The Scandinavian community came together early Christmas morning to celebrate Julotta services in Swedish at First Immanuel Lutheran Church in Portland.
The Scandinavian Chorus of Portland, conducted by Vance Sele, sang the traditional Julotta-psalm “Var hälsad sköna morgonstund” with text by Johan Olof Wallin; it was among the last hymns added to the 1819 Svensk Psalmbok (Swedish book of Hymns).

"Var hälsad sköna morgonstund. Som av profeters Helga mun.
Är oss bebådad vorden! Du stora dag, du sälla dag,
På vilken himlens välbehag, Ännu besöker jorden!
Unga sjunga med de gamla, Sig församla jordens böner.
Kring den störste af dess söner."

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After the singing we had the Responsive reading led by the lector and liturgist, Elisabeth Mendenhall, ending with: “As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever and ever, Amen.”
The Prayer of the Day, in Swedish, was led by the guest pastor, Kent Piil, and was followed by Trosbekännelsen:
“Vi tro på Gud Fader allsmäktig, himmelens och jordens skapare.…”
A visit by our Lucia and her court added more light to the early morning, and we were sent off by pastors Melinda Wagner and Kent Piil with the traditional blessing, “Välsignelsen.”

"Herren välsigne er och bevare er.
Herren låte sitt ansikte lysa över er och vare er nådig
Herren vände sitt ansikte till er och give er frid.
I Faderns, Sonens och den helige Andes namn,
Amen."

The Scandinavian Chorus sang several traditional Christmas songs:
Det är en ros utsprungen (1937 Swedish psalmbok, nr 51)
När juldags morgon glimmar (1986 Swedish psalmbok, nr 121)
O du saliga, o du heliga (1937 Swedish psalmbook, nr 53)
First Immanuel Lutheran Church, www.firstimmanuelluth.org
Scandinavian Chorus of Portland, info@portlandscandinavianchorus.com
New Sweden Cultural and Heritage Society, www.newsweden.org

Submitted by Leif Rosqvist