A Visit from St. Nicholas
The rite can follow the Blessing of the Crib, Matins, Evensong, or the Eucharist. It could be used in place of a sermon, or at a carol service. A crib or some symbol of the Nativity should be visible.
The people are in their places as St Nicholas knocks on the door of the church/hall/room with his crozier:
St Nicholas: Peace be with you
RESPONSE: And also with you
St Nicholas: Happy St Nicholastide
St Nicholas enters with his helpers, in costume.
A READER tells a bit about St Nicholas emphasising he is the real Santa Claus and Father Christmas and then a prayer:
O Saint of love,
be a guide for us
in our lives, we pray,
that we may
create joy for each other,
as you have done for so many. Amen.
(St Nikola Donau)
CHILDREN now bring toys for the needy to the front for the blessing of the toys by St Nicholas and the local clergy.
Blessing of the Toys
may we remember with thankful hearts
the love that comes with each present we open
and each gift we give to others.
We also thank you for the amazing love you have for each of us,
and we thank you for the many gifts that you give us.
May these gifts be blessed
in the name of the Father, and the Son and of the Holy Spirit Amen.
A Word from St. Nicholas
Children are invited to join St. Nicholas
The Entrance of the Young Girl
As St Nicholas speaks of someone far more important than he, a young girl with a blue scarf or pashmina walks slowly down the aisle and joins St Nicholas and the children; St Nicholas bows to her as symbolic of the Virgin Mary.
St Nicholas then proceeds close to the Crib and kneels
As all sing Silent Night or Away in a Manger
St. Nicholas gives a blessing
In the Spirit of Nicholas, beloved Bishop and Saint:
I bid you now go forth in peace,
remember the poor,
be kindly affectionate one to the other;
these three things I pray be granted unto us this day,
and always, and in all ways. Amen.
Everyone receives a prayer card and sweets as they leave
By the Revd James Rosenthal, St Nicholas Society, December 2010 at St. Dunstan-in-the-West, London. Used by permission.