Kick off Christmas morning with Julotta gathering

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic
Ed Safiran blows out a candle following the 2015 Julotta morning worship service at Colony Church in Bishop Hill.

Bishop Hill State Historic Site is preserving the Swedish tradition of “Julotta” with a nondenominational church service before dawn on Christmas morning.

The public is welcome to attend the 6 a.m. Dec. 25 service at the restored Colony Church, built in 1848 by Swedish immigrants.

Christmas morning in Sweden begins with the Julotta service, and since 1970 the service has been a tradition in Bishop Hill to reaffirm the community’s heritage.

The word Julotta comes from the Swedish words for “yule” and “before dawn.”

The worship service will be led by Pastor Dan Wright of Greater Annawan Parish. Music will be provided by organist Ann Larson and soloist Courtney Stone. The reader will be Terri Wigant.

Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly.

Coffee and rusks, a Swedish pastry similar to biscotti, will be available in the Colony Church Museum after the service.

For more information, visit www.bishophill.com.