For today's feast of the fourth-century Sicilian martyr Saint Lucy, here is some music from Sweden, where St. Lucy's Day is celebrated with great mirth as a kind of festival of light in the midst of winter darkness. The above video shows part of the annual Luciakonsert at the Storkyrkan, Stockholm's Lutheran cathedral. The Swedish carol sung here as Sankta Lucia, ljusklara hägring is set to music borrowed from a traditional Neapolitan folk song, which seems appropriate given the Italian origins of this feast. The girl marching at the head of the choir wearing a crown of lighted candles represents Saint Lucy herself, whose very name, coming from the Latin lux, identifies her as a bearer of light.
Taken from the same concert at the Storkyrkan, here is a tune that needs no introduction, the traditional Advent hymn Veni, veni Emmanuel. As we await the bright Feast of the Nativity, whether we do so in the darkness of a Northern winter or, in the Southern Hemisphere, in the middle of summer, may the light celebrated today on St. Lucy's Day be for us a source of consolation and hope. AMDG.