Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Quiet Evening with our Swedish Ancestors

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Today, an old Lutheran hymn sung in Swedish, one of the languages of our Tornberg and Mattson ancestors. This scene comes from the Academy Award winning film "Babbett's Feast".

Over the last few days I discovered that many of our Swedish and Finnish ancestors were Lutheran pastors and priests. Faith played a major role in their day to day lives. The people of that time, as they do now, relied on their faith to see them through life's dark times.

In my mind's eye I see our ancestors sitting in this room on a dark cold Scandinavian night enjoying each other's company in word and song.

Oh, watch the day
once again hurry off,
and the sun bathe itself in water.

The time for us to rest approaches

O God, Who dwelleth in heavenly light;
Who reigns above in heaven’s hall.
Be for us our infinite Light,
in the valley of night

The sand in our hourglass will soon run out.
The day is conquered by the night.
The glories of the world are ending;
so brief their day,
so swift their flight.

God, let Thy brightness ever shine!
Admit us; Thy mercy divine.