The Day of the Holy Raphael, Archangel

December 22

Color: White

The COLLECT

O God, who art the author of peace and health, in the Gnosis of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom: defend us Thy humble servants from all afflictions and infirmities that take our power from the tasks we dedicate to Thee. We thank Thee for Thy glorious messenger and healing angel, Raphael, and for the aid and comfort given to us by all Thy holy angels, now and for evermore. Amen.

The LESSON

The Lesson is taken from the Book of Tobit:
And the angel said unto them: Bless God, praise him and magnify him and praise him for the things which he hath done unto you in the sight of all that live. It is good to praise God and exalt his name and honorably to show forth the works of God: therefore be not slack to praise him. Do that which is good and no evil shall touch you. A little with righteousness is better than much with unrighteousness. It is better to give alms than to lay up gold; for those that exercise alms and righteousness shall be filled with life, but they that transgress are enemies to their own life. God hath sent me to heal, thee and thy daughter, for I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels which present the prayers of the saints and go in and out before the Glory of the Holy One.

The GOSPEL

The Gospel is taken from the Gospel according to St. John:
Then said they unto Jesus: What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them: This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent. For the Bread of God is He who cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto Him: Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them: I am the Bread of Life; he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.

Day of the Holy Apostle Thomas

December 21

Color: Red

The COLLECT

O eternal God, who hast singled out with Thy divine favor the illustrious apostle of the Logos, Didymos Judas Thomas, and hast raised him above all other disciples by imparting to him the mysteries of the Gnosis; grant that we may follow his example and inspiration and be also thus lifted up into the light of true knowledge that sets free. Amen.

The Lesson and Gospel are those ordained for the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity. An alternate Lesson follows:

The LESSON

The Lesson is taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians:
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him; rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and ye are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power; buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth; for ye are dead to earth, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Day of the Holy Nicholas, Bishop

December 6

Color: White

The COLLECT

Almighty God, loving and bountiful parent and shepherd of our souls, we Thy servants do give Thee most humble thanks for the glorious example of Thy holy bishop Saint Nicholas of Myra; grant, we beseech Thee, that inspired by such love as he is said to have possessed, we also shall be ministers of Thy bounty, bestowers of the gifts of the spirit, and make the hearts of Thy children rejoice for evermore. Amen.

The Lesson and Gospel are those ordained for the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity.