Sunday, December 14, 2008

Loose Lucia Fest

Photo from Wikipedia

Lucia Festivals are common to churches that originate in families from the Scandinavian or Italian culture. Lucia was a Christian woman who lived in the Roman empire who decided to give her dowry to the poor instead of marrying whom she had been promised to. Lucia was burned at the stake for her rebellion against what she described as pagan society, but is remembered and held as a Saint for her willingness to stand true to her faith. She is often referred to as the "Queen of light".

This evening, First Lutheran Church held its annual Lucia Festival. The festival includes a meal, some entertainment, the procession of the Court, flower girl, crown boy, star children and tom te goobers (Sorry for the bad spelling, I'm not Swedish.), the announcement of the Lucia bride and the eating of cookies.

In the past, I've helped and organized Lucia Fest's in other circumstances and mostly remember panic and anxiety as partners in the program. In the effort to retain the tradition of the event it can be held too tightly, making it difficult too enjoy.

That was not the case this evening, thanks to Beth J. who's put the program together for sixteen years. The atmosphere of the program this evening was easy-going. I'd even go so far as call it relaxing!

The music entertainment was well received: Britta Johnson sang and played a song called, "Even Santa fell in love.", my friend Julia came a played three traditional Christmas songs on her violin, and I played and sang a few songs too.

The participants had fun, the Lucia court was radiant, the brides were serving cookies and all of the sudden, it seemed like Christmas had arrived.

Ginger snaps photo from

Coffee cups clinked, laughter lilted around the room, children played tag and hide and seek as the adults milled around telling stories of Lucia past. The warmth of the room seemed to full everyone's heart and chased away worry and stress from everyone's minds.

Christmas had arrived in an unexpected way for me this year.
This loosely held but greatly loved tradition helped me to open up my heart to the warmth of those around me. This years' Lucia fest opened a door to a stuffy room I'd closed up several years ago.

Lucia, help me to keep the door open to Christmas. Let it's light shine, even in the darkest of corners.

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