St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church
Today I will share a few pictures of the beautiful Christmas decorations in my church; St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware. It is an Eastern Rite church, with rich Ukrainian culture and beautifully sung liturgy.
We follow the Julian calendar, hence Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25th. However, Christmas Eve is very special in Ukrainian culture, as well as in Polish culture, as at the sight of the first star the Christmas celebration begins with a 12-course meatless supper, followed by a midnight Liturgy to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Our parish priest was born in Ukraine, so our church decor prides itself on beautifully embroidered banners, vestments, and altar linens, as well as many beautiful icons and candelabras, he and his family bring from Ukraine.
The Iconostasis (altar screen) is open during the service, but the priest officiates most of the liturgy on the other side of the screen, by the main altar in front of the Tabernacle.
In front of the Iconostasis is Tetrapod (4 ft square table), on which a large cross is displayed, as well as lit candles, and an icon of the saint or holiday of the week.
This week we celebrated the holiday of Saint Nicholas, and the traditions of gift-giving, hence the icon of this saint is displayed on the Tetrapod.
Between the Iconostasis and the Tetrapod is a portable pulpit, adorned by a beautifully embroidered scarf (rushnyk). This pulpit is placed in this location only for the reading of the Gospel during the Liturgy, Homily, and church announcements by the priest. Then removed and set aside.
Since we are getting ready to celebrate the Birth of Christ, Nativity is displayed by one of the side altars, surrounded by gorgeous Poinsettias, a Christmas Tree, and other flower arrangements.
Here is a close-up view of the Nativity. The statue of Baby Jesus will not be placed in the manger until Christmas Eve, at which time the parishioners and especially children kneel down in front of the Nativity to say prayers and visit Baby Jesus.
On the other side of the Iconostasis, by the side altar of the Virgin Mary, we have another beautiful Christmas Tree decorated with angels.
The angels were handmade by Basilian nuns, out of shimmery ribbon, pearl beads, and sequence.
Both sides of the church have gorgeous Stained Glass windows, numerous banners, and many Christmas Wreaths with LED candles.
Even the Choir Loft was decorated with Christmas Wreaths and lights. Our Church Choir sings every Sunday, especially during Christmas and Easter holidays when our liturgies are quite lengthy but beautiful.
Also, very creative fresh flower arrangements all around the altar and vestibule, as you may have noticed in almost every picture above, were artistically designed and arranged by Ms. Olha, one of our parishioners.
I hope you enjoyed my pictures, so I am inviting you on behalf of the St. Nicholas Parish, to visit our church, worship with us, and stop for a coffee social in the basement of the church after the liturgy.
Once per month, we have a large bake sale of delicious homemade traditional baked goods, prepared by the Ukrainian Women’s League.
For more details please visit our website.