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A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy's Day

Happy St. Lucy's Day. The Latin name Lucia shares a root (luc-) with the Latin word for light, lux. A number of traditions the incorporate symbolic meaning of St. Lucy as the bearer of light in the darkness of winter, her feast day being 13 December. Because some versions of her story relate that her eyes were removed, either by herself or by her persecutors, she is the patron saint of the blind. She is also the patron saint of glaziers and stained glass workers. 

Her feast once coincided with the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year before calendar reforms, so her feast day has become a festival of light. This is particularly seen in Scandinavian countries, with their long dark winters. There, a young girl dresses in a white dress and wears a crown or wreath of candles on her head. It is said that to vividly celebrate St. Lucy's Day will help one live the long winter days with enough light. Enjoy St. Lucy's Day with John Donne's A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy's Day, read by Accredited Lecturer Karin Fernald.


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How lovely, thank you!

Carol Caiger Fri, 17/12/2021 - 13:35 Permalink

Always something new to learn; unfamiliar with John Donne's poem but listening to this lovely reading has prompted me to find it, print it and listen again with accompanying words. Thank you

Margaret Wed, 15/12/2021 - 16:17 Permalink

Thank you .I was reminded of attending the St Lucia service at the Swedish church in Liverpool, as a student.

Beatrice Mon, 13/12/2021 - 20:13 Permalink

Beautiful. Karen has the perfect voice for this reading

liz simpson Mon, 13/12/2021 - 17:45 Permalink

What a lovely picture and a very atmospheric reading

sylvia mccann Mon, 13/12/2021 - 17:33 Permalink

Thank you - again There's magic on a dark winter's day...

Niki Mon, 13/12/2021 - 16:01 Permalink

Another great start to the day....

Linda Quinlan Mon, 13/12/2021 - 12:58 Permalink

Thank you for Tony. Atmospheric indeed and equally fitting for St Lucy's Day!

johnmac Mon, 13/12/2021 - 12:43 Permalink

Another atmospheric take on St Lucy's Day, from the beginning of 'Little Gidding', one of T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets:

Midwinter spring is its own season
Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown,
Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.
When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,
The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,
In windless cold that is the heart's heat,
Reflecting in a watery mirror
A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.

Tony Seward Mon, 13/12/2021 - 12:24 Permalink

Very nice, thank you

Elena Mon, 13/12/2021 - 12:17 Permalink