Lucia at the Swedish Church in London

Natten går tunga fjät
rund gård och stuva;
kring jord, som sol förlät*,
skuggorna ruva.
Då i vårt mörka hus,
stiger med tända ljus,
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.

Santa Lucia is a figure in the Swedish mythological tradition who is the bringer of light in the dark winter months. She is celebrated by the Nordic countries on the morning of December 13th. A carol service follows a procession of girls and boys dressed in white robes carrying candles. The train is lead by a girl who takes the role of Lucia, singing while wearing a crown of candles.

Natten går stor och stum
nu hörs dess vingar
i alla tysta rum
sus som av vingar.
Se, på vår tröskel står
vitklädd med ljus i hår
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.

It is a magical experience to sit it the gloom of a darkened church; waiting for the first soft strains of singing to reach you, followed by an almost imperceptible change in the colour of darkness as the warm glow from the robed figures rushes ahead to announce their arrival. Soon they are floating past you, shadows dancing over the walls and their voices washing over you as one by one they follow Lucia to her place by the altar.

Mörkret ska flykta snart
ur jordens dalar
så hon ett underbart
ord till oss talar.
Dagen ska åter ny
stiga ur rosig sky
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.