St. Nicholas

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A St. Nicholas Play: A Chancel Drama

From St Nicolas Church, Stanningfield Pariish, Suffolk, United Kingdom

Anri St Nicholas woodcarving
Groden St. Nicholas, woodcarving by Anri Woodcrvings, South Tyrol, Italy
St Nicholas Center Collection

Narrator: Today is St Nicolas' Day; this is one of 400 English churches dedicated to St Nicolas. Worldwide there are more churches with St Nicolas as their Patron than any other saint. December 6th is an important day for all children—St Nicolas or Santa Claus is the patron saint of children and today many young people in Russia, France and Holland are given presents. In fact St Nicolas lived a very long time ago in Turkey. He was a holy man chosen to be Bishop by the Christians of Myra. The stories told of him make up for the little we actually know of his life—they often use the number three:

THE THREE POOR SISTERS

Narrator: Look on the left side—there is the house of a poor man, he is sad because his wife has died and he is not very well. This poor man has no money to buy food so his three daughters have to earn what they can by working in the fields. Here they come now, they are tired and hungry.

(Girls walk from tower to centre font)

Girl 1: If only we could each marry a rich husband, we could help father.

Girl 2: There's no way we can earn enough money to marry at all!

Girl 3: I'm so tired—we can't work any harder. It's getting late.

Girl 1: We must go home now.

Narrator: The three sisters went home to bed. They were sad because, unless they each had a dowry—money to be given with them to their husbands—they could never marry. They each prayed for help. For three nights, at midnight, St Nicolas came to their rescue. Watch now as he throws a bag of gold into the open window.

Narrator: The First night (we all count to 12)

(St Nicolas comes with bag #I from chancel, as the clock strikes 12.
He throws it into the open window—then goes back to chancel.)

Narrator: The Second night (we all count to 12)

(St Nicolas comes with bag #II from chancel, as the clock strikes 12.
He throws it into the open window—then goes back to chancel.)

Narrator: The Third night (we all count to 12)

(St Nicolas comes with bag #III from chancel, as the clock strikes 12.
He throws it into the open window—then goes back to chancel.)

Narrator: These three bags of gold became the sign of St Nicolas.

(St Nicolas stands on chancel step, the three sisters on the pulpit steps, holding up their bags of gold)

Narrator: The three sisters were able to marry and lived happily ever after. The sign of St Nicolas became the three golden balls of the pawnbroker's sign!


Reproduced with permission from Anglican World: Saint Nicholas, A Saint for Today, 1999.

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