A St. Nicholas Day Show: Good Morning, Name of Parish
Distributed by the Department of Religious Education of the Orthodox Church in America, modified by Phyllis Meshel Onest, M.Div
St. Nicholas, woodcarving by Hubert & Margaret Maringgele, Canada, 2001
St Nicholas Center Collection
Characters needed: (Feel free to combine roles and groups of children.)
Reporter - Greeter
Children to greet St. Nicholas
Children to make requests of St. Nicholas
Host #1: He's been called a friend of the poor, a man of patience, one who has lived the Gospel of Christ. He will be with us today, here on our show, "GOOD MORNING Name of Parish!" We welcome you to a special program, honoring the saintly man, Archbishop Nicholas. My name is Name of Host #1 and with me is my co-host Name of Host #2.
Host #2: Thank you Name of Host #1. December 6/19, St. Nicholas Day. The day millions throughout the world and throughout the centuries venerate St. Nicholas. Today as we consider this saint, we will be reminded of all we know about him and confirm why people should be like him. We will find out why his life has had such an impact on the world. In this program we will visit places in the world as the people in the world celebrate this day. And then St. Nicholas himself will be our guest.
Host #1: How much we've been looking forward to this. I'd like to introduce our two guests this morning: first, Name of Author author of the book "Nicholas, Patron of Sailors and Children." Welcome to "GOOD MORNING Name of Parish!" Author's name.
Author: Thank you. I'm excited to be part of your feature on St. Nicholas. His life is one that inspires us all.
Host #1: That must be why you chose to write your book.
Author: Of course. A life like his that seems so simple and yet is never fully told is challenging to me as an author and an Orthodox Christian today.
Host #2: Our second guest is Nicholas Wislocki, renowned expert on St. Nicholas. Welcome Nicholas!
Nick: Good morning and thank you for inviting me.
Host #2: How is it that you, a student yet in high school, have become a worldwide authority on St. Nicholas? Is it because you bear his name?
Nick: Early in my life I learned from my parents and in church that children are never named haphazardly at birth in the Orthodox Church. Parents pick saints' names for sons and daughters so that as the child grows, they have a personal role model for their life. The moment I knew that, I was taken with a curiosity about this Nicholas. I decided that I must find out who is this Nicholas for whom I am named? What kind of a person is he? Do I want to accept him as my role model or would that be impossible? So I searched for all the information I could find and no matter how much I learned, I needed to learn more. It was fun to learn and I was soon invited to speak to groups about St. Nicholas, and from there things continued to progress. Now I go anywhere I'm asked to tell people about this wonderful person and my patron.
Host #1: What's your conclusion? Is he a role model that you can accept? Or do you feel a saint is different than we are?
Nick: That's the surprising thing! St. Nicholas is one of our saints who teach that the call for all of us to become saints is not unreasonable. He became a saint by always doing what we all can do: being kind, loving, patient and practicing good deeds. All of us can practice those virtues on a daily basis. We don't need to be geniuses or great writers; we just need to be active in good things.
Host #1: And you, Name of Author, as you wrote your book, what struck you the most about St. Nicholas?
Author: The fact that he fulfilled the meaning of his name. "NICHOLAS" is a Greek name meaning "Conqueror of the People." And he conquered people exactly the way Jesus Christ, did by loving them, by helping them, by teaching them, by serving them.
Host #2: You have placed your attention on him as patron of sailors and children. I guess we know best how he gave presents to people. Is this the quality you write about?
Author: Giving presents is important, when you learn from St. Nicholas. But "things" weren't the only things he gave. For example, once while on a ship in a storm, the gift he gave the frightened sailors was 'a prayer to God for help.' This brought them both calm seas and calm hearts. As far as children, there are many times that 'the gift' he gave was protection from cruelty. Many pictures show him with a tub of three small children at his side. This is because he once brought three children who had died in a tub back to life! An evil innkeeper had put them there. It must be wonderful to be a friend of a person like him.
Host #1: It's time to go live via satellite to our reporter Name of Reporter #1 for his report from Kiev. Name of Reporter #1 what's happening in Kiev today on St. Nicholas Day?
Reporter #1: Well Name of Host #1 I'm here in the beautiful Cathedral of St. Sophia in front of an icon of St. Nicholas. Because St. Nicholas is so beloved by the Orthodox people it is common to find his icon on the iconostas in many churches. In the icons of St. Nicholas you see him robed as bishop, wearing his omophorion. But it's his face that shows him sometimes as the kind and loving father, ready at any moment to come to the rescue of those who call to him, and sometimes, as the stern denouncer of injustice, for which we must also remember him. Let's listen now as the readers and singers of this cathedral practice the tropar and verses to be sung in the holy services today:
Reading and singing to be done by church school children positioned off the stage and to the side—or wherever fits your set-up
Host #1: Wasn't that beautiful. The writers of the verses used so many more and vivid descriptions of St. Nicholas.
Host #2:Nowhere in the world is the celebration of this day more joyful than in St. Nicholas' native land. Let's join (Name of Patara Reporter) in the town of Nicholas' birth, Patara in Lycia, on the southern shores of Asia Minor. Name of Patara Reporter, there seems to be a lot of activity in the town.
Patara Reporter: Oh, yes. The whole town is ready and waiting for the moment of the great procession in honor of St. Nicholas. Children of the town have made banners. On them they have put icons of St. Nicholas and his virtues that they learned about in their classes. Let's talk with their teacher.
Reporter pretends to interview the teacher. Children sing "O Who Loves . . ." as they go back to meet and accompany St. Nicholas.
Reporter Greeter: Here we are live at Name of Parish in Name of City, the site of the year pastoral visit of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra and Lycia. In front of me is a group of church school students who will greet the bishop and bring him into the church. Because the bishop is the leader of the faithful, his visits are always highlights in the yearly calendar. This parish is particularly joyful to receive this bishop and will have an opportunity to ask him for special prayer s and requests. Here he is!
Bishop arrives as children and audience sing "O Who Loves. . . ."
The children make a presentation (of bread and salt, flowers, etc.) to him and then proceed to the front where St. Nicholas joins the hosts of the program.
Host #2: Your Grace, welcome to Name of the city and to our show. We are grateful that you accepted to be with us, and to listen to the petitions of our young people. We have learned from you that it is good to give what others need for the salvation of their souls, to pray to God that he will show us how to know what is needed, and to give just that. Please listen to those who ask on behalf of others:
Have a few students make requests of the bishop.
Host #1: Bishop Nicholas, again our deep gratitude for your visit. If you were to give us one short message about the joy that you have found, what would it be?
Bishop Nicholas: In choosing, always choose God, and in living, live not for oneself but for others. Do all with prayer, fasting and good works. Then joy and love will come.
Wrap-Up Reporter: And so it is, December 6/18, Year St. Nicholas Day. And the world remembers and venerates this man. A man who could have lived in richness of things, but chose to share them with others. A man who could have stayed silent in the face of injustice, but chose to speak out. A man who could have been passive in a society that was not kind to Christians, but chose to be active. In conclusion we hear the congregation of Name of the Church sing the tropar that best explains why this man is so beloved by Christians.
All sing the Troparion of St. Nicholas
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Distributed by the Department of Religious Education of the Orthodox Church in America, October 1989, modified by Phyllis Meshel Onest, M.Div. (8/99) Used by permission.