Festival of St. Nicholas

from St Paul Lutheran Church, LCMS, Phoenix, Arizona

St. Paul Lutheran Church celebrates St. Nicholas Day at a weekday Advent service and at the church's preschool and kindergarten chapel. The children make St. Nicholas Christmas ornaments. After they leave for chapel, one of the ornaments, an orange, and a chocolate coin are put on "shoes" that the children made. One of the students dresses up as St. Nicholas at both the Advent service and the school chapel.

Boy Bishop, St. John's Anglican Church, East Malvern, AustraliaUsed by permission


Opening Hymn

Let the earth now praise the Lord

Call to Worship


Confession and Absolution

(Zechariah 3; 1 John 1:9,10, 2:1; Daniel 3:7-11, 2 Corinthians 5:17-20, Revelation 7:16,17,10,12)
Narrator: Joshua stood before the angel of the Lord and Satan was there to accuse him.
Pastor: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
People: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Pastor: But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense-Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
People: He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and not only for our sins but also for the sins of the whole world.
Narrator: Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel.
Pastor: We confess our sins that we have committed against our God, our selves, and our neighbors.
People: Lord, you are righteous but we are covered with shame because of our unfaithfulness to you. O Lord, we are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. The Lord is merciful and forgiving even though we have rebelled against him. We have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us. We have transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.
Pastor: O God, hear the prayers and petitions of your people.
People: We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, listen. O Lord, forgive.
Narrator: Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin and I will put rich garments on you… and put a clean turban on his head."
Pastor: God has promised "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come. All this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation." As a called and ordained servant of the Lord, I encourage you with Jesus' words, "Peace be with you. Your sins are forgiven." In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
People: Amen! God has reconciled the world to himself in Christ, not counting our sins against us. He has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation. Therefore we are God's ambassadors.
Narrator: This is what the Lord Almighty says: "If you walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house. I will give you a place among the saints.
Pastor: God in his grace has taken away our sins and given us the white robes of righteousness washed in the blood of the Lord. This is what God has promised.
Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
People: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!"
Narrator: Listen to the promise that the Lord spoke through Zechariah. I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! I will engrave an inscription on it,' says the LORD Almighty, 'and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.

Hymn of Praise

A Follower of Jesus


Old Testament Lesson: Jeremiah 31:10-17
Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 9:1-15
Gospel Lesson: Matthew 20:20-28

Hymn of the Day

Hymn to Saint Nicholas



Nicholas—defender of the faith and martyr*


Pastor: Let us affirm our common faith. Do you believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being and life, the one for whom we exist?
People: I believe and trust in him.
Pastor: Do you believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again?
People: I believe and trust in him.
Pastor: Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God and makes Christ known in the world?
People: I believe and trust in him.
Pastor: This is the faith of the Church.
People: This is our faith. We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.


Lord's Prayer


Closing Hymn

Lift up your heads

* Readings from Nicholas of Myra: A Saint for Advent and Christmas, by Amy Welborn, Creative Communications for the Parish. We enclose one of these booklets with each order from our shop.

From Pastor Steven Massey, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Phoenix, Arizona. Used by permission.

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