In many parts of the world Mardi Gras is celebrated with carnivals, parades and festivals. Not so much in Sweden; we tend to celebrate more modestly, simply by enjoying a semla or two on Fettisdagen. On Sunday, March 6, “Fastlagssöndagen”, the Swedish Church in Los Angeles decided to forgo the Swedish tradition and instead take up the carnival theme, inviting everyone to a “Carnival service for all senses.” Visitors were encouraged to dress glamorously and priest Staffan Simonsson led by example, performing the service wearing a gold sparkling stole.
The theme of the day was “The path of love” and the audience was able to take an active part in the service. Using all their senses, they were invited to think about and explore how love can smell and feel, what it can look like and how it can be expressed in words. Together with her visiting nephews, Albin and Petter Lithvall, cantor Britt-Marie Sixtenson played wonderful hymns honouring today’s love theme. A joyous and unusual carnival service at the Swedish Church in Los Angeles in celebration of the upcoming Lent. And not a semla in sight.

Submitted by Ingegerd Landström