Speech on Christmas Eve, 24 December 2019.

Grand Duke Henri Photo: © Claude Piscitelli, Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg

Transcript (Luxembourgish)

Léif Matbierger,

Am Réckbléck op dëst Joer kann ee soen, datt et vu villen a staarken Emotioune gepräägt war.

Do war Trauer, mee och Freed, Erënnerung an Hoffnung. All déi Gefiller si ganz perséinlech, si dinn awer och Mënschen zesummestoen an zesummewuessen. Mir hunn dat als Land schonn dacks ënner Beweis gestallt.

Mir kënnen eis zesumme freeën awer och zesummen traueren.

Esou huet am Februar d’ganzt Land mat de Famillje vun den zwee Zaldote vum Service de Deminage getrauert, déi am Munitiounsdepot um Waldhaff ëm d’Liewe koumen, wéi eng Bomm aus dem Zweete Weltkrich explodéiert ass. Am Joer, wou mir eigentlech uechter d’ganzt Land de 75. Anniversaire vun der Liberatioun vu Lëtzebuerg feiere sollten, hunn d’Iwwerreschter vum Krich nach ee schrecklechen Tribut gefuerdert.

Trauer, déi d’ganz Land a wäit iwwer d’Grenzen eraus mat mir a menger Famill gedeelt huet, wéi mir den 23. Abrëll hu missen de Grand-Duc Jean goe loossen, mat deem mir e gudden a besuergte Papp verluer hunn. Wat bleift ass d’Erënnerung un e groussaartegen an devouéierte Staatschef.

E Schock, mee och eng grouss Solidaritéit gouf et vun der ganzer Populatioun, wéi matten an der Summervakanz en Tornado iwwer de Süde vum Land gezunn ass a grousse Schued ugeriicht huet.

Haut op dësem Dag fillen d’Grande-Duchesse an ech eis besonnesch verbonne mat all deene Leit, déi dëst Joer net op der Sonnesäit vum Liewe stoungen.

Eng grouss Freed war et fir mech, deen enorme Succès ze gesinn vum Forum „Stand Speak Rise Up“, deen op Initiative vun der Grande-Duchesse am Mäerz ofgehale ginn ass. Hei ass net nëmme mam Fanger op eng grausam Realitéit gewise ginn, mee och d’Liewen, d’Iwwerliewen si gefeiert ginn.

Dausende Mënschen hu sech mobiliséiert, fir d’Vergaangenheet opzeschaffen an eppes Positives ze bewierken, jo d’Welt e bëssen ze verbesseren.

An da war et net nëmme fir d’kathoulesch Kierch hei zu Lëtzebuerg eng grouss Éier a Freed, wéi den Äerzbëschof Jean-Claude Hollerich zu Roum an de Kardinolsstand erhuewe gouf.

Mir alleguer waren och ganz glécklech, wéi mir d’Nouvelle kruten, dass de Prënz Guillaume an d’Prinzessin Stéphanie am nächste Joer Nowuess kréien.

Dëst Joer stoung awer och am Zeeche vun der Erënnerung. Commemoratiounsfeieren uechter d’ganzt Land fir de 75. Anniversaire vun der Liberatioun hunn eis drun erënnert, wéi dankbar mir musse si vis-à-vis vun deene Mënschen, déi sech fir eis Fräiheet an eis Wäerter agesat hunn. Allze dacks hu si den Asaz misse mat hirem Liewe bezuelen. Wat eis bleift ass d’Fräiheet, d’Erënnerung an d’Hoffnung, datt Krich ni méi als Léisung a Fro kënnt.

Léif Matbierger,

Mir stellen ëmmer erëm fest, wéi séier eis Welt an eist Ëmfeld sech veränneren. Nëmmen d’Fäegkeet eis unzepassen, sief et als Eenzelen oder och als Kollektivitéit, loossen eis do mathalen. Haut op dësem Owend wëll ech awer op eppes agoen, wat a mengen Ae grad esou wichteg fir de Mënsch ass, an zwar seng Repèren a seng Wuerzelen.

D’Modernitéit sollt net viraussetzen, datt ee seng Wuerzelen opgëtt, a seng Identitéit aus den Ae verléiert. D’Wäerter, op déi eist Zesummeliewen opgebaut ass, sollten net esou staark relativéiert ginn, datt ee se net méi erkennt.

De Mënsch muss säi Liewen op zolidd Fundamenter kënnen opbauen, a Repèren hunn.

Den institutionellen an demokratesche Kader, an deem mir zanter Joerzéngten evoluéieren, verschaaft eis eng grouss politesch Stabilitéit. Dëse Kader ass och d’Grondlag vun der fräier Meenungsäusserung an de Rechter a Fräiheeten, déi alle Matbierger garantéiert sinn. Si sinn awer keng Selbstverständlechkeet, mee e wäertvollen Acquis, fir deen ee sech ëmmer nees asetze soll.

D’Aart a Weis wéi mir hei am Land mateneen ëmginn, an der Gesellschaft, an der Famill oder am Frëndeskrees ass grad esou e wichtege Repère, fir datt deen Eenzele seng Plaz fënnt. De Kader vun der Famill spillt eng onersetzlech Roll, och wa leider net jiddereen d‘Chance huet, nach eng Famill ze hunn. Mir wëllen hei zu Lëtzebuerg dat Wuert Solidaritéit ganz grouss schreiwen. Dat geléngt eis dacks, mee net ëmmer. Do si mir also weiderhi gefuerdert. Mir kënnen awer houfreg sinn, datt bei wichtege Momenter d‘Gefill vum Zesummestoen ënner Beweis gestallt gëtt. Eleng huet ee ganz séier seng Limitten erreecht.

Politesch oder moralesch Usiichten, philosophesch oder reliéis Gedanken droen och dozou bäi, datt ee sech net nëmmen als Individuum gesäit, mee als een Deel vun engem Ganzen. Esou verschidden d‘Meenungen an eiser pluralistescher Gesellschaft sinn, esou hu se awer meeschtens dee selwechten Ausgangspunkt:

datt een eppes un der Welt ännere kann,
datt de Fortschrëtt méiglech ass fir eng besser Zukunft.

Et ass dofir wichteg, Idealer a Virbiller ze hunn oder op d‘mannst u fest Valeuren ze gleewen, sief et schonn nëmmen de Respekt, d‘Matgefill an d’Toleranz fir seng Matmënschen.

Mee och d’Kultur, d’Sprooch an d’Traditiounen si wichteg Repère an een Deel vum Zement, op deen eist Zesummeliewen opgebaut ass.

Léif Leit alleguer,

Chrëschtdag ass fir déi meescht vun eis och e wichtege Moment am Joer. Et ass eng schéin Traditioun, déi mir mat Gefiller wéi Freed, Léift an Erënnerunge verbannen.

Mir kënnen zefridden an dankbar si fir déi Mënschen, déi mat eis um Wee sinn, eis begleeden oder fir eis do sinn.
D’Liewe stellt eis heiansdo schwiereg Erausfuerderungen. Wichteg ass et dann, net opzeginn an ze verzweiwelen, mee ëmmer nees opzestoen a virunzegoen.

Léif Matbierger,

Mat der Grande-Duchesse, dem Prënz Guillaume, der Prinzessin Stéphanie an all eise Kanner, wënschen ech Iech vu ganzem Häerze schéi Chrëschtdeeg an elo schonn all Guddes fir e glécklecht an erfollegräicht neit Joer.

English Translation

Dear fellow citizens,

In retrospect, one can say that it was characterized by many and strong emotions.

There was sadness, but also joy, remembrance and hope. All the feelings are very personal, but they also put people together and grow together. We have already proven that in our country. We can look forward to it together but also to mourn together.

Thus, in February, the entire country mourned with the families of the two soldiers of the service, who were killed in the munitions depot at the Waldhof, as a bomb exploded during World War II. In the year when we were to celebrate throughout the country with the 75th anniversary of Luxembourg’s liberation, the remnants of the war demanded another terrible tribute.

Grief, which shared the whole country and beyond the borders with me and my family, as we had to go on Grand-Duke Jean on April 23, with whom we lost a good and caring father. What remains is the memory of a great and devoted Head of State.

A shock, but also a great solidarity there was from the entire population, as a tornado hit the south of the country during the summer holidays and caused great damage.

Today, the Grand Duchess and I feel especially connected to all the people who were not on the sunny side of life this year.

It was a great pleasure for me to see the huge success of the ‘Speak Speak Rise Up’ forum, which was held at the initiative of the Grand Duchess in March. Not only did this show a cruel reality, but also life, survival was celebrated.

Thousands of people have been mobilized to take the past and gain something positive, to improve the world a little.

And not only for the Catholic church in Luxembourg was a great honour and joy, as Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich was elevated to the cardinal stand in Rome.

We were all very happy when we received the news that Prince Guillaume and Princess Stéphanie would become parents next year.

This year, however, was also a sign of remembrance. Commemoration celebrations across the country for the 75th anniversary of Liberation have reminded us how grateful we are to be the ones who have committed themselves to our freedom and our values. All too often they had to pay for the service with their lives.

What remains is our freedom, our remembrance and our hope that war will never be a solution.

Dear fellow citizens,

We are constantly finding out how quickly our world and our environment are changing. Only the ability to adapt to us, be it as individuals or as a collective, will keep us there. Tonight, however, I would like to address something that is just as important to human beings, as it is in its repairs and in its roots.

Modernity should not presuppose that one gives up one’s roots and loses one’s identity. The values ​​on which our coexistence is built should not be so strongly relied on that one no longer recognizes them.

Man must be able to build his life on solid foundations and have repairs.

The institutional and democratic framework in which we have been evolving for decades gives us great political stability. This framework is also the basis of the freedom of expression and rights and freedoms guaranteed to all citizens. They are not, however, a matter of course, but a worthy acquisition to which you must always employ.
The way we surround ourselves in this country, in society, in our families or in our circle of friends, is just such an important achievement to make that individual stand out. The family setting plays an insatiable role, although unfortunately, not everyone has the chance to have a family yet. In Luxembourg, we want to write down the word solidarity in a very large way. We often succeed, but not always. This is why we are continuing to demand it. We can, however, be proud that, at important moments, the sense of belonging is put into evidence. Alone one quickly reached their limits.

Political or moral views, philosophical or religious thought also contribute to seeing one not only as an individual but as part of a whole. While there are different views in our pluralistic society, they are often the same starting point:

that one can change something in the world,
that progress is possible for a better future.

It is therefore important to have ideals and preconceptions, or at least to believe in firm values, be it only the respect, compassion and tolerance for its people.

But culture, language and traditions are also important components and part of the cement upon which our cohabitation is built.

Dear all people,

Christmas is also an important moment of the year for most of us. It is a beautiful tradition that we associate with feelings such as joy, love and memories.

We can be content and grateful for the people who are on the way with us, accompanying us or being there for us.
Life sometimes presents us with challenging challenges. It is important, then, not to give up and despair, but to always rise and move forward.

Dear fellow citizens,

With the Grand Duchess, Prince Guillaume, Princess Stéphanie and all our children, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and now all the best for a happy and successful new year.

– With help from Google Translate

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