I was bowled over by the music at the rehearsal for Choral Eucharist at Holy Trinity this coming Thursday evening (7.30 pm, 29th Sept.). We are celebrating the feast of St Michael and All Angels by gathering together the congregations and choirs of our Area Council. There were 30+ voices making beautiful music, and it resonated around the nave and up into the rafters.
There’s something about numbers. I often tell myself, when there are only a handful on a cold early morning eucharist, that we are joining the angelic worship – or as St John Chrysostom would say, ‘mystically representing the cherubim …’. But actually to have a crowd of people, especially with good singers and players, is wonderful. And we are going to be blessed with a sermon from our own ‘Diocesan curate’ Valerie Walker.
Why St Michael? In our Memorial Chapel, we have a window to him, between St George and St Victor of Marseilles – very much the military saint, helper of ‘Christian’ armies. But in the clerestory, there is an altogether more androgynous St Michael, who rather absentmindedly is holding a sword which the dragon almost seems to be playing with as a dog might.
I think this is the St Michael who accompanies the souls of the departed to God at the hour of death, leading the angel host – as we say in our funeral liturgy – ‘may the heavenly host sustain you and the company of the redeemed enfold you; may peace be yours this day and the heavenly city your home’.
Come and celebrate all that on Thursday!