Banburyshire residents will get a first-hand experience of Sweden this weekend as they are invited to a traditional Lucia concert in Deddington.
The Youth Choir of Sofiakyrkan, Jönköping, Sweden will be making a special appearance in St Peter and St Paul’s Church on Sunday, December 15 as it brings the traditional Swedish Lucia tradition to life.
St Lucia was an Italian martyr whose cult spread north and the observance of her day, December 13, became particularly important in Sweden where it was combined with old Nordic beliefs. In the old Julian calendar the 13th was the shortest day of the year and the Lucia ceremony shows how light is still present at the darkest time.
Lucia is celebrated by a candlelit procession, with girls and boys clad in white full-length gowns singing traditional songs. Sofiakyrkan is Deddington’s link parish in Sweden and Rev Dr Hugh White, vicar of the Deddington parish, said: “Symbolically, Lucia’s candles point to Jesus who is the light of the world and who can be our light in our own personal dark times.
“The Lucia performance is a moving and spectacular ceremony. It happens in St Paul’s Cathedral in London, but there you have to pay for tickets – not so in Deddington!” The performance, which forms part of the church’s Christingle service, takes place at 4pm on Sunday. The choir will also bring the service to Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford at 3.30pm on Saturday.