…was yesterday, and this year’s altar was a little more elaborate than last year’s:
I always have the statue, incense, and at least one candle on her altar. Oh, and the flowers are usually dried, because I’m not made of money, come on. The extra offerings–extra candles (including a novena which will stay lit); fresh flowers; peppermint schnapps; Occhi di Santa Lucia cookies I made myself–will stay up for 9 days, from her feast day to the winter solstice. On each of those nights I will say 9 prayers (now you know why the St. Lucy chaplet I made has 9 beads), instead of my customary one.
The little jar between the candles is Eyes of St. Lucy oil, which can only be made during a novena for St. Lucy and is most powerful when the novena takes place during this period. There’s a few different recipes for this and they really only have 2 things in common, rue and olive oil–St. Lucy was Italian, after all. Mine is olive oil with rue, myrrh, angelica, star anise (2 intact ones, to represent eyes), and a rock of blessed Dead Sea salt. Like frankincense, I add that to a lot of my oils for extra oomph. You can dress candles with it, rub it on your hands before you pray, dab a little (a VERY little–it has salt in it) on your eyelids before going to bed for prophetic dreams. It will only be ready to use at the end of the novena.
The color of the candle holders all have special meaning; there are many colors associated with St. Lucy instead of the one or two that most saints have. Red because she was martyred; silver (or white) because she is a solstice saint; green for evergreen in winter; gold for light (the Latin for Lucy is Lux, which means light). The novena candle is actually white, as they pretty much all are, but I pulled it out and rolled it in green glitter before lighting it. Also why I chose green and white flowers.