On 29th September, Michaelmas Day, we marked St Michael’s feast as part of the Patronal celebration of St Michael and All Angels Scottish Episcopal Church with a reception for the Vestry and a house blessing of the Rectory following the extensive refurbishment put in place in many instances by volunteer members of the congregation.
On Sunday 30th September at our 10:30 am Sung Eucharist we gave thanks for the Archangel St Michael. Our guest preacher was the Canon Missioner, Revd Audrey O’Brien Stewart:
After the service the congregation further celebrated the Patronal feast with a toast to St Michael and All Angels, Helensburgh and suitably decorated cakes, the card reads “The Michaelmas Daisy, among dead weeds, bloom for St Michaels’ valorous deeds“.
Here are some reflections and pictures on St Michael which we hope will enrich your worship:
In the Book of Revelation Michael leads God’s armies against Satan’s forces. In the Epistle of Jude Michael is specifically referred to as “the archangel Michael”. Christian sanctuaries to Michael appeared in the 4th century, when he was first seen as a healing angel, and then over time as a protector and the leader of the army of God against the forces of evil. The earliest sanctuary to Michael in the ancient Near East was also associated with healing waters. It was the Michaelion built in the early 4th century by Emperor Constantine at Chalcedon. A painting of the Archangel slaying a serpent became a major art piece at the Michaelion, eventually leading to the standard iconography of Archangel Michael as a warrior saint slaying a dragon. The Michaelion in time became a model for other churches in Eastern Christianity.
In the 4th century, Saint Michael was called “Archangel” because he heralds other angels. Into the 6th century, the view of Michael as a healer continued in Rome; where after a plague, the sick slept at night in the church of Castel Sant’Angelo (dedicated to him for saving Rome), waiting for his manifestation.
In the 6th century, the growth of devotions to Michael in the Western church was manifested by the feasts dedicated to him and important sites named for him;
In late medieval Christianity, Michael, together with Saint George, became the patron saint of chivalry and is now also considered the patron saint of police officers, paramedics, firefighters and the military. The sick and the suffering also consider Archangel Michael their patron saint.
Since the 14th century, Saint Michael has been the patron saint of Dumfries in Scotland, where a church dedicated to him was built at the southern end of the town, on a mound overlooking the River Nith.
Michael with Gabriel & Raphael, are the 3 principal messengers, sent from Heaven to Earth by God to provide guidance. They’re the only angels to be mentioned by name in the Bible & they’re also regarded as saints.
And we have our own St Michael and All Angels church in Helensburgh:
The St Michael Window
In the Anglican Calendar of Saints, the archangel’s feast is celebrated on Michaelmas Day, September 29.