Notre-Dame de Paris, Swedish Music and Candlelight

Adèle Söderberg (1880-1915), Sankta Lucia postcard, God Jul - Merry ChristmasWikimedia Commons

Adèle Söderberg (1880-1915), Wikimedia Commons

To get you into the holiday spirit a special Swedish-style musical event is held in Paris annually. The event is always held at the Swedish Church (Svenska kyrkan) and most years at a large church in Paris. The Swedish Church dates and times are variable but the church seating is always the same and limited.

The 2017 date for Notre-Dame de Paris is December 11 at 20:30 (8:30 pm). Tickets are available online through the Notre-Dame website site.
December 13 is the feast day of Saint Lucy/Lucie (Sankta Lucia in Swedish), which traditionally celebrates light in the darkness of winter.

When I lived in Sweden, I learned that the Swedish tradition is adapted from an Italian tradition. It was said that Lucia’s eyes were plucked out by some raving individual in olden days. The red sash, Saint Lucie wears, symbolizes the blood of her martyrdom. Swedish Church choir for Saint Lucie/Sankta Lucia musicThe candles symbolize the light she saw in things once her world went dark. Additional tidbits are available from Wikipedia about Saint Lucy’s Day. Whatever the legend details, it is a beautiful and magical event to experience.

One year, we attended and I recorded parts of the Sankta Lucia event at the Paris Swedish Church (l’église Suédoise, Metro: Courcelles) – YouTube link Sankta Lucia Choral Procession. Enjoy the moment virtually.

Poster of Anders Zorn retrospective exhibit Petit Palais 2017On a Swedish side note, the Anders Zorn retrospective exhibition at Petit Palais ends December 17. An extraordinarily talented Swedish artist, Zorn’s still is alive today in my opinion. “Along with Sargent, Sorolla, Boldini, and Besnard, he was one of the most visible disciples of an international style that was both modern and masterful, where energetic brushwork combined with bold composition and lighting to create elegant portraits that were also great works of art.