Hymns for the feast of St Nicholas of Myra (6 December)

This is a selection of hymns for the feast of Saint Nicholas of Myra, which is celebrated in the Western church on 6 December each year.

The hymn suggestions below are either directly about Nicholas, or based on the themes from his life and ministry.

About St Nicholas

Nicholas is patron saint of sailors, children, bakers and pawnbrokers. He is the inspiration for the American Santa Claus and the the British Father Christmas - even though the traditions of giving presents have moved from Nicholas' feast day to Christmas Day in these cultures. And his feast day is still still the traditional gift-giving day in Eastern European / Orthodox cultures.

He was born at Patara in Lycia in the fourth century. After he was chosen as bishop of Myra, he became famous for his holiness and miracles. Some writers say he was at the Council of Nicaea and condemned someone for heresy there. There are legends about him and t it's not at all clear which are true. However he is very popular as a saint, and the legends have provided material for many contemporary songs about him.


First: Isaiah 6:1-8 - Seraphs ... called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ ...[The propehet] said ‘Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’ Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal .... touched my mouth with it and said: ‘....your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.’ Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’

Psalm 40:8a,9a  ... Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Gospel: Luke 10:1-9  .... ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!”

Suggested free-use hymns

By all your Saints Still Striving
With verse 2:
With joy your Church remembers
Saint Nicholas, the blest,
Who gave up earthly treasures
And Jesus' name confessed.
The poor and weak he welcomed,
The heretic he scorned;
Through faith and life and preaching,
Christ’s Gospel he adorned.

Far-shining Names from Age to Age

Holy Bishop Nicholas (a round)

Hymne de Saint Nicolas (Eia, festum innovatur)

Raise your Voice in Songs and Praises

Thank you for the Great St Nicholas

To God be Praise for all His Saints

To God be the Glory
With verse three:
We pray with St Nich'las our Patron and Saint
That we may be nourished and never grow faint
In telling the Gospel of God's saving might
To all who come seeking the Truth and the Light.

Who are These Like Stars Appearing

Suggested hymns which may still be copyright

Almighty God of Boundless Love - Sutherland

From Every Land and Every Age - Smith

Let the Clergy Joyfully Raise - from the Roman Breviary, 1950

Let us Lift our Joyful Voices - Kucharski

May we hope to find a Patron - Stuccey-Coles

Rejoice in God's Saints - Pratt Green

We Sing of the Saints - Hommerding

When Mary Answered "Yes" - Cosnett

Who is this for Whom we Sing? - Quinlivinan

The Winter's Coming Nearer - Sturch

With Voices Loud and Joyous - McAbee

Other hymns, usually to commonly-known tunes, are available from the St Nicholas Centre.

Resources for church-music selection

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