Annette Rahbek Floystrup (Fløjstrup), confirmed in Immanuels Church, Kolding, Denmark, 1964

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Annette Rahbek Floystrup (Fløjstrup), confirmed in Immanuels Church, Kolding, Denmark, 1964.

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Confirmation: Coming of Age in Denmark and the US

orn to Danish parents Ove Floystrup (Aage Jepsen Fløjstrup) and Eva Rahbek in Kolding May 30, 1950, Anette went back to Denmark in 1964 to be confirmed in the same church her parents were married in, after immigrating to the United States at age 5. The following party included family and friends from both Denmark and the US, and featured traditional elements such as songs written especially for the occation (with familiar melodies) - an example of such a song is featured here.

Confirmation Memory

My mother, father and I immigrated to the United States in 1955, when I was 5 years old. We landed in San Francisco and I still live in Oakland.

Nine years later, we made our first trip back to Denmark for the purpose of having me confirmed in the church. Our minister, Pastor Paul Schaeffer of St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Berkeley, had corresponded with the Danish Lutheran Bishop to give proof of my attendance at and completion of two years of confirmation preparation classes. The Bishop gave special dispensation for my confirmation to occur out of season, and I was confirmed in Immanuelskirken in Kolding on July 5th, 1964, by Pastor H. H. Høyrup. I was confirmed in the same church where my parents had been married in 1948 and I had been baptized in 1950, and by the same pastor.

Following the confirmation, we had a reception and dinner for family and friends at Saxildhus, at the time, an extremely well-known restaurant and bakery, known for its opulent party rooms. We had a sit down dinner for forty-four guests, prearranged, by mail, with my father’s old school mate who was the restaurant manager. The bill for the event wouldn’t buy dinner for two at NOMA in Copenhagen today!

One of the pictures shows me between my parents, holding a box with the song sheets that my Farmor and Farfar (paternal grandparents) had made for me. Songs for occasions like round birthdays and confirmations and weddings are almost always made up featuring events from a person’s life and sung to a well known popular folk tune.

To our surprise, the story appeared in the newspaper the next day. When we exited the church after my confirmation, we were greeted by a newspaper photographer and a reporter. My mother had been the bookkeeper at Jydske Tidende, a newspaper which no longer exists, and her old colleague had heard via the grapevine about my confirmation. In the newspaper article, my father’s name is wrong. His baptismal name is Aage Jepsen Fløjstrup, and he Anglicized his name to Ove Floystrup in America.

(courtesy of Annette Rahbek Floystrup, Oakland CA)

  • Annette Rahbek Floystrup, confirmed in Immanuels Church, Kolding, Denmark, July 5, 1964 (photos and related material courtesy of Annette Rahbek Floystrup, Oakland CA).

  • Handing out songs for the occasion, Kolding, 1964.

  • A song for the occasion, written by farmor & farfar (the paternal grandparents), Kolding, 1964.

  • Featured in the newspaper on the next day, Kolding, 1964