Augustana's annual celebration of the Festival of Sankta Lucia Dec. 5 will commemorate the holiday with traditional Scandinavian Christmas carols, lessons and poetry.
It will begin at 7 p.m. in Ascension Chapel on the second floor of the Bahls Center (Founders Hall).
The Sankta Lucia Festival is a cherished tradition of the Advent season in all the Nordic countries. A candlelight procession of singers is led by a young woman robed in white with a crown of candles on her head, to commemorate the martyred St. Lucy (d. 304 AD), whose feast day is Dec. 13.
Each year, a student is chosen to portray Lucia during the event. This year Lucia will be Maja Johnson, a senior from Stillman Valley, Ill., majoring in Scandinavian studies and history.
The Ascension Ringers will play, directed by Ben Holmes, in addition to special music by several Augustana students.
Music in the program is drawn from the Advent and Christmas traditions of the historic Augustana Lutheran Church and the other Swedish-American denominations in the United States.
The singing is led by the Swedish language students and campus organist, Chris Nelson.
The celebration is hosted by Augustana's Scandinavian Studies Program, together with the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center, the American Scandinavian Association at Augustana, and Campus Ministries.
Visitors should note that Ascension Chapel is on the second floor of Founders Hall, and there is no elevator. There is a single-chair lift that may be used. Please plan to arrive early.
Dr. Mark Safstrom, 309-794-7329