Archbishop of Myra in Lycia
Detail, Greek icon
St Nicholas Center Collection
Photo: Robert E. Potter III REP3
Myra, was your physical abode, * meaning fragrant oil, which you proved to be; for you were yourself * anointed with noetic chrism, O chief prelate of Christ. * O Saint Nicholas, you anoint * the faces of those who * ever keep your honored memory with faith and love. * Father, by your fervent entreaties * to the Lord, from all tribulations, * dangers and calamities you rescue them.
Truly in accordance with your name, * for the faithful people you shone as their mighty victory * in trials, O Saint Nicholas, truly a servant of Christ. * For wherever you are invoked, you reach them beforehand, * who take refuge under your protection longingly. * For at night and even in daytime, * you are seen by faith and you save them * from besetting trials and adversities.
You appeared to Constantine the King * in a dream, and so to Avlavios, and you frightened them. * Speaking sternly, you commanded them, "With haste release * from the dungeon the prisoners * whom you hold unjustly; * for of the unlawful slaughter they are innocent. * But if you refuse to obey me, * I will make petition against you * when unto the Lord I pray, O Emperor."
Great and ardent guardian are you * unto those surrounded by danger, * O great and glorious * holy father Nicholas, the sacred preacher of Christ, * unto those who are traveling by land or are sailing * far and near, O intercessor sympathetic and strong. * Therefore we assemble and cry out, * Intercede with God to redeem us * from every adversity besetting us.
What crowns are there of praise wherewith we * might crown worthily the holy Hierarch? * While in Myra located physically, * in advance he spiritually reaches all * those who long to be with him sincerely. * For all those who are afflicted he is consolation; * to all those who are in danger he provides refuge. * He is the tower of piety; the believers’ champion. * And through him the pride of the foes * was cast down by Christ himself, * the Lord who possesses the great mercy. (Twice)
What songs are there wherewith melodiously * we might sing the praises of the Hierarch? * Champion is he of correct belief * and the adversary of impiety; * and one of the Church's chief leaders; * the mighty and great defender and expositor, * the teacher who disconcerted all the heretics; * and the destroyer and ardent, * strong opponent of Arius. * For through him did Christ our God * demolish his arrogance, * since He is the One with great mercy.
What songs are there extolling prophesy * wherewith we might praise the holy Hierarch? * For he could foresee what lay far ahead * and would speak beforehand announcing it * clearly as if it were in the present. * Moreover he circulates the world continually * and rescues everyone suffering injustices. * Once from unjust execution * he delivered prisoners * by appearing during a dream * to the godly-minded king. * He has richly received the great mercy.
The refinement of hierarchs and the glory of the Fathers, the fountain of miracles and the greatest helper of the faithful, let us feast-lovers come together and extol with songful praises, and say to him: Rejoice, O guard and divine bishop and immovable pillar of the people of Myra. Rejoice, all-resplendent luminary, that lights up the end of the world with miracles. Rejoice, for those in trouble you are divine joy, and most fervent protector of the injured. And now, O all-blessed Nicholas, cease not interceding with Christ our God, on behalf of those who with faith and longing ever honor your joyous and all-festive memory.
Prepare yourself, O Grotto, for the Ewe is coming, carrying Christ in her womb. O Manger, receive Him who released us earthlings from irrational activity by His word. You shepherds watching by night, witness to the awesome wonder. And you Magi from Persia, offer gold and frankincense and myrrh to the King. For the Lord has appeared from a virgin Mother. And bending over Him, the Mother, as a servant, worshipped Him, and she addressed the Infant in her arms, "How were You sown in me, and how were You implanted in me, O my Redeemer and my God?"
Entrance, Gladsome Light, Readings etc.
At the Aposticha
Rejoice, O sacred head of the Church, * the pure abode of every virtue, O Nicholas, * divine standard of the most divine * holy priesthood, and great * Shepherd of the people, and the beacon-light * that shines very brightly. You are the namesake of victory. * And on the needy you take pity with sympathy. * And unto the prayers of the sick You incline an ear. * Ready deliverer of all, * and guardian saving them * who now religiously honor your ever-ven’rable memory. * To Christ pray intently, * O all-blessed one, to send down great mercy to our souls.
Verse: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His devout ones.
Rejoice, pure habitation wherein * the Holy Trinity made its dwelling, most sacred mind, * the Church’s unshaken pillar, and the believers’ support, * for you are the help of all who are oppressed. * O Star that at all times dispels the gloom of adversities * and of temptations by the radiance of your prayers * that are well received, holy Hierarch Nicholas, * calm haven wherein those who meet the turbulent storms of life * and are surrounded by tempests escape for refuge and hence are saved. * To Christ pray with fervor, * holy father, that great mercy be given to our souls.
Verse: Your priests, O Lord, shall put on righteousness, and Your devout ones shall exult.
Rejoice, with divine zeal being filled * you extricated from abduction by treachery, * through your awesome intervention * and your appearing in dreams, * those who had unjustly been condemned to die. * A well are you, Nicholas, * that abundantly gushes forth * myrrh oils in Myra, * and that thoroughly waters souls, * and that drives away all the stench that the passions bring. * Saber eradicating tares * of error and heresy; * Winnowing shovel that threshes the chaffy doctrines of Arius. * To Christ pray intently, * holy Father, that He send down great mercy to our souls.
O man of God and loyal servant and minister of the Lord, man of holy desires, chosen vessel, pillar and foundation of the Church of Christ, and inheritor of the Kingdom, be not silent in calling out to the Lord on our behalf.
O unwedded Virgin, where are you from? Who is your father, and who is your mother? How is it that you carry the Creator in your arms? How was your womb not impaired? Great and extraordinary and awesome mysteries we see taking place in you on earth, O All-holy Maiden, and we prepare a worthy task for you; from the earth, the Grotto; and heaven we request to grant the Star. Magi are coming westward from the land of the East, to see the Salvation of mortals, nursing as an infant.
The truth of your manner of life manifested you * to your flock as a rule of faith and an icon of gentleness and a teacher of self-control. * By humility, therefore, you acquired the things on high, * and riches through poverty. * Father holy hierarch Nicholas, * intercede with Christ our God, * entreating that our souls be saved.
O Theotokos, through you became manifest to us on earth the mystery, * which was hid from eternity, and which the Angels themselves knew not: * that God, uniting na-tures without confusion, becomes a man * and accepts crucifixion for our salvation voluntarily. * By virtue of this, resurrecting man * whom He had first created, He saved our souls from death.
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Greek Orthodox liturgy translated into Modern English by Fr. Seraphim Dedes, St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church, Charlotte, North Carolina. Used by permission.