Lucia Morning | Jonna Jinton

Source: Lucia Morning | Jonna Jinton

A beautiful meditation on the meaning and significance of Luciamorgon (the morning of St. Lucia’s Day) in the life of this Swedish photographer, artist, and blogger. The picture above is a still from the stunning video that accompanies it. The Google machine translation of the page is imperfect, of course, but it’s good enough to get the gist of this lovely post!

Celebrating Sankta Lucia!

While the celebration of St. Lucia’s Day may be waning in Sweden itself – sadly – it appears to remain popular among the Swedish expatriate community in London! These pictures were taken at St. Paul’s Cathedral, in 2015. Beautiful!

The night goes with weighty step
round yard and hearth,
round earth, the sun departs,
leave the woods brooding.
There in our dark house,
appears with lighted candles
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.

The night goes great and mute
now hear it swings
in every silent room
murmurs as if from wings.
Look at our threshold stands
white-clad with lights in her hair
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.

The darkness shall soon depart
from the earth’s valleys
thus she speaks
a wonderful word to us
The day shall rise anew
from the rosy sky.
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.

~ traditional Swedish carol for St. Lucia’s Day, December 13th

Note that while “Sankta Lucia” is generally translated “Saint Lucia,” it can also be translated as “Holy Light”! An appropriate image and archetype for this darkest time of year, as we await the “rebirth” of the Sun at the Winter Solstice.

Winter Tradition Disappearing Because It’s Too Swedish

An Iconic Swedish tradition, the annual candlelit Lucia procession, is dying out across the country, several news outlets have reported.

Source: Winter Tradition Disappearing Because It’s Too Swedish

Tomorrow – December 13th – is St. Lucia day, the feast day of a little-known saint who may reflect even more ancient archetypes, in Sweden and other areas of Northern Europe. Santa Lucia processions, and the choosing of a local girl to represent the one whose name means “Holy Light,” are centuries-old customs in many areas. Now, however, it seems that even this venerable tradition is falling to a combination of disinterest and what I would characterize as runaway political correctness.

Some people may choose to discount this story because of its source. Others may accept its factual accuracy, but believe the disappearance of traditional St. Lucia celebrations are no big deal, or even desirable, in the eternal quest to be more “inclusive.”

I believe any of these viewpoints is unfortunate. Human cultures have this in common with trees: if severed from their roots, they quickly wither and die. And the right to protect, preserve, and pass on with integrity and mindfulness their distinct culture and heritage, customs and traditions, is not unique to certain groups, and not others.

Like many other European customs and traditions, St. Lucia is – or has been, until recently – a vibrant blend of Christian and “baptized” pre-Christian elements. I have, to my knowledge, only a small amount of Swedish heritage. But I would mourn deeply the passing of this enchanting and sacred spiritual and cultural tradition. I believe that Europeans, both in Europe and in the “European diaspora” across the globe, need to more fully and intentionally embrace their own cultural heritage. For too long we have taken it for granted. That luxury is no longer available to us!