Thursday, December 9, 2010

2nd St. Nicholas Celebration

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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. (Stichera for the Feast of St. Nicholas)

What an evening!  Almost 50 people packed into our monastery to celebrate the feast of the patron saint of the Byzantine Catholic Church, St. Nicholas.  Everyone was instructed to take off their shoes and leave them in a row in the dining room, and after vespers the shoes were found to hold some treats from St. Nicholas.  Great Vespers was beautiful, celebrated by Fr. Dennis Hrubiak.  It amazes me how beautiful the prayers are for this saint about whom we know very little, and everyone sang together very well.  Fr. Dennis blessed my recently completed icon of St. Nicholas at the end of vespers.  And then we feasted on an amazing potluck dinner!  After dinner, St. Nicholas himself showed up (he looked very much like Fr. Dennis...they must be cousins).  St. Nicholas announced the winner of the trivia contest, Jessica Santacrose (congrats!), and gave the correct answers to the trivia questions about his life.  He spoke to everyone about caring for the needs of others and of course gave the kids chocolate!  We felt so blessed by the presence of so many great people who joined us (even in the snow) to celebrate, some coming from as far as Pittsburgh.  We are glad that you can feel at home in our home.

We've finally managed to emerge from the more than 25 inches of snow that we were buried under during the past four days of continuous snowfall!  We are learning what it means to live in the Snowbelt!  I took a few pictures out the back window this morning.  We had to admit that it is quite beautiful!

If you will be near the Parma area on Saturday, come out to the Cathedral (1900 Carlton Rd. Parma, Ohio) and visit us at our table at the St. Nicholas Craft Show taking place there from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  We will be selling our jams, jellies and breads.

May God bless you as you continue to prepare your heart for Christ's coming.

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