Song of St. Nicholas

Greeting card designed by Joseph A. Roy
St Nicholas Center Collection
St. Nich'las was a man of faith
and truth in God whom we adore.
As bishop, he inspired his flock,
and did great things for Christ our Lord.
In secret, Nich'las helped the poor,
the children meek and all in need.
He gave to us examples for
our giving gifts as godly deeds.
St. Nich'las sang the Christmas song,
"The Manger Babe was born for you."
Sing praise to God, oh one and all;
join Nich'las' voice in all you do.

Text: T. L. Weitzel, 2001

Musical notation PDF


Musical notation PDF
or any other Long Meter (LM) tune of your choosing.

—from Ancient Greek "Apolytikion (Hymn) of St. Nicholas"
poetic version by T. L. Weitzel

Some time back, I was contacted by the talented Minister of Music at First Lutheran, Mansfield, Ohio (Timothy Guenther), and asked if I knew of any little song about St. Nicholas that might be used with the pastor's children's sermon. Unfortunately I didn't. But a quick little web search netted this at an Orthodox web site, St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker:

The Apolytikion (Hymn) of St. Nicholas
An example of the Faith and a life of humility, as a teacher of abstinence you did inspire and lead your flock, and through the truthfulness of your deeds were exalted by greatness, through your humility uplifting all and by poverty gaining wealth. Father and hierarch Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.

The text certainly carries the sound of antiquity, although there is no date given at the site. So do the original Greek and other translations at the same website, with one reference to the Sarum Rite Missal (11th c. English gathering of Church tradition at Salisbury). My guess is that this hymn predates the Sarum use by a long time.

At any rate, I set the hymn to poetry, taking a few liberties in relating to the legends and—given the suggested context of a children's sermon—pointing St. Nicholas and giving in the way of the manger. I commend it to your use, having both children and congregation sing at the end of the children's sermon—tune

Musical notation PDF

—Thomas L. Weitzel