The Lucia Fest weaves together a number of Swedish holiday traditions into a colorful musical pageant. The heart of the celebration is the Lucia procession, in which a young woman is joined by other female members of the household in taking hot coffee and a warm Lucia bun to all the residents of the home. She comes crowned with candles, dressed in white, singing her traditional song, “Sankta Lucia.” In Sweden, her day is celebrated in homes before dawn on the 13th of December, which, at one stage of life with the Julian calendar, marked the winter solstice – the point at which the hours of darkness begin to diminish and the daylight hours begin to lengthen.
At Gloria Dei Church the celebration is held within the walls constructed by Swedish settlers in 1699-1700, in the beauty of candlelight, with a large entourage of young girls joining her in song and procession. For many people, participation in the Lucia Fest is a unique way of marking the beginning of the holiday season.
Before, during and after each of the presentations, the St. Eric’s Fair, a Christmas bazaar that specializes in Scandinavian imports, is held in the Parish Hall that adjoins the Church. Food and drink are available.
Free parking under I-95 is provided (enter at gate on Washington Avenue). Tickets can be purchased online, at the door, or by calling the church office at 215-389-1513. Online ticket sales will begin on October 1st, and end December 2nd. After December 2nd, tickets will be sold at the door, cash only! Please call the church office to determine if any shows are sold out. No tickets will be mailed! Tickets purchased in advance should be picked up at the door 30 minutes before showtime. Please bring your printed receipt as proof of purchase.