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Religious themes: St. Nicholas (but not Santa Claus or Christmas)


Thanks to the people who sent interesting and helpful suggestions in
response to my request for "a short hymn, carol, or anthem about St.
Nicholas to be sung near Dec. 6." Some people requested a
compilation, so here you are!

Kirin Nielsen

In the UK Hymns Ancient & Modern Revised has a hymn (No 576) 'Far
shining names from age to age' for the Feast of St Nicolas to a very
good tune by Sydney Nicholson

> Are you familiar with Haydn's ST NICHOLAS MASS? It's one of his
> earlier masses, and very accessible.

I saw your posting about a St. Nicholas piece. I am a composer, and
wrote a setting like this for a service on Dec. 6, 2004 which
included a staged 12th-century morality play depicting one of the
miraculous episodes from St. Nicholas' life. It's a hymn based on the
Benedicamus Domino, and I experimented with some things I had learned
about rhythm in medieval Europe, so the technique and notation are a
little unusual, but basically very simple. The resulting sound is
sort of antique, Gregorian chant-related, but with a twist. It's
about 3-4 minutes long, for 3 solo voices and congregation or choir
(a cappella).
I'd be happy to send you a perusal PDF and recording if you're
interested. If it turns out not to work for your purposes in its
current form, I would gladly adapt it to suit.
Robinson McClellan
composer, singer, copyist

You might like Michael McGlynn's arrangement of the medieval hymn "St
Nicholas" by English mystic St. Godric (c.1070 to 1170). I've
performed this piece - evocative and different.

Text: (translated to modern English)
St, Nicholas, God?s beloved, build us a wondrous place to dwell. At
the time of birth and at the time of death St. Nicholas, bring us
safely there.

McGlynn is the creative force behind the Irish ensemble Anuna

Order from
From website: [medieval English] available in SATB TTBB SSAA

for a piece written for the Irish group Anuna:
Go to

Michael McGlynn


There's a collection from Earthsongs of early chant and polyphony
called "Legends of St. Nicholas." These short pieces were arranged
by Anonymous 4, and appear on their CD of the same name. Here's a
link - just type in "nicholas" in the title box:

I think it's also possible to excerpt Britten's work.


One of the mvts of Pärt's Triodon is a prayer on St. Nicholas.


There is a wonderful SATB motet by Orlando di Lasso - Nos Qui Sumus
(We Who Wander). I have it in a Harold Flammer / Shawnee Press
publication: The Western Wind Songbook, Volume 1 - Sacred, edited by
Lawrence Bennett. I have not looked for it elsewhere, but the source
listed is: O. de Lassus, Saemtliche Werke, edited by Franz Xaver
Haberl and Adolf Sandberger, vol 1 (Leipzig, 1894).

The English singing translation is very good -- verses from a Prose
to St. Nicholas having to do with shipwreck and despair, and who came
to rescue.

Another piece which I have buried in my storage boxes is a very
usable setting of a folk tune and legend that is also used by Jean
Langlais in the organ suite "Folkloric Suite".


I have written a short work 2-3 mins. for SATB Choir on the
text from the Prayer of St. Nicholas from the Book of Hours as follows:
Ant: Nicholas, the friend of God, adorned by a priestly fillet,
showed himself loving to all.
R: That we be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Prayer: O God, who adorned the blessed Nicholas thy priest with
innumerable miracles, grant to us, we beseech, that by his favors and
prayers we be freed from the fires of hell. Through our Lord Jesus
Christ thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the
Holy Ghost, O God, world without end. Amen.

If you'd like to a copy to review I'd be happy to send you a copy
in .pdf format. I am going out of town this Today and will not be
back until Wednesday but I would be happy to send it along then. The
work has not had a premier performance yet, so if you decide to do it
you'd be the first!
Michael Parker
Winchester, VA


I was intrigues by your request and a Google search revealed the
St,.Nicholas Centre . Choose worship
music , hymns, choral and many hits come up; it is a good start. The
St. N. words to familiar tunes sounds like a good idea for the
congregation to join in.


Have you looked at "Sir Christemas" by Mathias. Might work.


The Miracle of Saint Nicholas
Davison, Archibald Thompson (1883-1961) [USA]

Publisher : ECS Publishing [USA]
Ref. : ECS 311
Type of choir : SATB (4 mixed voices )
Instrumentation : Piano
Text in English
Source of text : French Carol

found in Musica