"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Michaelmas!

DAVID, Gerard Altar of Archangel Michael, c1510Image by carulmare via Flickr
Michael battles Satan and casts him out of Heaven
We are celebrating Michaelmas or The Feast of the Archangels at our home today. It's a wonderful time to read through all the Biblical stories about angels, and remember the section of The Creed which recite every week which talks about God being...
"maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen."
 I think there is so much more to life and the world than what we can see with our eyes and touch with our hands. I know that modern scientific, intellectual thought doesn't think very much of this kind of talk but I personally feel quite convinced that the world is ever more complicated than we can imagine and that there are lots of unseen beings and powers at work.

Moses mosaic on display at the Cathedral Basil...Image via Wikipedia
A "Mosaic Mosaic" from The Cathedral Basilaca of St. Louis
I did some reading through scripture to see what angels are recorded doing and was surprised by a few. I didn't realize that Moses' body was a battle ground...after he died he was fought over and Michael, the high saint of the day won, and took Moses on to Heaven. I also didn't realize that in Daniel Michael is described as the personal angel of the Jewish people. Kind of cool. Apparently they aren't the only ones who get a national angel, another section of scripture talks about the angels conferring and mentions "the angel of the state of Persia" which kinda makes it sound like there are angels assigned to people groups to keep an eye on them which is a very cool idea. The biggest thing Michael in particular is celebrated for is his personal confrontation with Lucifer, the angel of light who turned against God and tried to stage a coup in Heaven.

Satan on his way to bring about the downfall o...Image via Wikipedia
Gustave Dore's illustration of Satan from Paradise Lost
Traditionally, a roast goose is served for the feast to celebrate the angels but I didn't think far enough ahead to be able to pull that off this year. We really should do it next year though because we've been looking for an excuse to learn to roast a goose anyhow. Never pass up a great opportunity! Instead we're going to be eating some other foods that are traditional for the feast. We'll have some carrots, steamed with a little butter (carrots were harvested on Michaelmas Eve in old times), some fresh rolls with our own blackberry jam (legends say that when Michael expelled Satan from Heaven he fell into a blackberry thicket, and every year at Michael's feast he curses the blackberries and makes them bitter for the rest of the season, so Michaelmas is the last chance to eat blackberries for the year), we'll also have deviled eggs (a tongue-in-cheek reference to Satan's banishment) and then for dessert the boys are going to share the angel shaped sugar cookies they made.

It's good to remember the old stories, to have special celebrations and to tell our children that we are not alone here, we have invisible protection.

The boys are very taken by the idea of invisible warrior guardians, and I can see why, every boy needs a vigorous hero willing to fight for what is right.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment