SAINT LUCY (December 13th):
As we pray the Divine Office today, we will do so in St. Lucy’s presence. How? Observe how her life is woven through our office of prayer:
~ 1 Vespers ~
Ant. 1. “When holy Lucy made her prayer at the shrine of Saint Agatha, it seemed to her that the blessed Martyr herself came to her in person, as though to comfort a fellow-maiden of Christ.”
Ant. 2. “And she heard a voice which said, O Virgin Lucy, why seek of me what thou thyself canst presently give thy mother?”
Ant. 3. “Wherefore Lucy afterwards was able to give thanks, saying I bless thee, O Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, because through thy Son the fire hath no power over me.”
Ant. 4. “Said blessed Agatha to the virgin Lucy, by thee shall Christ ever glorify Syracuse.”
Ant. 5. “O Lucy my sister, virgin consecrated to God, why seek of me what thou thyself canst presently give to thy mother?”
“Brethren: He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord, for not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”
“V. In thy comeliness, yea in thy beauty. R. Go forth, ride prosperously, and reign.”
“In thy patience, thou, O Lucy, didst possess thy soul; thou hast hated the things of this world, O Bride of Christ, and so hast glory amongst the Angels; thou didst vanquish the adversary, O Martyr, with thine own blood.”
“Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation: that like as we do rejoice in the festival of blessed Lucy thy holy Virgin; so we may learn to follow her in all godly and devout affections.”
As we progress through the Psalms the antiphons have the effect of bringing us into the presence of this great saint and martyr. In a way we are praying the Psalms with her while she continues in her prayerful devotion to her Lord. Better yet – we are drawn via the propers to participate in her devotion to Jesus Christ.
The antiphons (and Chapter) will be repeated at lauds (and normally second vespers as well), and once more the antiphons (except the fourth) accompany us throughout the day at Prime, Terce, Sext and None. The Anglican Breviary welds, mingles, unites our life to that of St. Lucy so that from her we learn to be devoted to Jesus as is she.
How absolutely beautiful to have this day with St. Lucy. Her feast is associated with the duration of night and day in winter. It is around her feast day that the nights are longest and the days shortest. This is good news! It means the time is at hand that the days will grow longer and the night will ebb away – making room for the light of day!
Sharing St. Lucy’s devotion to Jesus will surely be of great help as we await his Nativity!