St. Nicholas, Bishop and Confessor
Nicholas was born at the famous city of Patara in Lycia. His parents obtained him from God by prayer, and the holiness of his life was marked even from the cradle. When he was at the breast he never would suck more than once on Wednesdays and Fridays, and that always after sunset, though he sucked freely on other days. This custom of fasting he never broke through during his whole life. While he was still a young man he lost both his father and mother, after which he gave his whole property away to the poor. One particular example is given of his Christian charity. There was a certain needy man in the city who had three marriageable daughters, for whom he could not get husbands, and so thought to make them harlots. When Nicolas heard of it, he went to the house by night and threw in by the window such a sum of money as made a dowry for one of them. This he did a second and a third time, and thus by his charity they were honourably given in marriage.
When he had given himself entirely to God he set forth for Palestine, that he might see the Holy places, and worship therein. During this pilgrimage he embarked once on board a ship when the sky was clear and the sea calm, but he foretold a great storm, which afterwards arose and raged until the sailors were afraid; and then the saint by prayer stilled the tempest. After he had returned home, and his holy life was known to all men, God bade him go to Myra, which is the chief city of Lycia, at a time when the Bishop had just died and the Bishops of the Province were called together to choose a successor. While they deliberated, they received a warning from heaven to choose that Nicolas who should ﬁrst come into the church in the morning. In obedience to that warning, Nicolas was seized at the door of the church, and with universal consent consecrated Archbishop. In his great oﬁice he was an unceasing model of purity, as he had always been, of gravity, of regularity in prayer, of watching, of abstinence, of charity, of hospitality, of meekness in exhortation, and of sternness in rebuke.
He was the comforter of widows and orphans by money, by advice, and by labour. He was the deliverer of the oppressed, so mightily, that it is related that the Emperor Constantine once unjustly condemned three Tribunes to death, and these unhappy men called upon Nicolas, though living and absent, to save them, who yet appeared in a vision to the Emperor, and forced him by threats to set them free. When the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian published their edict against Christianity, Nicolas did not cease to preach the truth at Myra, wherefore he was seized by the soldiers of the Emperors, carried away from his See, and thrown into prison, where he remained until the accession of Constantine. This Prince set him free, and he returned to Myra. He betook himself to the ﬁrst Council of Nice, where he was one of the 318 Bishops who condemned the heresy of Arius. He returned thence to his Bishopric, and, not long after, became aware of the approach of death. When his last moment was come, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and, when he saw the Angels coming to meet him, he began to recite the thirtieth Psalm, “In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust,” and when he had said, “Into Thy hands I commend my spirit,” he passed to the heavenly Fatherland. His body was ﬁnally removed to Bari in Apulia, where it is kept with great fame and honour.
Double White vestments
Missa ‘Statuit ei Dominu’
Ecclesiasticus 45: 30
Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis, et principem fecit eum: ut sit illi sacerdotii dignitas in æternum. Psalm131: 1 Memento Domine, David: et omnis mansuetudinus ejus. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince: that the dignity of priesthood should be to him for ever. Psalm 131:1. O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O God, who didst adorn the blessed Bishop Nicholas with countless miracles: grant, we beseech Thee, that by his merits and prayers we may be delivered from the flames of hell. Through our Lord.
Second Collect for the Feria in Advent
Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the ways of Thine only-begotten Son; that through His coming we may attain to serve Thee with purified minds. Who with Thee liveth and reigneth.
Hebrews 13: 7-17
Brethren: Remember your prelates who have spoken the word of God to you; whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation, Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same for ever. Be not led away with various and strange doctrines. For it is best that the heart be established with grace, not with meats; which have not profited those that walk in them. We have an altar, whereof they have no power to eat who serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the Holies by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people by His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore to Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. For we have not here a lasting city, but we seek one that is to come. By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise always to God, that is to say, the fruit of lips confessing to His Name. And do not forget to do good, and to impart; for by such sacrifices God’s favor is obtained. Obey your prelates, and be subject to them. For they watch as being to render an account of your souls.
Psalm 88: 21-23
I have found David, my servant: with My holy oil I have anointed him; for My Name shall help him, and My arm shall strengthen him. The enemy shall have no advantage over him; nor the son of iniquity have power to hurt him.
Psalm 111: 13
Alleluia, alleluia. The just man shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus. Alleluia.
Matthew 25: 14-23
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: A man going into a far country called his servants, and delivered to them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one, to every one according to his proper ability: and immediately he took his journey. And he that had received the five talents went his way, and traded with the same, and gained another five. And in like manner he that had received the two gained other two. But he that had received the one, going his way, digged into the earth and hid his lord’s money. But after a long time the lord of those servants came and reckoned with them. And he that had received the five talents coming, brought other five talents, saying: Lord, thou didst deliver to me five talents, behold I have gained other five over and above. His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou has been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. And he also that had received the two talents came and said: Lord, thou deliverest two talents to me, behold I have gained other two. His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Psalm 88: 25
My truth and My mercy shall be with him: and in My Name shall his horn be exalted.
O Lord God, sanctify, we beseech Thee, these gifts which we offer up on the festival of Thy holy Bishop Nicholas: that by means of them our life may ever be directed both in adversity and in prosperity. Through our Lord.
Second Secret for the Feria in Advent
Be appeased, we beseech Thee, O Lord, by the prayers and offerings of our humility: and where we have no merits to plead for us, do Thou help us with Thine aid. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord.
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: through Christ our Lord. through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, Dominations worship, Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dóminus Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt cæli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis. Benedíctus qui venit in nómine Dómini. Hosánna in excélsis.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory.
Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Psalm 88: 36-38
Once I have sworn by My holiness: his seed shall endure for ever; and his throne as the sun before Me, and as the moon perfect for ever; and a faithful witness in heaven.
May the Sacrifice which we have received, O Lord, on the festival of Thy holy Bishop Nicholas, preserve and protect us for ever- more. Through our Lord
Second Postcommunion for the Feria in Advent
Filled with the food of this spiritual nourishment, we suppliantly entreat Thee, O Lord, that through our participation in this Mystery Thou wouldst teach us to despise earthly things and to love heavenly ones. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord.