December is full of wonderful Christmas time feast days and Advent observances, like the Immaculate Conception and Saint Nicholas. One saint who also shares this month is Saint Lucy, an often quickly overlooked saint here in the United States whom we commemorate on December 13th. She is one of only eight women that are mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, along with the blessed Mother.
In European countries her feast is often commemorated on the morning of the 13th with the eldest daughter dressed in white with a red sash (to represent martyrdom), and wearing a crown of greenery and candles, and she presents the family with sweets. Her name, Lucy, is from the root, “lux” which means light. Her feast day also coincides with the Winter Solstice, and has often been celebrated as a festival of lights, hence the candles in her crown
For more than a few years, I recall having seen vague hints of celebrations of Saint Lucy’s day, and I was always curious to know more. Over the years I’ve grown a love of learning about the saints and going deeper into the history of our faith, and those who have lived it and gone before us. The church is rich in the beauty of celebrating and commemorating those who have shown us a way to live our faith in our daily lives. It can be as simple as what Saint Lucy suggests: “Give now to the true Savior, while you are healthy, whatever you intended to give away at your death.” The saints that have gone before us can give us clear and practical ways to serve Our Lord
Since this is our first year observing Saint Lucy’s day, we’re going to start with some kid-friendly ideas. I will make some sweet rolls for the kids, and I’ll let my oldest daughter present them while wearing the kid-friendly candle crown. We will also read some stories about her, and we’ll begin sprouting some wheat, which we’ll then present at our manger scene on Christmas. I love the symbolism of the sprouting wheat. According to Wikipedia, it is a Hungarian tradition to plant some wheat berries in a small pot, and by Christmas green sprouts will appear, which are signs of life coming from death. The wheat is then carried to the manger scene as the symbol of Christ in the Eucharist. This idea appeals to me especially because it is a fix-it-and-forget-about-it tradition that is easily incorporated into the Liturgical year!
It’s my pleasure to present you with the video tutorial for the St. Lucy crown. My own kids have already enjoyed playing Saints dress-up with it, which is an added bonus to having items like this readily available for them to play with.
If you feel that you need a template to cut a crown base, you can click here to save to your computer and print up at home.
A Blessed Advent to you, friends!
Saint Lucy, pray for us.