We celebrated in a chapel on the BC campus, "converted" to accommodate the liturgy. Even though there were so many rites present, since we all celebrate the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and the various parts are all the same. Sure, the translation into English is sometimes different, but you still can't really get lost. It was wonderful to be in that familiar place, liturgically speaking. All the incense, the singing, the candles and icons and rich vestments. Those friends of mine who are fortunate enough to attend Liturgy every Sunday are blessed indeed! T and I can't wait to move back to the west coast--back to our Byzantine homes :)
I know Roman Catholics celebrate St. Nicholas day, too, but it's such a big deal for Byzantines--him being the patron of our church. Kris Kringle came this morning and left us a book about St. Nicholas. While I take issue with one or two words in the text (i.e. "Nicholas supposedly defended the faith with a magnificent confession.") the illustrations are beautiful and very Byzantine. It was nice to see the traditional representation of the Saint with his bishop's stole. Of course, the book explains how today's Santa Clause arose from the story of Nicholas, and so we come full circle. But it's still nice to hear about the beginning, as it were.
Happy Feast, everyone!
St. Nicholas, pray for us!
PRAYER TO ST. NICHOLAS OF MYRA O Saint Nicholas, bountiful Father and special Patron of our Byzantine Catholic Church. You are a shepherd and teacher to all who invoke your protection, and who, by devout prayer, call upon you for aid. Hasten and save the flock of Christ from ravenous wolves; and by your holy prayers protect all Christians and save them from worldly disturbances, earthquakes, attacks from abroad, from internal strife, from famine, flood, fire, sword, and sudden death. As you had mercy on those three men in prison and saved them from the king's wrath, now also have mercy on me who by word, deed, and thought have sunk into the darkness of sin, Save me from the just anger of God, and from eternal punishment. Through your intercession and aid as well as through his own mercy and grace, may Christ our God allow me to lead a tranquil and sinless life, and save me from standing at "his left," but deem me worthy to stand at "his right" with all the saints. Amen.