St. Lucia


Today, December 13, is the festival of Saint Lucia – a fact well known to the hard-core Swedes in the community. In Sweden, it is the festival of light, in which traditionally, the eldest daughter in each family gets up well before dawn and, wearing a crown of lights, serves everyone in the family coffee and Lucia buns made of saffron.  Even here in Colorado, we all have the possibility of participating in a community observation of this festival up in Georgetown the first two weekends of December, as part of their Scandinavian Christmas Festival, complete with a procession down the street of white robed girls and star boys, all singing the famous Santa Lucia song.  Our two daughters have made it quite clear to us that their days of dressing up as Lucia and serving our guests are over!

A quaint tradition, no doubt, but what is the significance for us today?  It is largely a Scandinavian cultural festival celebrating the return of light in the deepest, darkest part of winter.  Why Lucia?  She was a young devout Christian woman from Sicily in the 3rd Century who was martyred when she chose to give her considerable dowry as alms to the poor rather than marry the pagan man to whom her mother had betrothed her.  The name Lucia or Lucy is from the Latin root – lucis - or light.  Because of the coincidence of her feast day and the importance of light at that time of year in Sweden, when the sun rises around 9 am and sets by 3 pm, the Lucia Fest became a day of great celebration in anticipation of growing light.

Lord, in your light, we see light.  Help us to trust you to bring light into even the darkest of our days.  And open our eyes to recognize your work both in our lives and all around us.  Amen

Dave Erickson-Pearson

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