Today is Thursday the 29th of September, the feast of Ss Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, the Archangels.
The Corydon Singers, conducted by Matthew Best, sing In Paradisum from Fauré’s Requiem. ‘May the angels lead you to paradise, and at your coming may the martyrs receive you and bring you to the holy city of Jerusalem.’
Deducant te Angeli:
In tuo adventu suscipiant te Martyres,
Et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem,
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Jerusalem.
Angelorum te suscipiat,
Et cum Lazaro quondam paupere,
Et cum Lazaro quondam paupere
æternam habeas requiem,
æternam habeas requiem.
May the angels lead you to paradise,
and at your coming
may the martyrs receive you
and bring you to the holy city of Jerusalem
There may the chorus of angels receive you
And with Lazarus, once a beggar,
May you have eternal rest
Today’s reading is from the book of the Apocalypse.
And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,
‘Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Messiah,
for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down,
who accuses them day and night before our God.
But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
Rejoice then, you heavens
and those who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you
with great wrath,
because he knows that his time is short!’
Today is the feast of St Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, the Archangels. These are the only angels named in scripture, eternal beings entrusted with specific tasks to defend, heal and guide. What is your understanding of angels? Do you have a sense of connection to this heavenly community?
The feast day is also known as Michaelmas and marks one of the Church’s quarter days of the year. It marks a turning of the season, a time of transition. Do you sense this movement within you?
The name, Michael, means "who is like unto God"—and so could be given to anyone who accepts responsibility and acts in the great conflict against evil.
As you listen to the passage again, reflect on this invisible community that surrounds us, called, since the beginning of time to be our protectors.
“But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb”. Can you rest in this assurance today? Talk to the Lord about anything that has come up for you in this time of prayer…
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.