This week we have the beautiful feast of St. Michael and All Angels. I love the collect from our prayer book which talks about the cooperation between angels and humankind: “O everlasting God, who hast ordained and constituted the ministries of angels and men in a wonderful order: Mercifully grant that, as thy holy angels always serve and worship thee in heaven, so by thy appointment they may help and defend us on earth.” We shall have a Festal Evensong for the Eve of the Feast on Tuesday, September 28, and a Solemn Eucharist on the feast itself on Wednesday, September, 29, both services at 5:30pm and sung by the choir.
Angels appear in the bible as God’s messengers but, in the many visions of heaven, they worship. Angels remind us of our mission to ‘worship, love, and serve our Lord Jesus Christ.’ On Saturday, we shall keep the traditional feast of the Holy Guardian Angels by using the propers of the Holy Angels from our Prayer Book. Jesus talked about the Holy Guardian Angels and, during the pandemic, I have regularly prayed with people that the holy Angels might protect them from harm. As we celebrate the wonderful ordering of men and angels, let us, like them, seek to share the message of good news, and worship, love, and serve our Lord Jesus Christ.
On Thursday, September 30, at 7pm, we will hold another parish meeting to give an update on the strategic plan and a report on how things are in the parish and school as we continue to navigate the pandemic. I am delighted that Christopher Seeley will give us his vision as he begins his role as Head of the Choir School. We will also have an update on our audited accounts for 2020 and the current state of our invested funds. Jenny Herrera and Laura Bush from Citrin Cooperman will also introduce themselves to you.
Finally, Sunday, October 3 is the Feast of the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church and we will be joined by Bishop Allen Shin, Bishop Suffragan of New York, who will celebrate and preach. A number of Pilgrims Course members will be confirmed or received that day. At the end of Evensong, the Choir will sing a Solemn Te Deum. I look forward to celebrating these joyful feasts with you all in-person or via the livestream.
Your Priest and Pastor,
A Sonnet for Michaelmas
by Malcolm Guite
Michaelmas gales assail the waning year,
And Michael’s scale is true, his blade is bright.
He strips dead leaves; and leaves the living clear
To flourish in the touch and reach of light.
Archangel bring your balance, help me turn
Upon this turning world with you and dance
In the Great Dance. Draw near, help me discern,
And trace the hidden grace in change and chance.
Angel of fire, Love’s fierce radiance,
Drive through the deep until the steep waves part,
Undo the dragon’s sinuous influence
And pierce the clotted darkness in my heart.
Unchain the child you find there, break the spell
And overthrow the tyrannies of Hell.