Each year for 71 years five sophomore women at Gustavus Adolphus College are chosen to serve on the St. Lucia Court as part of a seasonal tradition at the Swedish college.
The women are chosen based on courageous leadership, strength of character, service to others, and compassion. Lucia is chosen through a campus community vote, which takes place Dec. 5 and 6.
The Festival of St. Lucia begins the Christmas season in Swedish custom and is
traditionally held on Dec. 13. On this day in Sweden, the eldest daughter plays the role of St. Lucia by preparing and serving baked goods and coffee to her family at sunrise. Wearing a crown of lighted candles, Lucia represents the return of light that will end the long winter nights and serves as a symbol of hope and peace for the Christmas season.
This year's court consists of Johnson, Susan Crane of Des Moines, Ia., Annalise Dobbelstein of Bemidji, Ellen Krueger of Minnetonka and Jennifer Werness of Burnsville.
At Gustavus, the St. Lucia Court traditionally sings carols in the College's residence halls during the early morning on the day of the crowning. The Festival of St. Lucia is at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, in Christ Chapel at the college in St. Peter, Minn. The festival service is open to the public.
(Information provided by a Gustavus Adolphus College press release.)