Where was Nicholas?

by Linda Funk

Script for a simple vignette that may be performed by children, especially for a St. Nicholas event.

Ship on sea
St. Nicholas, Protector of the Sea
17th century icon print,
from Uncut Mountain Supply
St. Nicholas Center Collection


With lines to memorize
Bishop 1
Bishop 2
Sailor 1
Sailor 2
Sailor 3
Sailor 4
Bishop Nicholas 1
Bishop Nicholas 2

Mime only, no speaking parts
Crowd of Bishops
Other Sailors


Bishops: variety of clothing as available: miter/crown and/or staff and/or vestments, etc.
Sailors: variety of clothing as available: caps and/or raincoats and/or rubber boots, etc.
Chairs to create a 'ship'

On one side of stage, CROWD OF BISHOPS, with BISHOP NICHOLAS 1, sits around table lip-syncing as if in conversation, sometimes pounding their fist on table. No words.

On the other side of stage, SAILORS 1-4 stand in ship. Other SAILORS sit in ship. No movement.

Narrator: We read in a certain chronicle that in 325 AD the blessed Bishop Nicholas was at the Council of Nicea, about 500 kilometres north of Myra and Patara. Many bishops had gathered to decide on the great question threatening to split the early church. There were many long speeches over many long days and some say that at one point Bp. Nicholas dozed off.

BISHOP NICHOLAS 1 lays his head on the table. CROWD OF BISHOPS freezes. As he slept, he heard voices desperately calling his name.

OTHER SAILORS rock from side to side in their seats, as in a storm.
EACH SAILOR cups his hands to his mouth and shouts in all directions:

Sailor 1: Nicholas! Bishop Nicholas! Can you hear me over this thunder and shrieking wind?

Sailor 2: If the stories we've heard of you are true, come and save us from these monstrous waves! By the mercy of God!

Sailor 3: Servant of God, without God's help and yours, we will surely die in this terrible storm.

Sailor 4: And die SOON!

Enter BISHOP NICHOLAS 2 to stand in the middle of them. He raises his hands over the water and stands perfectly still for a moment.

Sailor 1, rubbing his eyes: Wh-wh-who are you?

Bishop Nicholas 2: You don't believe your eyes?
Pause. You called me.

Sailor 2: Where did you come from? How did you get here?

Bishop Nicholas 2: I came from far away. I heard you call and saw you were in danger. It's a gift from God.

Sailor 4: I was so scared!

Sailor 3: Me, too! I was sure we were going to drown.

Bishop Nicholas 2, smiling & shaking his head: Oh, you salty sailors!
Pause. You could be just as courageous as I am in times of trouble if you only learned to practice prayer.
Making the sign of the cross over them: Go your way in peace and give God thanks for your lives.

Sailor 1: Wherever we go, we'll tell everyone about you.

Bishop Nicholas 2, smiling: Wherever you go, say your prayers, remember God and go to church. That's how you'll help people the most.


BISHOP NICHOLAS 1 raises his head from the table, yawning and rubbing his eyes.

Bishop 1: So much has happened while you slept, Nicholas. We have missed you, our brother.

Bishop Nicholas 1: Yes, indeed. A ship has been saved and many sailors rescued.

Bishop 2: Hear the wise Bishop Nicholas! What a beautiful way to describe what has just happened in this Council. The church is like a ship and the Council's decision today has saved the church and its people.

Entire Cast stands to sing:

O Who Loves Nicholas the Saintly?
O who loves Nicholas the saintly?
O who loves Nicholas the saintly?
Him will Nicholas receive,
And give help in time of need:
Holy Father Nicholas!

He who dwells in God's holy mansions,
Is our help on the land and oceans,
He will guard us from all ills,
Keep us pure and free from sins:
Holy Father Nicholas!

Holy Saint, hearken to our prayer,
Let not life drive us to despair,
All our efforts shall not wane,
Singing praises to your name:
Holy Father Nicholas!

The Mariners Saved from the Tempest, from The Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine
Where was Nicholas?
The Sailors' Friend

By Linda Funk, St. Vincent of Lerins Orthodox Church, Saskatoon, Canada. Used by permission.

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