MICHAELMAS - FEAST OF ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS - DR. GIL HAAS, SAINT AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH, OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
At this time of year, the church’s songs and readings are filled with angelic references since Angels are honored on Michaelmas (which Episcopalians call the “Feast of St. Michael and All Angels”) on September 29th. Michaelmas falls near the equinox, and it is associated in the northern hemisphere with harvest’s end. The Michaelmas school term in British schools is fall’s first school term. A traditional Michaelmas meal included a “stubble-goose” (cooked when crops were only stubble) and a spongy bannock cake. Folklore prohibited picking blackberries after Michaelmas since on this day Satan allegedly was banished from Heaven, fell into a blackberry bush, and cursed the brambles. Beer brewed on this day is thought to be inferior. St. Thomas Aquinas ranked the angelic hierarchy into nine orders: seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, and angels. There are four archangels mentioned in the Bible: Michael (angel who defeated Satan), Gabriel (Daniel’s protector in the lion’s den and announcer of the conceptions of John the Baptist to Zechariah and Jesus to Mary), Raphael (healer), and Uriel (revealer of Ezra’s prophecies). The feast day of personal guardian angels is celebrated by Roman Catholics on October 2.
~ Dr. Gil Haas, Saint Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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