December 6

VigilOUR HOLY FATHER NICHOLAS, ARCHBISHOP OF MYRA IN LYCIA, THE WONDERWORKER. A native of Lycia, he became a monk at the New Sion monastery. When his parents died, he gave his entire inheritance to the poor. Ordained a priest in Patara, he was famous for his almsgiving. He was chosen as archbishop of Myra, and was a model shepherd in his care for the people of his flock. He was present at the First Ecumenical Council (Nicea, 325). Full of years, he entered into rest. (343)

At Vespers

music (samohlasen)

We sing “Blessed is the man.” There are eight stichera at "O Lord, I have cried."

Tone 2, special melody Jehda ot dreva. O holy * Nicholas, bishop of Christ, * you lived your life with the people of Myra. * But since your spirit was anointed, * your fragrance * of sanctity was known by all. * Now you anoint the faithful * who show their love for you. * O father, * deliver us from all distress and sorrow * as you pray to the Lord for us.

O holy * Nicholas, true servant of Christ, * you are truly a protector of your faithful flock, * and whenever you were asked for help, * you gladly * assisted those who sought your aid. * Now you are also ready by day or night * to deliver us from all distress and sorrow.

When you appeared * in a dream to Constantine the King, * you have him this warning: * Release at once from prison those you have unjustly confined, * for they * are innocent; * no murder did they commit as you claim. * O King, listen to me, or else I shall call upon the Lord.

O holy * Nicholas, holy preacher of Christ,  * always ready to help all on land or at sea.  * Whether they be near or far, you have compassion for all. * Thus you * are a precious helper;  * therefore, we who gather here * ask you to pray to the Lord  * that we be delivered from all distress and sorrow

Tone 2, special melody Kijmi pochval'nimy. What crowns of praise shall we confer * upon the saintly Nicholas? * Once present in the flesh in Myra, * he is present in spirit to all who love him purely. * He is the leader and defender of everyone, * a comforter in distress, * and a haven of all in danger; * a pillar of piety, * and conqueror for believers. * For his sake, Christ overcame enemies * and shows us great mercy. (twice)

With what songs of praise shall we extol * the most saintly Nicholas? * He is the foe of wickedness. * He is an outstanding leader, * a most powerful defender in distress, * and a great teacher of the Church. * He confounds all those who show dishonor. * He is the refutor of Arius * and his companions. * Because of him, Christ put down their ragings and showed great mercy.

With what hymns of prophecy * shall we extol the saintly Nicholas? * Living in the present * he saw far into the future. * He spoke truly about faraway things as though they were near. * He oversees the whole world * and delivers the afflicted. * He appeared in a dream to the God-wise king. * He delivered prisoners * who were unjustly accused of murder. * Today he grants us the mercy of Christ.

Glory – Tone 6.  We have gathered to celebrate and to praise with song * the model of bishops and a glory to the fathers, * a fountain of miracles and a great helper of believers.  * Let us sing to the saintly Nicholas: * Rejoice, O Protector of Myra * who was revered as its leader and strongest pillar. *  Rejoice, O radiant star whose light of miracles shines throughout the world. * Rejoice, O divine joy to those in sorrow. * Rejoice, O defender of those who are oppressed; * for even now, all-holy Nicholas, * you still pray to God for us who celebrate your feast with faith * and who honor you with zeal and joy.

Now and ever – in the same tone. O cave, prepare yourself to receive the Mother * who bears Christ within her womb.  * O Manger, receive the Word who destroyed the sins of all.  * O shepherds, keep watch and then bear witness to the awesome wonder. * O Magi, come from Persia, * and bring your gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the King. * For the Lord has appeared from a virgin Mother; ' yet she bowed to Him as a servant * and spoke to Him within her bosom, saying: * How were You conceived in me? * How did You grow in me, my God and Savior?

Entrance with censer, and prokeimenon of the day.  Then three readings:

A reading from Proverbs (Composite I).

A reading from Proverbs (Proverbs 10:31 – 11:12).

A reading from the Wisdom of Solomon (Wisdom 4:7-15).

Stichera at the litija:

Tone 2 Bolhar. O holy father Nicholas, * Christ has shown you to be the model of faith. * Your humility inspired all in your flock. * From Myra, your piety shines throughout the world. * You are known as the protector of widows and orphans. * Now we ask your unceasing prayer for the salvation of our souls.

O holy father Nicholas,  your relics poured out myrrh and protected Myra. * While you lived, you appeared in a dream to the king; * by this appearance you freed from lashes, prison, and death * those who were condemned unjustly; * now manifest yourself as then, imploring Christ to save our souls.

Even of the city of Myra * were silenced, O holy Nicholas, * hymns of praise would be sung to you * by the entire world * which has been enlightened by your brightness; * by the multitude of your magnificent miracles; * and by the condemned who were saved by you. * We also join the inhabitants of your city and cry to you: * Intercede for the salvation of our souls.

Tone 4 Bolhar. You anoint with the myrrh of the Holy Spirit, O Nicholas.  You send down flowers fresh with the fragrance of the divine goodness.  You became an imitator of the apostles of Christ.  Throughout the world, the sound of your miracles Is heard, O holy Father.  Despite the great distances,  you appeared in a dream, as very near,  to deliver from death those who had fallen under the unjust sentence,  and to save from many dangers those who seek your protection.  By your prayers, also deliver us from misfortunes,  for we sing your praises unceasingly.

Tone 8. The fruit of your good works, O holy Father,  has brought joy to the hearts of the faithful.  Who indeed has not heard of your wonderful works  and not admired your patience and humility,  the joy with which you fill the poor,  and the compassion that you show to the afflicted?  You have truly been an admirable example for all.  And now that your unfadlng crown has been placed on you, O holy Nicholas, pray for our souls.

O Nicholas, while on earth you lived for the glory of the Lord; now He has glorified you in the heavenly and true life.  Since you have obtained favor in his sight,  implore Him to save our souls.

Glory – Tone 6.  O good and faithful worker in the vineyard of Christ, * you endured the hardships of daily labors; * you did not complain of those who worked less than you. * You Increased the talent given you. * Therefore, the gates of heaven opened to you, * and now you share the joy of the Lord. * O holy Nicholas, pray for us,

Now and ever – in the same tone. O Zion, be happy; * rejoice, O Jerusalem,  * the city of Christ, our God;  * bid welcome the Creator who rests In a manger in a cave. * Open your gates, Jerusalem, and I will enter * so that I may see Him who holds all creation in his hand, * even though He lies in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes. * The angels ever praise this life-giving Lord * who is the only Savior of all.

The aposticha are for the feast:

Tone 5, special melody Radujsja. Rejoice, O priestly leader, spotless vessel of virtue,  * model of divine priesthood, great shepherd of your flock, * bearer of the torch of victory.  * You hear the prayers of those who call upon you;  * you grant the petitions of the poor; * you rescue all who praise your name. * Now we ask you to implore Christ * that he may shower abundant mercy on the world.

V. Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful.

Rejoice, O saintly Father, temple of the Trinity; * pillar of the Church, protector of the faithful, * helper of all in trouble.  * You are a star whose rays of prayer dispel the darkest trouble. * You are a quiet harbor for the storm-tossed, * for all those adrift in the sea of life. * Pray to Christ to save our souls with his great mercy.

V. Your priests will be clothed with righteousness and your saints will rejoice.

Rejoice, O zealous man of God. * You appeared in a dream, * and you saved from death * those unjustly sentenced.  You are a fountain in Myra, * overflowing with scented myrrh.  * You inspire us to keep from sin. * You are a sword that cuts the weeds of error; * you proved Arius to be a false teacher. * Pray to Christ to save our souls with his great mercy.

Glory – Tone 6.  O man of God, O faithful servant of the Lord, * you are a chosen vessel filled with desire for God. * You are a pillar and a foundation of the Church; * you are an heir of the kingdom. * O holy father Nicholas, pray to the Lord for us.

Now and ever – in the same tone. O Virgin without husband, from where do you come?  * Who gave you birth; who is your mother?  * How can you cradle the Creator in your arms? * How did you accomplish virgin-birth? * Most pure Lady, we see in you great wonders,  * awesome mysteries fulfilled on earth. ( We shall prepare a worthy cave for you.  * We shall ask the heavens for a star. * We shall ask the Magi to come from the east to the west * to behold your newborn Child in a manger,  * to behold the Savior of all.

Troparion, Tone 4.  Your life has shown you to your flock as a rule of faith, * an image of gentleness, and a teacher of moderation. * You acquired greatness through humility * and wealth through poverty. * O father and archbishop Nicholas, * intercede with Christ our God to save our souls. (twice)

Glory, now and ever – Theotokion, Tone 4. Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos! * Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you! * Blessed are you among women, * and blessed is the fruit of your womb. * For you gave birth to Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of our souls.

At the Divine Liturgy


Troparion, Tone 4.  Your life has shown you to your flock as a rule of faith, * an image of gentleness, and a teacher of moderation. * You acquired greatness through humility * and wealth through poverty. * O father and archbishop Nicholas, * intercede with Christ our God to save our souls.

Glory, now and ever – Kontakion, Tone 3.   You were renowned as priest in Myra, O holy Nicholas; * for you fulfilled the Gospel of Christ, O venerable father. * You risked your life for your people and saved the innocent from death. * Thereby you have been initiated into the mysteries of the grace of God.

Prokeimenon, Tone 7 (Ps. 63:11,2). The just man will rejoice in the Lord, * and will put his trust in him.
V. Hear my voice, O God, when I pray to you.

Epistle:  Hebrews 13:17-21

Alleluia, Tone 4 (Ps. 131:9; 111:1). Alleuia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
V. Your priests will be clothed with righteousness and your saints will rejoice. .
V. Happy the man who fears the Lord and greatly delights in his command.

Gospel: Luke 6:17-23

Communion Hymn (Ps. 111:6,7). The just man will be remembered forever; evil news he will not fear. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!