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Celebrations of Saint Nicholas & Christmas Yolka

A traditional Christmas "Yolka" complete with a children's Nativity play, sing-a-long, and visit by beloved Saint Nicholas was celebrated at Saint Basil Church in Watervliet NY on Sunday, 14 December.  The previous Sunday, Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY celebrated "Saint Nicholas Day" with a children's sermon on the life of the saint, gold coins filled with chocolate placed in the shoes of little ones left near the saint's icon following the Liturgy, a breakfast fellowship, and the decorating of the parish Christmas tree. Similar celebrations took place in various locations around the diocese.

Watervliet NY
Saint Basil Orthodox Church

Sunday, December 14th was an especially joyful day at Saint Basil's Church in Watervliet NY.  Following the Divine Liturgy parishioners, their families, and friends gathered with Father Peter Olsen (parish rector) to celebrate the annual Yolka.  "We are grateful to all who worked together," said Marie Giokas, "to make it such an enjoyable time for everyone!"  After a delicious meal, the children of the parish performed a play, “The Friendly Beasts,”  playing the roles of Mary and Joseph, as well as shepherds, angels and wise men -- acting out the Nativity account as recorded in the Gospels of Saint Matthew and Saint Luke. Then, each of the “friendly beasts” sang of the gifts they offered to Jesus that morning in Bethlehem.  Little voices sang the familiar song “Oh, Who Loves Nicholas the Saintly?” and were joined in song by everyone who  welcomed the long-awaited visit by Saint Nicholas.

Christmas Yolka - 12/14/14

(19 images)


Rochester NY
Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church

watch the brief video above

and listen to a beautiful rendition of

"Oh, Who Loves Nicholas the Saintly?"

O who loves Nicholas the saintly?
O who serves 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!

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