Author Topic: St. Lucia  (Read 3772 times)

Satis Est

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Re: St. Lucia
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2014, 12:20:27 PM »
Jeff-MN, the boys wearing the pointy hats are called "Star boys" and are about the star pointing the way to Bethlehem. And for others who (like me) aren't Swedish (or any kind of Scandinavian) and for whom all this is very foreign (though beautiful), I offer this fun attempt to explain the holiday:  "Santa Lucia for Dummies"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgxZS4mWSrw

Michael Slusser

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Re: St. Lucia
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2014, 01:15:52 PM »
Jeff-MN, the boys wearing the pointy hats are called "Star boys" and are about the star pointing the way to Bethlehem. And for others who (like me) aren't Swedish (or any kind of Scandinavian) and for whom all this is very foreign (though beautiful), I offer this fun attempt to explain the holiday:  "Santa Lucia for Dummies"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgxZS4mWSrw
Thanks, Satis est! That will go out forthwith to several friends who should appreciate it.

Peace,
Michael
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J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: St. Lucia
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2014, 01:58:40 PM »
Saint Lucia (like Andrew, Nicholas, and Ambrose) is another of the Advent saints whose commemorations are truly catholic, being observed on the same date in both the East and the West.

In the East, she shares the day with St. Herman of Alaska, who understandably receives more attention in North America:

Quote
Herman the Wonderworker of Alaska & First Saint of America

Reading:

Saint Herman (his name is a variant of Germanus) was born near Moscow in 1756. In his youth he became a monk, first at the Saint Sergius Hermitage near Saint Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland; while he dwelt there, the most holy Mother of God appeared to him, healing him of a grave malady. Afterwards he entered Valaam Monastery on Valiant Island in Lake Ladoga; he often withdrew into the wilderness to pray for days at a time. In 1794, answering a call for missionaries to preach the Gospel to the Aleuts, he came to the New World with the first Orthodox mission to Alaska. He settled on Spruce Island, which he called New Valaam, and here he persevered, even in the face of many grievous afflictions mostly at the hands of his own countrymen in the loving service of God and of his neighbour. Besides his many toils for the sake of the Aleuts, he subdued his flesh with great asceticism, wearing chains, sleeping little, fasting and praying much. He brought many people to Christ by the example of his life, his teaching, and his kindness and sanctity, and was granted the grace of working miracles and of prophetic insight. Since he was not a priest, Angels descended at Theophany to bless the waters in the bay; Saint Herman used this holy water to heal the sick. Because of his unwearying missionary labours, which were crowned by God with the salvation of countless souls, he is called the Enlightener of the Aleuts, and has likewise been renowned as a wonderworker since his repose in 1837.

Apolytikion of Herman of Alaska in the Fourth Tone

Blessed ascetic of the northern wilds and gracious intercessor for the whole world, teacher of the Orthodox Faith, good instructor of piety, adornment of Alaska and joy of all America, holy Father Herman, pray to Christ God that He save our souls.


Very fitting that the "enlightener of the Alaskans" share the day with one whose name means "light". 

Keep all of this in mind for next year and encourage your organist to offer a prelude based on the "Sicilian Mariners" tune.  There is a nice and easy one by Gordon Young. 
« Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 02:01:19 PM by J. Thomas Shelley »
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mj4

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Re: St. Lucia
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2017, 09:11:01 AM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjnRRxrYCxg.

Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth. Inspire us with the memory of Lucia, whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross, and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives to your Son's victory over sin and death, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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Charles Austin

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Re: St. Lucia
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2017, 09:21:29 AM »
Yes! And my sorrow that I have never been able to re-create my grandmother's cookies for the day.
As for that other country "up there," if you missed "Christmas in Norway" with the St. Olaf Choir on PBS this week, look for it in a rerun.

Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Missing NY/NJ and trips to Europe. But the dining room at our "ranch" is now open and some activities - with virus restrictions - are returning. For which, thanks.

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Re: St. Lucia
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2017, 09:44:48 AM »
We prayed the lovely collect for the day this morning from Treasury:

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. Amen.
William Weedon, Assistant Pastor
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hamel IL
Catechist on LPR Podcast: The Word of the Lord Endures Forever
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James_Gale

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Re: St. Lucia
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2017, 10:05:46 AM »
Yes! And my sorrow that I have never been able to re-create my grandmother's cookies for the day.
As for that other country "up there," if you missed "Christmas in Norway" with the St. Olaf Choir on PBS this week, look for it in a rerun.


Very good suggestion.  You also can enjoy Christmas in Christ Chapel from Gustavus Adolphus College, linked here.  (Slightly jealousy-driven aside directed at queen-choral-bee St. Olaf:  We hold our Christmas service (not! a concert) in our chapel (not! in the school gym).)  The theme this year, not surprisingly, was reformation.  Here's a link to the service program.


Here's a link to last year's service, Ubuntu, Jesu: From the Cradle of Humankind to the Ends of the Earth.

(The service ends, as it does every year, with an exuberant setting of O Come, All Ye Faithful commissioned by the College in 1976.  Singing it every year has conditioned me to rebel against ending Christmas services with darkness and Silent Night.)
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 10:08:00 AM by James_Gale »

Weedon

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Re: St. Lucia
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2017, 05:36:39 PM »
The beautiful and comforting homily we heard at the International Center Chapel today, from Pr. Marcus Zill, Director of Campus Ministry:

IC CHAPEL (13 December 2017)

Commemoration of Lucia, Martyr


Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
    that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the LORD's hand
    double for all her sins.

~ Isaiah 40:1-2

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

These days are the darkest times of the year. It is not an accident that St. Lucia, whose name derives from lux, light, is commemorated when the days are the shortest. Festivals of light became very popular in northern Europe during this time of the year, especially since today was once considered the shortest day of the year. Lucia, a 4th century saint of Christian light, became a natural choice for commemoration as popular art often depicts her with a crown of flickering candles adorning her head. (Pastor Weedon actually asked me to dress her part today, but I declined).

What is true according to the normal pattern of the seasons is also true when one considers the spiritual condition of these dark and latter days in which we live. It is certainly significant that the Christ was born when light is the least, when darkness is palpable. 
There is not much that is known for certain about Lucia except that she was from Sicily (and not Scandinaia), that she devoted herself to the nurture and care of the poor, and she died in 304 A.D. as a Christian martyr under the persecution of the Roman Emperor Diocletion.

Several legends have grown up around Lucia, enough that we don’t have time to go into all of them, but when given the opportunity to renounce her Christian faith, Lucia is reported to have simply smiled and said, “I wish to please Christ.”

Two separate legends, though not verified, do state that Lucia’s eyes were gouged out. With or without her earthly eyes, Lucia, the young maiden of light, certainly fixed her eyes upon Jesus. The Lord Himself taught “the eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22)

The Light of the world Himself has taught us also that “the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field.” (Matthew 13:44) Lucia’s lifeless murdered body was placed in a grave, hidden in a field as it were, hardly the stuff of treasure in the eyes of the world – just one more dead girl, one more executed Christian, one more candle snuffed out, one more person who would not obey the state, one more speed bump in a cruel Caesar’s quest to become like God.

And yet it is St. Lucia who now “in glory shines” while “we feebly struggle” and while the unbelieving Caesars of every time and place wail and gnash their teeth in the darkness. Evil may have claimed Lucia’s eyes, Satan may have spilled her lifeblood, but today she, who was sanctified by the very blood of Christ, sees God face to face!  And what’s more, the light of Christ shone in her good works and good confession, reflecting this holy light upon those of us who yet “dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.”

Darkness cannot diminish even one flickering candle even as a mighty Caesar cannot extinguish the witness of a young girl who confesses a king greater than he. Lucia’s eternal testimony, like that of many of the martyrs of her age, proclaimed to the world that we Christians have overcome death – by the death of Christ – and that through Christ, in Christ, by Christ, and yes even with Christ – we have eternal life.  We share in His light and we stand defiant against the darkness of the grave.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the light of the world, the light of life, the uncreated light who created light by means of His uncreated Word – shines among us, through us, and in us, dear friends.  Even when – and especially when – all we see around us with our failing eyes is the darkness of our sins, the inevitability of death, and the cruelty of this world’s Satanic tyranny – His Word remains a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path.”

Dear children of light, we do not cower in fear at these dark times. Rather, Holy Scripture which Isaiah reminds us remains forever, calls us to sobriety, that God-given ability to remain in complete control of our passions and thoughts without excess or confusion. The virtues of faith and love, those mighty breastplates of the Lord have not lost their strength and vitality. That virtue of hope grounded in the salvation promised to us in Christ Jesus remains as sturdy and sure a helmet as it did for Lucia and all the martyred saints who have gone before us.

The Light that illumined the heart and soul of a Sicilian maiden also shines within each of you, not by virtue of anything that is because of You, but by virtue of everything that is in Him. The powers of darkness thought they had blown out that light at Golgotha but they were wrong about Christ, and they can’t snuff out those who confess and bear witness to His light either.

Will you be called to speak your testimony before kings, magistrates, or those in high positions of authority? That is not for us to say. But like Lucia, if so, you shall not be put to shame either. On this St. Lucia’s day, be reminded, enlightened, and encouraged by “the God of peace who himself sanctifies you completely. And may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thess. 5:23)

Lucia is now comforted. Her warfare is ended, her inquity is pardoned and she has received from the Lord’s hand, double for all her sins.
As have each of you….
In the name of Jesus, the Light which darkness cannot overcome. Amen.
William Weedon, Assistant Pastor
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hamel IL
Catechist on LPR Podcast: The Word of the Lord Endures Forever
A Daily, Verse-by-Verse Bible Study with the Church, Past and Present
www.thewordendures.org

+Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum

Eileen Smith

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Re: St. Lucia
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2017, 06:18:17 PM »
Beautiful homily.  Thank you.  It is also the feast day of St. Odilia, blind from birth she received sight on her baptism.  Our devotional this morning recognized both saints using Luke 11:34, "Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light; but if it is not healthy, your body is full of darkness."   Some words I'd like to share, "Both women present themselves to us as symbols of Advent, reminding us of God's light which heals us of our inner blindness and illumines us in the darkness of our hearts."    As I read this devotion I couldn't help but think how beneficial - how cleansing - it would be to maintain the practice of living God's light, being a witness to that light in places where all seems dark -- most especially in these difficult times.  Thank you for sharing the homily.

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Re: St. Lucia
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2017, 06:37:13 PM »
Eileen,

Amen and what a beautiful thought: cleansing indeed. No darkness so dark that His light cannot there shine. “The light no darkness can overcome.” Pax!
William Weedon, Assistant Pastor
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hamel IL
Catechist on LPR Podcast: The Word of the Lord Endures Forever
A Daily, Verse-by-Verse Bible Study with the Church, Past and Present
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+Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum

John_Hannah

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Re: St. Lucia
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2017, 08:42:08 PM »
Beautiful homily.  Thank you.  It is also the feast day of St. Odilia, blind from birth she received sight on her baptism.  Our devotional this morning recognized both saints using Luke 11:34, "Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light; but if it is not healthy, your body is full of darkness."   Some words I'd like to share, "Both women present themselves to us as symbols of Advent, reminding us of God's light which heals us of our inner blindness and illumines us in the darkness of our hearts."    As I read this devotion I couldn't help but think how beneficial - how cleansing - it would be to maintain the practice of living God's light, being a witness to that light in places where all seems dark -- most especially in these difficult times.  Thank you for sharing the homily.

EILEEN

You probably know this. Pr. von Schenk regularly ministered to those at a blind school nearby on Pelham Parkway as a voluntarily part of his calling as a pastor. Exemplary, simply exemplary!!!

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Eileen Smith

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Re: St. Lucia
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2017, 10:26:41 PM »
Beautiful homily.  Thank you.  It is also the feast day of St. Odilia, blind from birth she received sight on her baptism.  Our devotional this morning recognized both saints using Luke 11:34, "Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light; but if it is not healthy, your body is full of darkness."   Some words I'd like to share, "Both women present themselves to us as symbols of Advent, reminding us of God's light which heals us of our inner blindness and illumines us in the darkness of our hearts."    As I read this devotion I couldn't help but think how beneficial - how cleansing - it would be to maintain the practice of living God's light, being a witness to that light in places where all seems dark -- most especially in these difficult times.  Thank you for sharing the homily.



EILEEN

You probably know this. Pr. von Schenk regularly ministered to those at a blind school nearby on Pelham Parkway as a voluntarily part of his calling as a pastor. Exemplary, simply exemplary!!!

Peace, JOHN

I seem to remember this and a distant memory that our choir once went caroling at that school.  Could this be possible, I wonder? 

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: St. Lucia
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2017, 10:29:31 PM »
As I read this devotion I couldn't help but think how beneficial - how cleansing - it would be to maintain the practice of living God's light, being a witness to that light in places where all seems dark -- most especially in these difficult times. 

Aye, an awesome homily, so Orthodox (upper case intentional) that it could have been preached by St. Gregory Palamas.

"A witness to that in light in places were all seems dark"---I cannot help but think of my friend the Subdeacon Thaniel Wenger (at 19, probably the youngest Subdeacon in the Antiochian Archdiocese) who has left his eastern Pennsylvania home to labor in the Lord's vineyard in Pittsburgh with the Orthodox social ministry organization FOCUS....without any financial support other than what he can garner from his family, friends, and fellow parishioners.   He told me that he has recently undergone training to be part of an emergency response team to minister to neighborhoods which have suffered a trauma such as a murder.


Glory to Him Who still calls us to bear His light!
Glory to Him Who still crowns those who foresake self!
Glory to Him Whose Incarnation has set us free!
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

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Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
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Chrismated Antiochian Orthodox, eve of Mary of Egypt Sunday, A.D. 2015

Charles Austin

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Re: St. Lucia
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2017, 10:36:34 PM »
Good sermon, Pastor Weedon. Good sermon.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Missing NY/NJ and trips to Europe. But the dining room at our "ranch" is now open and some activities - with virus restrictions - are returning. For which, thanks.

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: St. Lucia
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2017, 02:34:22 AM »
Just in case you missed it, Dec. 13th was St. Lucia Day. You can still enjoy it on this http://www.svt.se/lucia/ Swedish TV production from...

This year's St. Lucia Day broadcast is from the Kungsholms Church (aka Ulrica Eleonora Church), 500 meters west of Stockholm's Central Station.  The above link brings one to https://www.svtplay.se/video/16240346/luciamorgon-fran-kungsholms-kyrka/luciamorgon-fran-kungsholms-kyrka?start=auto.  It will be available for viewing for the next month.

Frid och allt gott, Steven+
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