December 13 marks the day to remember St. Lucy. She lived in Syracuse in Sicily and died at a young age during the persecutions against the Christians under the reign of Emperor Diocletian in the years following 303. She gave away her dowry and lived as a virgin until her execution by the sword. The name Lucy comes from the Latin word lux, “light.” It’s appropriate to remember her this week because she, like John the Baptist, bore witness to the light of Christ.
Artist’s depictions show Lucy dressed in a white baptismal gown wearing a wreath of candles on her head. In Scandinavian countries, St. Lucy is celebrated during cold, dark days of winter with bonfires, roaring fires in the fireplace and the lighting of Lucy candles. In many homes the oldest daughter would rise early to serve the family coffee and sweet rolls.
The fourth stanza of LSB 515 “Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers” will provide an ending hope.
Our hope and expectation, O Jesus, now appear; Arise, O Sun so longed for, o’er this benighted sphere. With hearts and hands uplifted, we plead, O Lord, to see the day of earth’s redemption that sets Your people free!
Prayer from Treasury of Daily Prayer:
O Almighty God, by whose grace and power Your holy martyr Lucia triumphed over suffering and remained ever faithful unto death, grant us, who now remember her with thanksgiving, to be so true in our witness to you in this world that we may receive with her new eyes without tears and the crown of light and life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.