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Sankta Lucia at York Minster

The highlight of the YASS year is surely the annual Sankta Lucia celebration. This is held at York Minster and involves a candlelit procession, carols and traditional Swedish songs sung by a visiting choir. In 2024 this choir is Chorus Pictor, from Täby, near Stockholm. The event is always very popular and attracts visitors from far afield. Further details are available under events.

Members of YASS have access to reserved seats close to front, with an excellent view of the choir. A collection made at the service is split between York Minster and the CoScan Travel Award.

Sankta Lucia with a crown of candles

In 2023 the service was streamed live via the York Minster YouTube channel. We are very grateful to the Dean and Chapter of York Minster for making it possible for everyone to enjoy the event in this way.

The Sankta Lucia service in York Minster begins and ends with prayers, hymns and readings. At the centre of the service is the Choir, led by the chorister representing Lucia. The Choir procession moves from the West End of the Minster to the Nave Sanctuary. By candlelight, the Lucia song and other traditional songs are sung in Swedish.

The Lucia Song - Sankta Lucia

Sankta Lucia, ljusklara hägring,
Sprid i vår vinternatt glans av din fägring!
Drömmar med vingesus under oss sia.
Tänd dina vita ljus, Sankta Lucia.

Kom i din vita skrud, huld med din maning.
Skänk oss, du julens brud, julfröjders aning!
Drömmar med vingesus under oss sia.
Tänd dina vita ljus, Sankta Lucia.

Saintly Lucia, emblem of lightness,
Spread through our wintry night sheen of your brightness.
Dreams borne on airy wings promise us wondrous things.
Light your white candles then, saintly Lucia.

Come in your gown of white, clad as a Christmas bride,
Graciously bringing us tokens of Christmastide,
Dreams borne on airy wings promise us wondrous things.
Light your white candles then, saintly Lucia.

Text: Sigrid Elmblad 1860-1926
Tune: Neapolitan folk melody  Arr: L. Ek

The Lucia Song

Sung in Swedish by the Adolf Fredrik Church Chamber Choir

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