I attend a covenant church. The original founders of the covenant church were predominantly Swedes (this meant that when my family left the Christian Reformed church during my early elementary years (which is a historically Dutch church community) I left a church full of Van Ests, Vander Lars, and Boomsmas to go to a church dominated by Andersons, Petersons, Swansons, and Larsons!) In the 70s, several families in my church decided to get together and start a new Christmas program and outreach that focused on the celebration of the church’s Swedish heritage – thus St. Lucia was born.
St. Lucia was a young girl who was martyred for her faith aroud 340 AD. The traditional story is that she brought food to the Roman Christians hiding in the catacombs and wore a wreath of candles on her head to light her way and allow her hands to be free to carry the supplies. Today she is represented wearing a white dress (symbolizing purity) and a red sash (symbolizing her willingness to sacrifice her life for her faith).
The sanctuary all set up before the first breakfast - about 7:30 am
Tomtar – “Little Elf” – the smallest children do a series of 4 dances around a Christmas tree in the center of the room. (This is absolutely adorable and was one of my favorite parts of participating in Lucia J)
Pepparkakor Girls – Sing and pass out cookies – the national Lucia in Sweden will often pass out Pepparkakor cookies (like ginger snaps) when she goes visiting
Lucia’s Court – high school girls
St. Lucia – typically whatever 12th grade girls are present rotate the role. The year I was Lucia the church still put on 4 breakfasts and there was only one other senior girl participating so I was able to be Lucia twice. It really was one of my favorite Christmas memories – although walking around with a crown of candles was a little intimidating!
Annika was one of our Lucia's this year (and the best one!) and her sister Malin - our families are close friends and we have pics every year of the 3 of us girls since I was about 10.
This year I am playing the violin in our small 5-piece orchestra.
My brother (who did all the sound and lighting) and me
The front of the church where I played with the orchestra.
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?