Advent Festivities & The Meaning of Light!
Happy Feast Day!
A little bit about Saint Lucy..
St. Lucy was a consecrated virgin & martyr who was killed in the early church during the worst persecution. Her name means “light” which is appropriate for a woman who was known for the visible glow she had out of her love for her spouse, Christ. She would bring supplies and food to the poor and Christians in the darkness of the catacombs but would wear a wreath of candles so that she could see better. There are so many fun traditions associated with her feast day, many of them involving light, candles, torches, and even bonfires.
Today the eldest daughter is supposed to wake the household with St. Lucia buns, coffee, and treats while wearing a wreath of candles, a white gown, and a red sash symbolizing her baptism and martyrdom. She can also be accompanied by small brothers known as “Star Boys” who wear white gowns and cone shaped hats decorated with stars and carrying a star tipped wand.
This is what we do...
In my family we wait to put up the Christmas tree and lights until this weekend. It’s a kind of a combined celebration of joy for the feast of St. Lucy but also Gaudete Sunday! I cannot wait! Our home is filled with Advent and Christmas decor but it’s been missing the romantic twinkle of lights. I kept walking around thinking something is missing, what's missing?! It was Christmas lights... without the lights I have been reminded of the meaning of Advent, the cold dark winter preparation for the coming of Christ so putting them out will be a beautiful reminder of the joy that we celebrate this week and the light of St. Lucy. I need these physical reminders, without them I begin the easy habit of falling into a busy December schedule, parties, work, baking, shopping, & the typical hustle and bustle.
A little St. Lucy reflection on the meaning of light...
I’ve been thinking more about the lesson of light that we can take away from St. Lucy’s feast day in honor of her own faith. Hearing about her glow reminds me of when I was engaged or what others tell women when they are pregnant, you’re glowing! My engagement period was filled with so much anticipation and joy, it very much felt like the season of Advent. I couldn’t hide the love and happiness that I felt even if I wanted to, and then I imagine St. Lucy and the love she had for Jesus. This young girl glowed out of love for Christ whom she consecrated herself to. We see very clearly the physical reminder of her name with the candle lit wreath that she wore when serving others who were hiding in darkness; but she was also a spiritual light to the message of the Gospel. She could see what others could not through her faith, which reminds me of a reference from Prince Caspian that I have below, even in the midst of her persecution. In one of the sacraments books that I use for my class by Fulton Sheen says that humor is the ability to see through things. I honestly believe the Church innately has this ability, this humor, especially in having us celebrate in the darkest time of the year the feast of St. Lucy. What an essential element to the meaning of Christmas, a light that breaks through the darkness of winter! Just like Christ who comes to us in a dark, dirty, manger, He is the light that will shatter the darkness of our sin and death. In C.S. Lewis’ book Prince Caspian, Lucy has this exchange of faith with Aslan. Her siblings can no longer see him, even in daylight, but she can and she realizes something else, that he is bigger!
“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”
“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.
“Not because you are?”
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
We can use St. Lucy and Lucy Pevensie as a way to understand that in the light of faith and truth, Christ will grow to be “bigger”. This innocent exchange is so telling of that fact that as we grow older, get busy, or let other things take priority in life, it's very easy to lose sight of how God plays a part in all that we do. On the feast of St. Lucy and the upcoming joy of Gaudete Sunday, let’s refocus on eyes and our heart on Christ, who will shine on all of our circumstances.