Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye, 2012

Our usual sadness on this date at the remembrance of the death of my dear step-father six years ago is increased by the loss of my mother.  2012 has been a stressful, distressing and unhealthy year, and I am all too ready and happy to draw a big black line underneath it and look forward to 2013 instead.

My heartfelt thanks to all my dear friends and family for the unfailing love, support and encouragement you have given me, and especially during this year.

May 2013 be a peaceful and blessed year for us all, and God bless us, every one!

On a happier note, today is our dear Prince Vasyl's 7th birthday, and we are so happy to have him in our lives. He may be a crazy Labrador, but he's OUR crazy Labrador and we love him dearly. Happy Birthday, Basil!


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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Book Review - Fix-It and Forget-It Holiday Appetizers, Finger Foods, and Beverages




 

Fix-It and Forget-It
 Holiday Appetizers, Finger Foods, and Beverages

By Phyllis Pellman Good

Published by Good Books, October 2012



Regular readers will know I have a *great* fondness for cookery books. When I realised this book was about how to prepare for  holiday occasions by utilising slow-cookers, I simply had to review it.

Preparing for holiday meals, family get-togethers, church socials or pot-lucks can be  enormous fun - and also quite stressful, no matter how much cooking may generally be enjoyed.   I think this series of books may possibly be the books I have been looking for......

Any book which provides no fewer than 18 recipes for large quantity drinks which can be prepared in a slow-cooker, gets my seal of approval, especially when those recipes include Hot Buttered Lemonade, Hot Cranberry Cider and Triple Delicious Hot Chocolate...... Yum !

Chicken Wings, a variety of party dips, Cranberry Meatballs, Pate and Holiday Sugared Walnuts are  included amongst many others, and I hope to be able to review the other two books in this excellent series in due course.
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Book Review - The Panem Companion

The Panem Companion

An Unofficial Guide to Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games, From Mellark Bakery to Mockingjays

By V.Arrow
Published by BenBella Books, Inc.
December 4th, 2012


Two of my daughters  and I have read and loved The Hunger Games books, and I was delighted to be able to review The Panem Companion. An unofficial companion to the books, it is nonetheless an extremely thoughtful and comprehensive assessment of the dystopian future world of Panem (a future USA)  and the bizarre combined culture of celebrity hero worship, reality TV and ruthless media manipulation mandated and orchestrated by those running Panem.

Pretty much every detail is given thoughtful attention - the possible timescale of Panem's setting, after some possible plausible natural and socio-economic disaster scenarios, its geography, its racial and class discrimination and the very different socio-economic make-up of each district.  Issues of race, ethnicity and culture are covered, but I found the chapter about the socio-economics of tesserae  the most fascinating of all, especially the odds of being chosen to represent the districts at the Games.All these and many more topics are considered in some detail, which is quite remarkable in a book of only 248 pages. 

Anyone who has enjoyed or found any aspect of the series of books interesting will find enormous amounts of food for thought in this absorbing companion book. Those interested in how media manipulation can be used to mislead whole populations of  countries would also find this a fascinating book to read.

Highly recommended!

To read excerpts from each chapter, visit the website:

http://www.smartpopbooks.com/book/the-panem-companion
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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

 
 
 
A peaceful, joyous and blessed Christmas to all those celebrating the Feast today!
Christ is Born!
Glorify Him!
 
For the Feast of Christmas:

Before Thy, birth, O Lord, the angelic hosts looked with trembling on this mystery and were struck with wonder: for Thou who hast adorned the vault of heaven with stars hast been well pleased to be born as a babe; and Thou who holdest all the ends of the earth in the hollow of Thy hand art laid in a manger of dumb beasts. For by such a dispensation has Thy compassion been made known, O Christ, and Thy great mercy: glory to Thee.
Today Christ is born of the Virgin in Bethlehem. Today He who knows no beginning now begins to be, and the Word is made flesh. The powers of heaven greatly rejoice, and the earth with mankind makes glad. The Magi offer gifts, the shepherd proclaim the marvel, and we cry aloud without ceasing: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among men.

(From the Festal Menaion of the Orthodox Church; hymns taken from the Third Hour and Matins.)

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Russian Wooden Churches

In the on-line version of the Daily Mail newspaper today, there was a truly remarkable article about ancient wooden churches in Northern Russia.

The photographs were amazing, beautiful and heart-breakingly sad as many of the ancient wooden churches are in isolated areas, have fallen into serious disrepair and it is well beyond the financial ability of the local inhabitants to pay for restoration work.


 
 
A book has been produced about these amazing churches, and there is an exquisitely illustrated website too.
 It would be good to spread the word and see if there is any way we can help to preserve these churches..........
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Book Review - A Hope Springs Christmas





A Hope Springs Christmas

by Patricia Davids

Published by Harlequin, 29th November 2012

This is the seventh book Patricia Davids has written about the fictional Amish community of Hope Springs. This book focuses on a young widow, Sarah Wyse, and a quiet and reserved bachelor, Levi Beachy, and his siblings.

Deprived of her usual employment at a shop, Sarah turns her attention to the current tenant of the buggy shop she and her late husband used to run, and which she still owns. Levi Beachy is a skilled craftsman but struggles with his dealings with his own family, customers and extended family. When Sarah erupts into his workshop and his life, he is initially overwhelmed. He has long had great affection for Sarah, and his promise to Sarah's dying husband to look out for Sarah's wellbeing has kept him in Hope Springs, despite his very real desire to leave the small town and move to one of the newer Amish settlements in Colorado.

Sarah decides that the shy and retiring Levi is hiding his light under a bushel and decides to try and matchmake for him with disastrous results. Add to the mix Levi's sister who is struggling to decide whether or not to marry her own beau, and his mischevous twin brothers, always playing tricks and pranks on everyone they meet, and the potential for mishaps and misundertandings is enormous.

Sarah's own deep fear that everyone she cares for most dies, and her awareness of her growing love for Levi leave her in turmoil. Have the twins gone a step too far, and will their actions one day cause the tragedy that Levi has worried about?

There is an immense amount of humour in this sweet book, which manages to remain lighthearted despite its often serious undercurrents, and I look forward to seeing what happens next to the other characters we've encountered in the course of this story.
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Book Review - Hot Dogs & Hamburgers

Hot Dogs & Hamburgers

by Rob Shindler

Published by Greenleaf Book Group

November19th, 2012




If there is one thing my family and friends all agree on, it is the fact that I am absolutely passionate about literacy. I am a voracious reader and have always surrounded myself with books; I helped set up and run the library at our local primary (elementary) school, I run the school book club and listen to children read in class.

I jumped at the chance to read and review this quite remarkable book, subtitled "Unlocking Life's Potential by Inspiring Literacy at Any Age". Rob Shindler is an unlikely literacy tutor. A successful lawyer, he wanted to help his son, Oliver - who had learning difficulties - to learn to read. Shindler is very candid about how difficult he found it to accept his son's diagnosis, and how frustrating he found it when he trying to help his son grasp the fundamentals of reading.  Trial, error and a considerable amount of monetary bribery allowed him to gain some headway in motivating his son, but he wanted to find out other ways to help him too.

He decided to contact the Literacy Center of Chicago, and ended up undertaking their courses on literacy and how to teach it, and this is how he met the amazing group of adults who became his first literacy tutoring group. They were not what he expected. All of them were intelligent, quirky and warm people, very aware of what they had missed out on by not being able to read effectively, and determined to learn to read.

When Shindler has to temporarily leave his group to be with his dying mother and to then to help arrange care for his ailing father, it is Oliver and his twin sister Isabella who help to carry on the work with the adult literacy group. The twins develop new and innovative ways to reach out to the adults, and when Shindler comes back to teach, his group has made huge progress.

This is a truly delightful book; funny and desperately sad in equal measure, exasperating and heart-warming, it kept me rooting for Shindler's son Oliver and for all the adult learners we have met.
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Friday, December 14, 2012

Brrrrr!

Goodness, the weather has changed dramatically! After almost a week of bitter, bitter cold, last night the rain set in and the temperatures have in theory risen, but the damp still has a penetratingly cold feel to it.

I've spent the day knitting and  toasting in front of the wood-burning stove, gazing at the torrential rain lashing against the windows. I did brave the elements - but only briefly - to run round to the post office to post Christmas cards. Almost all the Christmas gifts have been bought and /or delivered, and will be wrapped when the young ones are in school next week.

We've been watching seasonal cookery shows on TV and we were especially taken with Jamie Oliver's waffles and hot chocolate, thogh I don't think I fancy cooking them outdoors over a  camp fire !
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Sunday, December 09, 2012

Book Review: Creamy and Crunchy




Creamy & Crunchy

By Jon Krampner

Published by Columbia University Press, November 2012



There is always at least one jar of peanut butter in our house. Whether it is slathered on toast, eaten straight from the jar with a long-handled spoon, made into sandwiches or used in baking, someone in our house eats peanut butter at least once a week.

 We take it for granted, but know very little about it - or at least that was the case until I started to read this book. Peanut butter is popular here in the UK, but exponentially so in the USA, its home, and Jon Krampner sets out to give us a complete biography of the humble peanut. 

The first chapter, Peanut 101,  tells us the basics, including where and how the plant grows, what sort of soil it needs, the fact it is native to South America originally and that it is one of the plants that replenishes the nutrients in the soil rather than constantly depleting nutrients.   It is a remarkable achievement to make the biology and popular rise of the peanut such an absorbing read, but Krampner succeeds brilliantly. 

The use of peanut butter as an upper-class health food at sanatoria was a revelation; it was particularly espoused by the Kellogg family who thought it a perfect vegetarian food and filed a patent in 1895 for the production of the first commercial product as well as producing advertisements to promote its use. The production methods, advertising, supply and diversity of peanut butter products are all covered in this comprehensive book and interspersed with the story are many recipes and photographs.

Each page drew me further and further in to the remarkable story of how the peanut became such an integral part of American life and then spread its reach worldwide, transcending class and cultural barriers with ease to become an everyday household item for so many families.

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Book Review: Keeping Bees In Towns & Cities

Keeping Bees In Towns & Cities

by Luke Dixon

Published by Timber Press, 2012

Keeping bees is no longer a pursuit only for those living in rural areas. An increased knowledge and awareness of the vital importance of bees in the pollination of flowers, fruit trees, vegetables and crops, and the problems faced by the decreasing bee populations worldwide  has made many gardeners and  those interested in "green" issues to delve deeper into the feasability of keeping bees even if they do not live in rural areas.




Bees can be kept just about anywhere, no matter how unlikely. I was amazed to find that a basic box hive has a "footprint" of only 60cm square, which means that a hive can easily be sited on a rooftop, balcony, patio, small garden or patch of waste land, provided that  a source of water - either naturally occurring or provided by the bee-keeper - is close at hand.   Hives come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and Luke Dixon, an urban beekeeper himself, walks the reader gently through the complexities and intricacies of keeping bees, from the choice and siting of a hive, buying bees and settling them into their new home, buying equipment, dealing with beestings, planting a bee-friendly garden, harvesting honey and the general day to day care of a hive.

This is an introductory book with a difference; full of colour photographs, it also has a section which details the varied experiences of urban beekeepers - young and old - from all over the world. It is engagingly written, conversational in style but crammed with information and it is an ideal book for those thinking of maybe venturing into producing their own honey and also helping bees to survive.
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Book Review: Good King Wenceslas

 
Good King Wenceslas (Book & DVD set)
by Jane Seymour
 and illustrated by
Omar Rayyan
Published by Shadow Mountian Publishing, October 2012
 
 
I received a digital copy of this book via NetGalley; I have not had access to the DVD and would refer interested readers to the publisher's website for information.....
 
 
The illustrations in this book are an absolute delight. Rich, detailed, beautifully tinted colours and appealing scenes will give any child delight, and there is  as much to be teased out of the illustrations as there is from the story. The actress Jane Seymour retells the story, familiar to so many through the eponymous Christmas Carol by J.M. Neale, in a new and appealing way.  I particularly liked the inset boxes giving historical detail about life in a mediaeval castle, the role of a page, St Stephen's Day and Christmas celebrations in the Middle Ages, but for me, one of the major selling points was the afterword, informing the reader about the life of St Wenceslas, J.M. Neale's Carol and the the Christian point and underpinning of the the whole story.
 
This is a slim but gorgeous book, which will delight adults and children alike; we will definitely be reading it at our house on St Stephen's  Day.

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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Happy St Nicholas' Day!


 
Akathist to St Nicholas the Wonderworker


Kontakion 1

O champion Wonderworker and exceeding pleaser of Christ, who pourest out for the whole world the most precious myrrh of mercy and an inexhaustible sea of miracles, I praise thee with love, O Hierarch Nicholas; and as thou hast boldness towards the Lord, deliver me from all misfortunes that I may cry to thee:

Rejoice, O Nicholas, great  Wonderworker!

 

Ikos 1

The Creator revealed thee to be an angel in form though earthly by nature; for, foreseeing the fruitful goodness of thy soul, O most blessed Nicholas, He taught all to cry to thee thus:

Rejoice, thou who wast purified from thy mother's womb!

Rejoice, thou who wast hallowed even to the end!

Rejoice, thou who didst amaze thy parents by thy birth!

Rejoice, thou who didst show power of soul straightway after birth!

Rejoice, garden of the promised land!

Rejoice, flower of divine planting!

Rejoice, virtuous vine of the vineyard of Christ!

Rejoice, wonderworking tree of the paradise of Jesus!

Rejoice, lily blossoming in paradise!

Rejoice, myrrh of the fragrance of Christ!

Rejoice, for through thee weeping is banished!

Rejoice, for through thee rejoicing is brought into being!

Rejoice, O Nicholas, great Wonderworker!

 

Kontakion 2

Seeing the effusion of thy myrrh, O divinely wise one, we are enlightened in soul and body, understanding thee to be a wonderful life-giving source of myrrh, O Nicholas; for with miracles poured out like waters by the grace of God, thou waterest them that faithfully cry to God:

Alleluia!

 

Ikos 2

Giving the reason knowledge of the Holy Trinity beyond reason, with the holy fathers in Nicea thou wast a champion of the confession of the Orthodox Faith; for thou didst confess the Son equal to the Father, everlasting and enthroned together with Him, and thou didst expose the foolish Arius. Therefore the faithful have learned to sing to thee:

Rejoice, great pillar of piety!

Rejoice, city of refuge for the faithful!

Rejoice, firm stronghold of Orthodoxy!

Rejoice, venerable vessel and praise of the Holy Trinity!

Rejoice, thou who didst preach the Son equal in honour to the Father!

Rejoice, thou who didst expel the demonic Arius from the Council of the saints!

Rejoice, O father, glorious beauty of the fathers!

Rejoice, most wise goodness of all the divinely wise!

Rejoice, thou who utterest words of fire!

Rejoice, thou who guidest so well thy flock!

Rejoice, for through thee faith is affirmed!

Rejoice, for through thee heresy is overthrown!

Rejoice, O Nicholas, great Wonderworker!

 

Kontakion 3

Through power given thee from on high thou didst wipe every tear from the face of those who cruelly suffer, O father Nicholas the bearer of God; for thou wast shown to be a feeder of the hungry, an exceeding good pilot of those on the high seas, a healer of the ailing and thou hast proved to be a helper to all that cry to God:

Alleluia!

 

Ikos 3

Truly, father Nicholas, a song should be sung to thee from heaven, and not from earth; for how can any man proclaim the greatness of thy holiness? But conquered by thy love, we cry to thee thus:

Rejoice, example for lambs and shepherds!

Rejoice, holy purification of morals!

Rejoice, container of great virtues!

Rejoice, pure and honourable abode of holiness!

Rejoice, all-shining lamp, beloved by all!

Rejoice, golden-rayed and blameless light!

Rejoice, worthy converser with angels!

Rejoice, good guide of men!

Rejoice, pious rule of faith!

Rejoice, model of spiritual meekness!

Rejoice, for through thee we are delivered from bodily passions!

Rejoice, for through thee we are filled with spiritual delights!

Rejoice, O Nicholas, great Wonderworker!

 

Kontakion 4

A storm of bewilderment confuses our minds: How can we worthily hymn thy wonders, O blessed Nicholas? For no man can count them, even though he had many tongues and willed to tell of them; but we make bold to sing to God Who is wonderfully glorified in thee:

Alleluia!

 

Ikos 4

People far and near heard of the greatness of thy miracles, O divinely-wise Nicholas, for through the air with the light wings of grace thou art accustomed to forestalling those in misfortunes, swiftly delivering all who cry to thee thus:

Rejoice, deliverance from sorrow!

Rejoice, giving of grace!

Rejoice, dispeller of unexpected evils!

Rejoice, planter of good desires!

Rejoice, swift comforter of those in misfortune!

Rejoice, dread punisher of wrongdoers!

Rejoice, abyss of miracles poured out by God!

Rejoice, tablets of the law of Christ written by God!

Rejoice, strong uplifting of the fallen!

Rejoice, affirmation of them that stand aright!

Rejoice, for through thee all deception is laid bare!

Rejoice, for through thee all truth is realised!

Rejoice, O Nicholas, great Wonderworker!

Kontakion 5

Thou didst appear as a divinely-moving star, guiding those who sail upon the cruel sea who once were threatened with immediate death, if thou hadst not come to the help of those who called on thee, O Wonderworker saint Nicholas; for, having forbidden the flying demons who shamelessly wanted to sink the ship, thou didst drive them away and teach the faithful whom God saves through thee to cry:

Alleluia!

 

Ikos 5

The maidens, prepared for a dishonourable marriage because of their poverty, saw thy great compassion to the poor, O most blessed father Nicholas, when by night thou secretly gavest their aged father three bags of gold, thereby saving him and his daughters from falling into sin. Wherefore, thou hearest this from all:

Rejoice, treasury of greatest mercy!

Rejoice, container of providence for people!

Rejoice, food and consolation of those that flee to thee!

Rejoice, inexhaustible bread of the hungry!

Rejoice, God-given wealth of those living in poverty on earth!

Rejoice, swift uplifting of the poor!

Rejoice, speedy hearing of the needy!

Rejoice, pleasant care of the sorrowful!

Rejoice, blameless provider for the three maidens!

Rejoice, fervent guardian of purity!

Rejoice, hope of the hopeless!

Rejoice, delight of all the world!

Rejoice, O Nicholas, great Wonderworker!

 

Kontakion 6

The whole world proclaims thee, O most blessed Nicholas, to be a swift intercessor in misfortunes; for, oftentimes going before those that travel by land and sea, thou helpest them in a single moment, at the same time keeping from evils all that cry to God:

Alleluia!

 

Ikos 6

Thou didst shine as a living light, bringing deliverance to the commanders who received sentence to an unjust death, who called on thee, O good shepherd Nicholas, when thou didst at once appear in a dream to the Emperor, terrifying him and ordering him to set them free unharmed. Therefore, together with them we too gratefully cry to thee:

Rejoice, thou who helpest them that fervently call on thee!

Rejoice, thou who deliverest from unjust death!

Rejoice, thou who preservest from false slander!

Rejoice, thou who destroyest the counsels of the unrighteous!

Rejoice, thou who tearest lies to shreds like cobwebs!

Rejoice, thou who gloriously exaltest truth!

Rejoice, freeing of the innocent from their shackles!

Rejoice, quickening of the dead!

Rejoice, revealer of righteousness!

Rejoice, exposer of unrighteousness!

Rejoice, for through thee the innocent were saved from the sword!

Rejoice, for through thee they took pleasure in the light!

Rejoice, O Nicholas, great Wonderworker!

 

Kontakion 7

Wishing to drive out the blasphemous stench of heresy, thou didst appear as a truly

fragrant, mystical myrrh, O Nicholas; by shepherding the people of Myra, thou hast filled the whole world with thy gracious myrrh. And so, drive away from us the stench of

abominable sin that we may acceptably cry to God.

Alleluia!

 

Ikos 7

We understand thee to be a new Noah, a guide of the ark of salvation, O holy father Nicholas, who drivest away the storm of all evils by thy direction, and bringest Divine calm to those that cry thus:

Rejoice, calm haven of the storm-tossed!

Rejoice, sure preservation of those that are drowning!

Rejoice, good pilot of those that sail upon the deeps!

Rejoice, thou who rulest the raging of the sea!

Rejoice, guiding of those in whirlwinds!

Rejoice, warming of those in frosts!

Rejoice, radiance that drivest away the gloom of sorrow!

Rejoice, beacon that lightest all the ends of the earth!

Rejoice, thou who deliverest people from the abyss of sin!

Rejoice, thou who castest satan into the abyss of hell!

Rejoice, for through thee we boldly call on the abyss of Divine mercy!

Rejoice, for, delivered through thee from the flood of wrath, we find peace with God!

Rejoice, O Nicholas, great Wonderworker!

 

Kontakion 8

Thy sacred church is shown to be a strange wonder to those that run to thee,

O blessed Nicholas; for, by offering in it even a small supplication, we receive healing from great illnesses, if only, after God, we place our hope in thee, faithfully crying aloud:

Alleluia!

 

Ikos 8

Thou art truly a helper to all, O bearer of God Nicholas, and thou hast gathered together all that flee to thee, for thou art a deliverer, a nourisher and a swift healer to all on earth, moving all to cry out in praise to thee thus:

Rejoice, source of all manner of healing!

Rejoice, helper of those that suffer cruelly!

Rejoice, dawn shining for prodigals in the night of sin!

Rejoice, heaven-sent dew for those in the heat of labours!

Rejoice, thou who givest prosperity to those that need it!

Rejoice, thou who preparest an abundance for those that ask!

Rejoice, thou who often forestallest supplications!

Rejoice, thou who renewest the strength of the aged and grey-haired!

Rejoice, exposer of many who have strayed from the true path!

Rejoice, faithful servant of Divine mysteries!

Rejoice, for through thee we trample down envy!

Rejoice, for through thee we come to lead a moral life!

Rejoice, O Nicholas, great Wonderworker!

 

Kontakion 9

Assuage all our pains, O Nicholas our great intercessor, dispensing gracious healings, delighting our souls and gladdening the hearts of all that fervently run to thee for help and cry to God:

Alleluia!

 

Ikos 9

We see how the orators of the ungodly with their vain wisdom were put to shame by thee, O divinely-wise father Nicholas; for thou didst confute Arius the blasphemer who divided the Godhead, and Sabellius who confused the Persons of the Holy Trinity, but thou hast strengthened us in Orthodoxy. Therefore we cry to thee thus:

Rejoice, shield that defendest piety!

Rejoice, sword that cuttest down impiety!

Rejoice, teacher of the Divine commandments!

Rejoice, destroyer of impious teachings!

Rejoice, ladder raised up by God, by which we climb to heaven!

Rejoice, God-given protection, by which many are protected!

Rejoice, thou who makest wise the unwise by thy words!

Rejoice, thou who movest the slothful by thine examples!

Rejoice, inextinguishable brightness of the commandments of God!

Rejoice, brightest ray of the statutes of the Lord!

Rejoice, for through thy teaching the heads of heretics are broken!

Rejoice, for through thee the faithful are counted worthy of glory!

Rejoice, O Nicholas, great Wonderworker!

 

Kontakion 10

Wishing to save thy soul, thou didst truly subject thy flesh to the spirit, O our father Nicholas; for first by silence and struggling with thoughts, thou didst add contemplation to action, and by contemplation thou didst acquire perfect knowledge, with which thou didst boldly converse with God and Angels, ever crying:

Alleluia!

 

Ikos 10

Thou art a rampart, O most-blessed one, to those that praise thy miracles and to all that flee to thine intercession; wherefore, free us too who are poor in virtue, from poverty, temptation, sickness and diverse needs, as we cry to thee with love thus:

Rejoice, thou who deliverest from eternal wretchedness!

Rejoice, thou who bestowest incorruptible riches!

Rejoice, imperishable food for those that hunger after righteousness!

Rejoice, inexhaustible drink for those that thirst for life!

Rejoice, thou who preservest from revolt and war!

Rejoice, thou who freest us from bonds and captivity!

Rejoice, most glorious intercessor in misfortunes!

Rejoice, greatest defender in misfortunes!

Rejoice, thou who hast snatched many from destruction!

Rejoice, thou who hast kept countless numbers unharmed!

Rejoice, for through thee sinners escape a frightful death!

Rejoice, for through thee those that repent obtain Eternal Life!

Rejoice, O Nicholas, great Wonderworker!

 

Kontakion 11

Thou didst bring a song to the Most Holy Trinity, surpassing others in thought, word, and deed, O most-blessed Nicholas; for with much searching thou didst explain the precepts of the true Faith, guiding us to sing with faith, hope and love to the One God in Trinity:

Alleluia!

 

Ikos 11

We see thee as a radiant and inextinguishable ray of light for those in the darkness of this life, O Divinely-chosen father Nicholas; for thou dost converse with the immaterial angelic lights on the uncreated light of the Trinity and thou enlightenest the souls of the faithful who cry to thee thus:

Rejoice, radiance of the Threefold sun of light!

Rejoice, daystar of the unsetting Sun!

Rejoice, lamp kindled by the Divine Flame!

Rejoice, for thou hast quenched the demonic flame of impiety!

Rejoice, bright preaching of the true faith!

Rejoice, shining radiance of the light of the Gospel!

Rejoice, lightning that consumest heresies!

Rejoice, thunder that terrifiest tempters!

Rejoice, teacher of true knowledge!

Rejoice, revealer of the mystery of perception!

Rejoice, for through thee the worship of creation has been trampled down!

Rejoice, for through thee we have learned to worship the Creator in the Trinity!

Rejoice, O Nicholas, great Wonderworker!

 

Kontakion 12

Knowing the grace that has been given thee by God, joyfully we celebrate thy memory as is due, O most glorious father Nicholas, and with all our souls we run to thy miraculous intercession; unable to count thy most glorious deeds, which are like unto the sand of the sea and the multitude of the stars, at a loss to understand, we cry to God:

Alleluia!

 

Ikos 12

Singing of thy miracles, we praise thee, O all-praised Nicholas; for in thee God Who is glorified in the Trinity is wondrously glorified. But even if we were to offer thee a multitude of psalms and hymns composed from the soul, O holy Wonderworker, we would do nothing to equal the gift of thy miracles, and amazed by them we cry to thee thus:

Rejoice, servant of the King of kings and the Lord of lords!

Rejoice, dweller together with His heavenly servants!

Rejoice, aid of faithful kings!

Rejoice, exaltation of the race of Christians!

Rejoice, namesake of victory!

Rejoice, eminent victor!

Rejoice, mirror of all the virtues!

Rejoice, strong buttress of all who run to thee!

Rejoice, after God and the Birthgiver of God, all our hope!

Rejoice, health of our bodies and salvation of our souls!

Rejoice, for through thee we are freed from eternal death!

Rejoice, for through thee we are counted worthy of life unending!

Rejoice, O Nicholas, great Wonderworker!

 

Kontakion 13

O most holy and most wonderful father Nicholas, consolation of all that sorrow,

accept our present offering, and entreat the Lord that we may be delivered from Gehenna through thy intercession that is pleasing to God, that with thee we may sing:

Alleluia!

 

This Kontakion is read three times. And again Ikos 1 and Kontakion 1:

Ikos 1

The Creator revealed thee to be an angel in form though earthly by nature; for, foreseeing the fruitful goodness of thy soul, O most blessed Nicholas, He taught all to cry to thee thus:

Rejoice, thou who wast purified from thy mother's womb!

Rejoice, thou who wast hallowed even to the end!

Rejoice, thou who didst amaze thy parents by thy birth!

Rejoice, thou who didst show power of soul straightway after birth!

Rejoice, garden of the promised land!

Rejoice, flower of divine planting!

Rejoice, virtuous vine of the vineyard of Christ!

Rejoice, wonderworking tree of the paradise of Jesus!

Rejoice, lily blossoming in paradise!

Rejoice, myrrh of the fragrance of Christ!

Rejoice, for through thee weeping is banished!

Rejoice, for through thee rejoicing is brought into being!

Rejoice, O Nicholas, great Wonderworker!

Kontakion 1

O champion Wonderworker and exceeding pleaser of Christ, who pourest out for the whole world the most precious myrrh of mercy and an inexhaustible sea of miracles, I praise thee with love, O Hierarch Nicholas; and as thou hast boldness towards the Lord, deliver me from all misfortunes that I may cry to thee:

Rejoice, O Nicholas, great Wonderworker!

 
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