Celebrating Christmas by candlelight; ANNUAL SANTA LUCIA SERVICE AT CATHEDRAL.
Byline: BEN HURST email@example.com
WORSHIPPERS put the hustle and bustle of the city behind them to celebrate the traditional candlelit Santa Lucia service at Birmingham Cathedral. The festival of readings and carols, open to the public each year, included a candlelight procession featuring a singer designated "Santa Lucia" wearing a crown of burning candles. This year's Santa Lucia soloist was Beatrice Williams, currently a pupil at Edgbaston High School, who has been singing since the age of seven.
The Santa Lucia service is organised by the Consulate of Sweden in Birmingham. The event dates from December AD304 when a young girl called Lucia was martyred in Sicily for refusing to make a sacrifice to the Emperor Diocletian.
Legend has it that Lucia was willing to sacrifice even her eyes for her true belief and she became a symbol of light in darkness. In the 19th century the Lucia song came to Sweden from Naples.
The song was given a Swedish text and became popular in Sweden. In 1927 a Swedish newspaper organised a contest and "crowned" the first Lucia.
An event spokesman said: "Today Lucia is celebrated in Sweden in every home, church, school and office. She appears dressed in a white gown with a crown of candles, accompanied by groups of girls, also in white, all singing the Lucia song and Christmas carols."
A member of the choir joins in with the service
Members of the congregation, left, and, above, Jeffrey Skidmore, choral director of Ex Cathedra. Below: The Rev Kristina Andreasson, vicar of the Swedish Church in London with The Very Rev Catherine Ogle of Birmingham Cathedral
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|Title Annotation:||Features; Review|
|Publication:||Birmingham Mail (England)|
|Date:||Dec 11, 2015|
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