Sankta Lucia 2016

Matilda Jarl, 15, from the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm played the role of Lucia last night as she led the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster.

The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions and celebrates Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century and celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter.

This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers from the Jarfalla chamber choir and Starboys from the Vaxholm Boys Quintet near Stockholm led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist.

The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Matilda Jarl, 15, from the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm, Sweden plays the role of Lucia as she leads the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09: Youngsters from the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm, Sweden form part of the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.(Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Matilda Jarl, 15, from the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm, Sweden plays the role of Lucia as she leads the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Matilda Jarl, 15, from the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm, Sweden plays the role of Lucia as she leads the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Matilda Jarl, 15, from the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm, Sweden plays the role of Lucia as she leads the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Matilda Jarl, 15, from the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm, Sweden plays the role of Lucia as she leads the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Matilda Jarl, 15, from the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm, Sweden plays the role of Lucia as she leads the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Matilda Jarl, 15, from the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm, Sweden plays the role of Lucia as she leads the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09: Youngsters from the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm, Sweden form part of the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.(Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Matilda Jarl, 15, from the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm, Sweden plays the role of Lucia as she leads the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Matilda Jarl, 15, from the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm, Sweden plays the role of Lucia as she leads the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  The Jarfalla chamber choir and Vaxholm Boys Quintet from Stockholm, Sweden perform traditional Swedish Christmas songs and carols during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Starboys from the Vaxholm Boys Quintet near Stockholm, Sweden form part of the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  The Jarfalla chamber choir and Vaxholm Boys Quintet from Stockholm, Sweden perform traditional Swedish Christmas songs and carols during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09: Members of the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm, Sweden form part of the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Starboys from the Vaxholm Boys Quintet near Stockholm, Sweden form part of the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  The Jarfalla chamber choir and Vaxholm Boys Quintet from Stockholm, Sweden perform traditional Swedish Christmas songs and carols during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  The Jarfalla chamber choir and Vaxholm Boys Quintet from Stockholm, Sweden perform traditional Swedish Christmas songs and carols during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  The Jarfalla chamber choir and Vaxholm Boys Quintet from Stockholm, Sweden perform traditional Swedish Christmas songs and carols during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Matilda Jarl, 15, from the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm, Sweden plays the role of Lucia as she leads the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Matilda Jarl, 15, from the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm, Sweden plays the role of Lucia as she leads the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Matilda Jarl, 15, from the Jarfalla chamber choir near Stockholm, Sweden plays the role of Lucia as she leads the procession during the Swedish Sankta Lucia Festival of Light service at York Minster on December 9, 2016 in York, United Kingdom. The Sankta Lucia service is a traditional Swedish service merged from pagan and christian traditions. Celebrating Saint Lucy who was a young Sicilian girl martyred for her Christian faith in the early 4th century it celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. This service incorporates a candlelit procession of choristers led by a young girl, Lucia, wearing a crown of candles on her head and a red sash around her waist. The crown of candles is thought to symbolise a halo and the red sash martyrdom. Lucia is followed by her attendants and the starboys. This is the fourth time the procession has been held at York Minster and is run in conjunction with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.  (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

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Sankta Lucia

The traditional Swedish festival of Sankta Lucia took place tonight at York Minster. The festival is a traditional festival of light that celebrates the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. The service features a candlelit procession and carols in celebration of St Lucy, a young Sicilian girl who was said to have been martyred for her Christian faith in the early fourth century. The service, which is run in partnership with York Anglo-Scandanavian Society, starts with a procession led this year by, Sara Kjorling, 24, from Stockholm, wearing a crown of candles, thought to symbolise a halo and a red sash that symbolises martyrdom.

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Sankta Lucia – The Festival of Light

For the second year running the Sankta Lucia festival of light service was held at York Minster this evening. The Swedish tradition of Sankta Lucia shares many similarities with the advent procession that some people may be more familiar with. Dating back to the 18th century the festival symbolises the bringing of light into the darkness during the dark winter months and is one of the most significant services in the Swedish ecclesiastical calendar.

This year saw Annika Fredriksson, 30, originally from Eslov in Sweden but who now lives in York fulfilling a lifelong ambition of leading the Sankta Lucia procession.

 

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No usage without arrangement.