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|"Julotta" Returns to Bishop Hill Christmas Day After a Year Off
|A Christmas tradition returns to Bishop Hill in Henry County Friday, Christmas Day, after taking what turned out to be an unscheduled year off last year.
The Bishop Hill State Historic Site will hold its annual "Julotta" non-denominational Christmas service Friday at 6am at the village's old Colony Church. Assistant Site Superintendent Ed Safiran says there will be both English and Swedish scripture readings and singing, along with other special and organ music.
Safiran tells WGIL last year's service was canceled when now-ousted Governor Rod Blagojevich closed a number of state parks and historic sites over a budget dispute, but people are already glad it's back this year.
"We've had a lot of feedback, and a lot of positive interest in it," Safiran said. "I even had one caller suggest that he thought, maybe, that the Almighty is punishing the Governor by not having it last year, for what he did. Who knows about that."
Blame or not, Safiran tells WGIL the reason the service starts at 6am is in part because of when Swedes historically went to church.
"It's early in the morning, at daybreak," Safiran said. "The colonists at Bishop Hill would also conduct their services early in the morning also. They would come to church, actually, twice a day and three times on Sunday. There would be a daybreak service for them also."
Safiran says while there is some heat in the Colony Church, visitors should still prepare to be somewhat bundled up during the service, to be led by Galesburg pastor Tom Larsen. The service, and coffee and Swedish rusks afterwards, are all free and open to the public.
|12 24 09 by Newsroom
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