Friday, December 11, 2015

Feast Day Celebrations: St. Lucy


This Advent, we're trying to do more faith-filled activities to teach our kids about the beauty of our Catholic Faith.  We've been doing a Jesse Tree and lighting our Advent Wreath everyday, the kids have been playing with their felt Nativity Scene nonstop, and we've been celebrating saints feast days (St. Nicholas, St. Juan Diego, and Our Lady of Guadalupe so far!).

Up next, is celebrating St. Lucia (or St. Lucy) on December 13th!

Catholic Liturgical Living: St. Lucy/Lucia Feast Day Celebration Ideas, Traditions, Recipes, and DIY Wreath Crown Craft www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
St. Lucia by Heather Sleightholm of Audrey Eclectic (I just love this picture!)

St. Lucy is an early martyr of the Church.  She wanted to live as a consecrated virgin for Christ, so her scorned suitor handed her over as a Christian where she was then murdered for her Faith.

Honoring her feast day is fairly new to us, so we're pretty excited!

Lucia-13.12.06

In Sweden, she is highly honored.  Traditionally, girls dress like St. Lucy wearing a white dress with a red sash (symbolizing her martyrdom) and an evergreen wreath with white candles as a crown.  And of course, there's special food too!  Saffron buns and a sweet bread braided into a wreath (with candles!).  Yum!

We're definitely taking the simple path with St. Lucy's feast day celebration at our house:

Catholic Liturgical Living: St. Lucy/Lucia Feast Day Celebration Ideas, Traditions, Recipes, and DIY Wreath Crown Craft www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

J will wear a white dress (my First Communion dress!) with a red ribbon at her waist.  I made a wreath just like the one from our Advent wreath craft, but I made skinny, white candles with yellow poms poms for flames instead.  (I just rolled the paper tighter so I didn't need the toilet paper rolls.)  J had so much fun making another wreath with me!

Catholic Liturgical Living: St. Lucy/Lucia Feast Day Celebration Ideas, Traditions, Recipes, and DIY Wreath Crown Craft www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
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I found these great shortcuts for making the saffron buns and braided sweet bread: Pillsbury cinnamon rolls!

I followed Lacy's instructions from Catholic Icing.  And it looks like it took a lot of effort, but it is so simple.  I made the saffron bun (above) and braided wreath (below) in less time than it took the oven to preheat.  And it only took one can of 8 cinnamon rolls to make both.  It looked beautiful and tasted awesome!

Catholic Liturgical Living: St. Lucy/Lucia Feast Day Celebration Ideas, Traditions, Recipes, and DIY Wreath Crown Craft www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
Traditionally, white candles are used.  We didn't have white ones, so we figured yellow was close enough!

St. Lucy's name means "light".  The story goes that she would take food to persecuted Christians in secret at night, so she wore candles on her head so her hands would be free to carry the food.

I also just learned that in the old Julian calendar, December 13th was the winter solstice or the shortest day of the year.  It used to be the date for a pagan festival of lights, but Christians turned it into a Christian holiday by celebrating St. Lucy's life instead!

So another fun (and easy!) activity to do is to drive around looking at Christmas lights.  We've done this for a couple years now, because I knew her name meant "light" but I didn't know the history behind her feast day. 

2006 outdoor Christmas light display in Cincinnati OH

We have really enjoyed celebrating so many saint's feast days this Advent.  I love reflecting on their lives and teaching our kids about them because in all of their words and actions, they point us to Christ. 

So Happy St. Lucia Day on December 13th!  May her courageous example as a Christian strengthen us in our own faith everyday!

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