September 24, 2020
On Tuesday next week, September 29, 2020 we celebrate the feast day of St. Michael and All Angels – an important day in the Church’s calendar. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are the three named biblical angels, depicted as the beloved messengers of God. Michael, which means “who is like God”, is described as the protector of Israel and leader of the armies of God and is perhaps best known as the slayer of the dragon in the Book of Revelation to John. He is thus regarded as the protector of Christians from the devil, particularly those at the hour of death. Gabriel, which means “the strength of God”, is the one, according to the Gospel of Luke, who is sent by God to Mary to announce the birth of Christ. Raphael, which means “the healing of God”, is depicted in the Book of Tobit as the one who restores sight to Tobit’s eyes. A basilica near Rome was dedicated in the fifth century in honour of Michael on September 30, beginning with celebrations on the eve of that day and September 29 is now kept in honour of Michael and All Angels throughout the western Church.
The feast day of St. Michael and All Angels has a special place in my heart as it was the day on which I was ordained deacon and then priest a year later in Rochester Cathedral in the UK. This year is the 25th Anniversary of my ordination into the Diaconate and, as my birthday is the day before September 28th we shall be celebrating in the Lloyd household at some stage next week! I hope that by this time next year COVID19 will have been sorted and we can have a jolly good knees-up at All Saints’ to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of my priestly ordination!
Prayer for the Day
Our prayer today is the one used by The Bishop at the Ordination of a Deacon. Whilst it is reserved in the Church as a prayer for that ceremony, I think it is one we can all pray for ourselves.
“Almighty Father, give to us, your servants grace and power to fulfil our ministry. Make us faithful to serve, ready to teach, and constant to advance your Gospel; and grant that always having the full assurance of faith, abounding in hope, and being rooted and grounded in love, we may continue strong and steadfast in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and your Holy Spirit, belong glory and honour, worship and praise, now and forever. Amen.”