St Lucy’s Day

Twenty years ago I visited Norway in December to spend time with family living abroad. During my stay I encountered the Scandinavian tradition of celebrating St Lucy’s Day.  St. Lucy was a young martyr who was killed for her desire to eschew marriage and instead give her large dowry to the poor.  Legends of her vary, but they all center around her bravely and resolutely facing her end.

In Scandinavia celebrations of Lucy’s day center around the meaning of her name, which means light.  People gather together in the growing darkness of winter to watch processions of young girls carrying candles, often led by a stand-in Lucy who leads the way wearing a crown of candles on her head.

Saint Lucy's Day

I was so touched by participating in the observance of St Lucy’s Day that I wrote about it these many years later in my advent devotional, Lighten the Darkness.

I love this idea of wreathing ourselves with light in the midst of the darkness.  What beauty and hope there is in walking through bleak times with a crown of candles lighting the way.  The original Lucy surely lived in dark days . . . but Lucy did not shirk in the face of the darkness. No, Lucy shone in even the darkest of days.

Whatever situation you are walking through today, I hope that there is a light shining upon you.  And if not, might I suggest putting your own wreath of light about you to lead the way for others?

leading with light

Thanks as always for reading. It brings me comfort and joy to share these words with you.

Oh, and Happy St Lucy’s Day.