Month: September 2017

THE FEAST OF ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS

THE FEAST OF ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS

There will be a (Said) Eucharist celebrating this important feast this Friday, September 29 at 12:00 noon.

THE FEAST OF ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS

“The scriptural word “angel” (Greek: angelos) means, literally, a messenger. Messengers from God can be visible or invisible, and may assume human or non-human forms. Christians have always felt themselves to be attended by healthful spirits—swift, powerful, and enlightening. Those beneficent spirits are often depicted in Christian art in human form, with wings to signify their swiftness and spacelessness, with swords to signify their power, and with dazzling raiment to signify their ability to enlighten. Unfortunately, this type of pictorial representation has led many to dismiss the angels as “just another mythical beast, like the unicorn, the griffin, or the sphinx.

St. Michael, who ranks among the seven archangels, is also one of the four angels mentioned by name in the Scriptures, the others being St. Raphael, St. Gabriel, and St. Uriel. The Archangel Michael is the powerful agent of God who wards off evil from God’s people, and delivers peace to them at the end of life’s mortal struggle. “Michaelmas,” as his feast is called in England, has long been one of the popular celebrations of the Christian Year in many parts of the world.”

“St. Michael is spoken of twice in the Old Testament, and twice in the New. The first reference occurs in the Book of Daniel (chapter 10), where Michael comes to comfort Daniel after he has had a vision, and promises to be his helper in all things. In Daniel 12, Michael is called “the great prince who standeth for the children of Thy people.” In these references Michael is represented as Israel’s great support during the seventy years of the Babylonian captivity. Daniel, wise and holy leader that he was, wanted his people to understand that God had not forgotten them, and that, even though enslaved, they had a royal champion. In the New Testament (Jude 9), we are told that Michael disputed with the devil over the body of Moses; this episode is not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible.

In the Apocalypse (chapter 12) we find the most dramatic reference to St. Michael. Here John recounts the great battle in Heaven, when the wicked angels under Lucifer revolt against God, and how Michael, leading the faithful angels, defeats the hosts of evil and drives them out. In this role he has been painted by many artists, and the poet Milton, in book four of Paradise Lost, recounts the famous struggle. Because of this victory, St. Michael is revered in Catholic tradition and liturgy as the protector of the Church, as once he was regarded as the protector of the Israelites. In the Eastern Church, as well as among many theologians in the West, St Michael is placed over all the angels, as prince of the Seraphim. His emblems are a banner, a sword, a dragon, and scales. The name Michael is a variation of Micah, meaning in Hebrew, ‘Who is like God?’ ” (Sources: The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and Fasts, Third Edition, p. 330 and ewtn.com/library/mary/michael.htm).

St. Francis Day Blessing of the Animals

St. Francis Day Blessing of the Animals

We will celebrate this wonderful event this Saturday, September 30 at 11:00 a.m. on the parish grounds. St. Francis of Assisi so loved animals and all of God’s creation that we remember him as a friend and protector of them. Every member of the community is invited to bring their pets to be blessed. To ensure that all the pets get along peaceably and for their safety, pet owners are asked to have their animals on a leash or in a secure pen.

THE CREEDS

THE CREEDS

 

“The title creed comes from the Latin word Credo which means ‘I believe.’ The creeds sum up the Church’s formulated faith and belief in the Gospel revelation. Its personal form – notice the ‘I,’ not ‘we’ – is a reminder of the individual profession of faith in the Gospel made by each of us at our baptism.

In reciting the creeds together, we declare that we receive, believe and are one with the teaching of God and His Church. We stand to show our respect for this faith and to show our willingness to act in defense of that faith whenever we are granted that privilege.

The practice of turning to the East when the creeds are recited is an ancient tradition in Christianity. From the earliest days, Christians worshipped and reverenced God facing the East to emphasize their belief in the Resurrection of their Living Lord Jesus. As the sun rose in the east, the Son of God rose from the dead. For this reason churches were built facing the East and are always considered to be liturgically facing the East even if they were built in a Westward direction. Also, this Resurrection theme explains why ministers in some parishes face the East to conduct services.

During the recitation of the creeds, many will bow their head at the mention of the name Jesus Christ. This practice is based on the scriptural statement, “. . . at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow” (Philippians 2:10). Also many will make the sign of the cross at the end of the creeds. Of course the cross is the most basic, central, and ancient symbol of the work of salvation. From the earliest days of Christianity, baptism was the point at which first commitment to Christ was pledged with creedal statements. The sign of the cross was made on the forehead of the one who had been baptized. This symbolic gesture was to remind the person that the only way to God was through the cross, faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ for payment of sin. Since reciting the creeds is a rehearsing of baptismal commitments, the sign of the cross is made at the end of the creeds in the same way it was first received at baptism as part of the covenant renewal process.

The Church recognizes three creeds: The Apostles’ Creed; the Nicene Creed; and the Athanasian Creed. We will look at each of these in the coming weeks.”

(Sources: Bishop Ray R. Sutton, An Instructional Commentary of the Order of Daily Morning Prayer, pp. 12-13; Bishop Ray R. Sutton, An Instructional Commentary of the Order of Holy Communion, p. 10; Rev. Brad Cunningham, The Holy Eucharist: An Instructed Celebration, p. 5)

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