St. Lucia is a martyr who was persecuted for her faith. She would bring food to the Christians of Rome, who were in hiding in the catacombs under the city.
She wore candles on her head to light the way while her hands were filled with food.
Celebrating St. Lucia Day is a tradition here in St. James that has gone on for more than 30 years. A young girl dresses in a white dress with a red sash and a crown of candles and they tell the story to the congregation.
Augustana Lutheran Church was decorated for the event in traditional Sweedish decor. A poem that sums up the celebration is Myra Cohn Livingston’s “The Feast of St. Lucy.”
I will stay awake throughout the longest winter night
And dress up in a red silk sash and flowing gown of white
And serve my parents with warm sweets and sing for their delight.
I will wear upon my head a crown of fragrant green
Ablaze with tall candles, with white gleam,
And I will be a Lussibrud as in some wonderous dream,
And as the night begins to fade I’ll greet December sun.
And knock on the neighbors’ doors and sing to everyone,
And offer all the friends I greet a golden saffron bun.
Lucia maidens will come too, with silver in their hair,
And star boys with their studded wands and pointed caps to wear.
Elfin boys will follow us as we walk everywhere, And I will stay awake throughout the longest winter night,
And dress up in my silken sash, my crown, my robe of white,
And I will be, for one brief day, Lucia of the Light.