The annual act of remembrance on the eve of St. Othmar's Day

The act remembering the fallen of 15 November 1315 is at the heart of the Morgarten commemoration. The contemporary chronicles of Johannes von Winterthur, a monk, tell that the people of Schwyz began to observe an annual day of remembrance following the victory at the battle. The service of commemoration was originally held in the parish church at Sattel, and not in the chapel at Schornen, which is not mentioned until 1501.

In the 19th century, this act of remembrance became a celebration of the battle. The history of such celebrations was an eventful one. In 1940 the government of the canton of Schwyz decided to honour the commemoration with an official delegation that would attend every five years. Today, a delegation is present at every ceremony. 1940 was also the first year in which the Schlachtbrief, composed by P. Rudolf Hengeler, OSB was read out. The text tells the story of the battle in the form of a prayer.

Several years ago, the battle celebrations were streamlined and greater emphasis restored to their commemorative aspect. The parade from the village of Sattel to the memorial at Schornen follows old roads, and the cantons of Schwyz and Zug, as well as representatives of the Old Schwyz take it in turns to provide a keynote speaker. The commemorations offer an opportunity for civic and political reflection, to strengthen our confederate system of government by emphasising tradition and our historical roots.

Pirmin Moser - Gemeindeschreiber Sattel und OK-Mitglied der Gedenkfeier - erklärt Schweizer Radio SRF den Ablauf der Gedenkfeier und weitere Hintegrundinformatonen (Quelle: Schweizer Radio SRF):