The Feast of St. Nicholas

This all-ages liturgy, suitable for parish or diocesan events, was the closing liturgy at the St. Nicholas Day Celebration of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. It is structured so children not-yet-reading are able to fully participate. The order was printed on ledger paper (11x17-inches) and the front and back covers were take-home coloring pages.

Opening Hymn

Please stand and join in singing the hymn
Let us lift our joyful voices Stuttgart

Opening Acclamation

Presider Let us with a joyful mind
Assembly praise the lord who is so kind.

The Collect for Purity

Presider Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord.
Assembly Amen.
Please join in singing our Advent song, below

Music score
—adapted from

The Readings

Please be seated.

The First Reading I John 4:7-14

Reader A Reading from the First Letter of John.

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to God's people.
Assembly Thanks be to God.

Please stand and join in singing the hymn below,

Music score
Words: Anonymous. Music: George F. Root (1820-1895). This hymn is in the public domain

The Holy Gospel Mark 10:13-16

Deacon The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.
Assembly Glory to you, Lord Christ.
Deacon People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.' And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

The Gospel of the Lord.
Assembly Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Homily

Please be seated.

The Prayers of the People

Please stand.
Presider St. Nicholas loved Jesus very much. Because he loved Jesus, St. Nicholas helped children, sailors, and anyone who was poor, hungry, or in danger. Like St. Nicholas, we show our love for Jesus by praying for people everywhere.
Intercessor 1 We ask you, God, to protect all people who do not have homes, or food, or the things they need to live well.


We say, "Please help everyone be warm, full, and safe."
Assembly Please help everyone be warm, full, and safe.
Intercessor 2 We ask you, God, to heal everyone who is sick and comfort people who are sad, worried or afraid.


We say, "Please help everyone be healthy and happy."
Assembly Please help everyone be healthy and happy.
Intercessor 1 We pray for all people or animals who have died, especially those whose name we say right now.


We say, "God is with them."
Assembly God is with them.
Intercessor 2 We pray for Michael, our Presiding Bishop, Whayne, our Bishop, our Priests, our Deacons, our parishes, and all God's people.


We say, "God, please help our Church show people your love."
Assembly God, please help our Church show people your love.
Intercessor 1 We pray for wars to end and for all people to have everything they need.


We say, "God, please grant everyone peace and prosperity."
Assembly God, please grant everyone peace and prosperity.
Intercessor 2 We pray for our homes and our local communities.


We say, "God, please help us love our families, friends and neighbors."
Assembly God, please help us love our families, friends and neighbors.
Presider Heavenly Father, Shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant Nicholas, who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock; and we pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life, we may by your grace grow into the stature of the fullness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Assembly Amen.

The Exchange of Peace

Presider The peace of the Lord be always with you.
Assembly And also with you.

The Holy Communion

Please stand and join in the hymn, Prepare the way, O Zion

Eucharistic Prayer B

Presider The Lord be with you.
Assembly And also with you.
Presider Lift up your hearts.
Assembly We lift them to the Lord.
Presider Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
Assembly It is right to give God thanks and praise.

The Presider continues, giving voice to this prayer which we are all praying in our hearts and minds.

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and every- where to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. For the wonderful grace and virtue declared in all your saints, who have been the chosen vessels of your grace, and the lights of the world in their generations.

Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:

Assembly, singing

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might._____
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

The Presider continues

We give thanks to you, 0 God, for the goodness and love which you have made known to us in creation; in the calling of Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the prophets; and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus, your Son. For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy to stand before you. In him, you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.

On the night before he died for us, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, "Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me."

After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, "Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me."

Therefore, according to his command, 0 Father,

Assembly We remember his death,
We proclaim his resurrection,
We await his coming in glory;

The Presider continues

And we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you, 0 Lord of all; presenting to you, from your creation, this bread and this wine.

We pray you, gracious God, to send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts that they may be the Sacrament of the Body of Christ and his Blood of the new Covenant. Unite us to your Son in his sacrifice, that we may be acceptable through him, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In the fullness of time, put all things in subjection under your Christ, and bring us to that heavenly country where, with Nicholas and all your saints, we may enter the everlasting heritage of your sons and daughters; through Jesus Christ our Lord, the firstborn of all creation, the head of the Church, and the author of our salvation.

By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever.

Assembly Amen!

The Lord's Prayer

Presider As our Savior Christ has taught us, we now pray,
Assembly Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

The Breaking of the Bread

Presider Alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;
Assembly Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.

The Invitation to Holy Communion

Presider The Gifts of God for the People of God.

Music score
Words: Thomas Ken (1637-1711). Music: Old 100th, melody from Pseaumes octante trois de David, 1551, alt. harm. after Louis Bourgeois (1510?-1561?). This hymn is in the public domain.

Ablutions Hymn

Saint of joy and saint of care

Music score
Words: J M Rosenthal. Music: Dix, melody by Conrad Kocher (1786-1872); arr. William Henry Monk (1823-1889); harm. The English Hymnal, 1906 This music is in the public domain.

The Postcommunion Prayer

Presider Let us pray.
Assembly God, we thank you for feeding us with this spiritual food and for your promise that we are children of God and saved by Jesus. Amen.

The Bishop pronounces a blessing.

Please join in singing our closing hymn, Come, we that love the Lord

The Dismissal

Deacon Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Assembly Thanks be to God.


From The Revd Dr Randall R. Warren, rector, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Kalamazoo, Michigan, for the Feast of St. Nicholas event, Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. Used by permission.

back to top