About this story: Lanterns more than 100 years old are lighting the way for worshipers arriving at a local church.

For a second time, two lanterns have begun a new life at the entrance to Augustana Lutheran Church in Andover.

About this story: Lanterns more than 100 years old are lighting the way for worshipers arriving at a local church.

For a second time, two lanterns have begun a new life at the entrance to Augustana Lutheran Church in Andover.

The street lamps were re-discovered in a sanctuary closet by church members Florence White and Rocky Atwell on a “God’s Work Our Hands” Sunday.

Cleaned up and connected to electricity, the lamps greeted worshipers at the 167th annual Julotta (early morning Christmas service) on Christmas Day, Monday, Dec. 25, as they reached the walk to the entrance of the sanctuary.

Passing through the double doors, worshipers arriving to celebrate Jesus’ birthday made their way into a sanctuary lit by candles.

The morning began at 6:30 a.m. with caroling by the senior choir and congregation. At 7 a.m., the worship service with holy Communion began in candlelight and ended with the dawn of Christmas morning.

Organ, piano and instrumental music was featured, in addition to the voices of senior choir members. The Rev. Reed Pedersen, church pastor, gave the message in English.

The service used a liturgical setting similar to that used by the Swedish congregation in the 1870’s, when the church building was completed and replaced the overcrowded first structure, later named Jenny Lind Chapel.

In addition to the Julotta service, Pedersen led two services with Communion on Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24 – a family service at 3 p.m. at Augustana church and a candlelight service with special music at 11 p.m. at Jenny Lind Chapel.

Florence White said the two street lamps are in place and will remain in their permanent home after the holidays, although the red Christmas bows were removed from the lamp posts.

For White, the lanterns are a connection to her family.

She traced the use of the antique lanterns back to the late 1800’s, when the lanterns were used and lit with kerosene.

In 1981, the lanterns were discovered in a crawlspace under the church building by Augustana Lutheran Church members William Cederberg, Eben C. Johnson and Herb Johnson. White is the daughter of Herb Johnson.

The men took the lanterns home to clean them and the lamps were then displayed in the church kitchen.

The lamps were placed at the walk to the entrance of the church sanctuary in time for the 131st annual Julotta sunrise service on Christmas morning, White said.

When she learned the history of the street lamps, she and her husband, Tom White, contacted Wright Electric in Geneseo for a quote on having the lanterns made into electric lamps.

The church’s memorial committee paid for the project with funds from memorials for Ed Gritton and Nita Mae Johnson.

“Nita Mae Johnson was my mother,” Florence White said. “I feel that was a worthwhile, historical project for us to spend some memorial money.

“The lanterns are a link from the past to the present.” she said. “In their location at the entrance to our sanctuary, they are a light for people to the Word of God.”