Michaelmas is a special time of year here at St Michael’s. This is a beautiful feast day that we take real delight in celebrating, and use the opportunity to worship and have table fellowship with many people we don’t often get to see. It is a day full of praise and glory, food and friendship, rich liturgy and stunning music. Whilst this day is important to all Anglo-Catholics, it is particularly meaningful to the St Michael’s community for several reasons.
As you can probably guess, the Archangel Michael is who this church is dedicated to. Michael is the greatest of the four archangels and is the one who defeated Satan. Michael is known as the protector against the dark night. Traditionally, the other archangels, known as Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel, are also honoured at Michaelmas; which is why another name for Michaelmas is the Feast of the Archangels. Given the prominence of St Michael in the worship at this Church, Michaelmas also feels like another day of dedication to many in our parish.
In the Northern Hemisphere, Michaelmas was traditionally associated with Autumn and the darkening of days. However, our southern way of life gives Michaelmas a new twist. Just as the Michael defeated darkness, Michaelmas for us symbolises the coming of spring and the victory over the dark and cold of winter. We decorate the Church with big bunches of gorgeous spring flowers and use many, many candles to fill the space with light and warmth. It is particularly fitting that the Sunday closest to Michaelmas also marks the start of daylight savings. And this year, our service filled with candlelight will also be triumphing over the last long night of winter. We wrap up the evening with a lovely supper, a community feast with wine and good food.
In recent times, the central importance of Michaelmas in the life of St Michaels Parish has increased even more. The opening of the justice precinct and the central police station has given us new neighbours. Neighbours who we share a sacred connection with. Not only is St Michael to whom we are dedicated, he is also the patron saint of police officers. This is a time when we celebrate our unique connection with the police force, and invite all who serve to come and have a special role in our festivities.
We also invite all of you to come and celebrate with us. We have a Festal Solemn Mass at 7.00 pm on Saturday the 29th, with the community feast afterwards. Bring your friends, neighbours, family and anyone whom you meet on the way!
The St Michael’s Family.