A Tale of Saint Nicholas — The Very First Council
A short rhyming skit with narrator supported by a few other speaking parts. Props include a jail and a Nicene Creed poster.
Four or more additional bishops
Mary, the Theotokos
'Twas the very first council, in a small eastern town,
No one suspected what was soon to go down.
As history recalls, year 325 it was.
A certain priest's words had the church all a buzz.
A summons went out from the Emperor with care,
In hopes that all the bishops soon would be there.
We'll meet in Nicaea!
Trouble's a brewin', and y'all need to vote!
[Didn't know Constantine was from the south, did ya?]
Arius is preaching a horrible lie!
You should be concerned, you cannot just sit by!
The bishops start walking in slowly and about 6-8 feet apart.
Narrator: When the clergy arrived and met face to face,
You never saw so many beards in one place! Bishops greet each other - high fives, or bows to each other, or hug each other (dont sit down yet)
Narrator: They all wore cassocks down to their feet,
It actually looked more like a women's retreat!
And the hats they wore,
Bishops point to each other's hats
I just have to mention,
It could easily pass for a "Stovepipe Convention!"
Constantine greeted each bishop that came.
Constantine looks at the bishops and shrugs his shoulders
Names were a loss — they all looked the same!
But there were a few he knew on this date!
Basil was one — he looked good — NO! I mean GREAT!
And then there was one unlike any you'll find,
Nicholas gives a bow
Nicholas of Myra, so giving and kind.
As Constantine looked and stood there in awe,
All the bishops look at Constantine
Constantine: "May the peace of our Lord be on you all."
Bishops all sit — Nicholas and Arius will be on the ends
So the council began, and Arius went first.
Arius stands up and clears his throat
From the look on his face, I thought he would burst!
"God CREATED Jesus!"
All the bishops gasp LOUDLY!
Well, that was certainly different than the usual praying!
And Nicholas thought, "He better watch what he's saying!"
NOT of one essence, Jesus and God
Jesus was CREATED! If you agree, just nod!"
The bishops all shake their heads
Arius was certainly being obtuse!
And he even sounded much like a young Dr. Seuss.
The bishops tried to ignore his heretical stuff,
Bishops turn their heads and wave him off
Now Nicholas was FUMING! — he'd heard quite ENOUGH!
Then inside the room their arose such a clatter,
Nicholas knocks over his chair as he stands
The bishops all wondered what on earth was the matter.
They all look confused
Nicholas had sprung from his seat with such haste,
He crossed the room quickly
Nicholas walks towards Arius slowly — Arius' eyes get big!
and slapped Arius in the face!
Arius falls back knocking his chair down and even falling on the floor
The bishops were stunned in the seats where they sat,
And Basil said loudly
"Why didn't I think of that?"
Such a behavior the emperor could not abide,
Constantine says firmly
He must be PUNISHED!
and looks at all the bishops —
YOU all decide!
It goes without saying, the fathers were shocked,
All the bishops huddle then say together
Narrator: they said —
must be DEFROCKED!
They stripped him of his vestments,
two bishops take off his hat and omophorion
and put him under guard.
Nicholas was heard saying,
Maybe I shouldn't have hit him so hard.
Nicholas prayed for forgiveness,
Nicholas starts crossing himself
and there's one thing he knew,
The Father and Son — equal in essence — was absolutely true.
Then something happened that sounds just insane!
Several bishops had visions and they all were the same!
I had a vision . .
I saw the Theotokos and Christ our Lord in the jail with Nicholas!
And they were in one accord!
They all say they saw the same thing.
As they say that Jesus and the Theotokos walk across the front to the jail
Back at the jail, Jesus appeared with his mother,
Mary said to Nicholas, "STOP HITTING YOUR BROTHER!"
Mary just looks at narrator and shakes her head as if to say "I didn't say that"
OK, Mary didn't say that, BUT . . . she and Jesus inquired,
"Why are you IN here? You look rather tired."
Jesus and Mary look very compassionate at Nicholas as Nicholas shakes his head
I'm in here because of my love for you,
I repent of my sin.
And Nicholas bowed his head.
Jesus gave him the Gospel that he depended ON
Jesus puts his hand on Nicholas' shoulder and gives him the gospel
And the Theotokos gave him an OmophoriON!
Mary puts Nicholas' omophorion on him
[How's THAT for rhyming? HA!]
Constantine looks at the bishops
When the emperor found out he just had to implore,
Nicholas should be free and be a bishop once more.
The bishops decided right there and then,
Nicholas was free and became a bishop again.
He was fully reinstated as the Bishop of Myra,
And all the bishops said, "We admire ya!"
Nicholas had stood against Arius and his lies —
just that simple.
Just like Christ stood against the money changers in the temple.
So-o-o-o-o-o . . .
This is a tale of our dear St Nick,
His help from our Lord was NOT a trick!
He stood for truth and the bishops agreed,
So much so that they gave us a creed.
Two bishops hold up a poster with Nicene Creed on it
Now our Saint Nicholas never flew thru the night
Shouting "Merry Christmas and to all and to all a good night!"
I feel sure there's ONE thing St. Nicholas would say wherever,
Glory to Jesus Christ!"
And all the bishops and people say together,
By Tommy Evans, St Athanasius Orthodox Church, Nicholasville, Kentucky. Used by permission.