St. Elia the Prophet Orthodox Church

Akron, Ohio, USA

St. Nicholas Visit

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Parishioners of all ages leave a shoe in the parish hall before Divine Liturgy. After the Liturgy, St. Nicholas enters the church as everyone sings,”O, Who loves Nicholas the Saintly.” Each year, St. Nicholas gives this message: “My dear friends in Christ. Thank you for welcoming me this morning. We are in the holy Season of Advent. It is a time of waiting and watching for the coming of Jesus Birth on Christmas. I see you have an Advent Wreath. The Advent Wreath reminds us of our yearning for God. Its circular shape tells us of God’s everlasting love and faithfulness. Its evergreen branches tells us of eternal life and God’s desire for us to live with Him forever. The six candles remind us of these six weeks that we are preparing and waiting for Jesus’ birth. This is a special time of grace for anew coming of Jesus into our lives. As we light the fifth candle on the Advent Wreath, may its flame bid us to be always ready for the Coming of Lord Jesus.” Sweet treats surprise everyone when they go to retrieve their shoes.