Monday, December 14, 2009

Santa Lucia

Yesterday was Santa Lucia, the day we remember this 18-year-old girl from Sicily, who died on December 13th in the year 304 AD.  She was killed because she openly refused to worship the Roman emperor (Diocletian) but confessed to the Christian faith.  She said that she, as well as all the faithful, could be compared to  a mirror.  A mirror who reflected God's light, and thus helped brighten the lives of people around her.  She was convinced about her mission in life, and 1705 years later, she is still remembered all over the world, and in many countries the day of her death is marked by children dressed in white, carrying burning candles and singing.  In Norway, this often takes place in schools and preschools, early, early in the morning, while it still is totally dark outside.  In Norway, and even more in Sweden, this has become part of the pre-Christmas tradition, and most kids know the tune and the words of the Lucia song.
This year, the Lucia Day was on the third Sunday of Advent, with three candles burning.  I just realized that the text of this Sunday's Advent verse has a strong resonance with Mr. Obama's Nobel speech...

Svart senker natten seg i stall og stuer.
Solen har gått sin vei, skyggene truer.
Inn i vårt mørke hus, stiger med tente lys
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia.

The black night is settling on stables and homes.
The sun has left us, and the shadows are threatening.
Into our darkened house, she is entering with shining lights,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia.
Lucia Celebration, by Swedish painter Carl Larsson

Tenn Lys!
Tre lys skal flamme for alle som må sloss
for rettferd og for frihet, de trenger hjelp av oss.
Må ingen miste motet, før alle folk er ett.
Tenn lys for dem som kjemper 
for frihet og for rett.
Eyvind Skeie

Light the lights!
Three candles shall flame for those who has to fight
for  justice and for liberty, they need help from us.
May nobody  lose courage before  all peoples are one.
Light the lights for those who stand up
for liberty and right.

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