As choir members from St. Alban’s gear up to host an “Evening in Paris” on Saturday (to which you are warmly invited: Evening in Paris at Bistro St. Alban’s, October 4, 7:00 p.m.) it was a wonderful coincidence, if there is such a thing, that this is the week of angels. Monday was the feast day for St. Michael and All Angels and today is the feast day on the liturgical calendar for The Holy Guardian Angels.
St. Michael…St. Michel…Mont-St-Michel holds a medieval Benedictine Abbey, where a choir from St. Alban’s traveling to France next summer will be privileged to sing. It is a place built on a rock, and the foundation of my girlhood dream to someday visit this tiny island off the northwest coast of France in Normandy. The story goes that Michel appeared to a bishop in 708, instructing him to build a church on the islet, but the unwise bishop ignored Michel until the archangel burned a hole in the bishop’s skull with his finger. That seemed to change the bishop’s mind and a church stands still on the tiny rocky island.
Possibly those we call guardian angels have to sometimes make their point in the same painful way. A finger of wisdom poked into our conscience, coaxing or instructing or demanding us to do what is right and good. Best to listen to those guardian angels around us rather than waiting for the Archangel Michael to burn a hole in your skull. Just a suggestion.
The Book of Common Prayer puts it somewhat more elegantly:
Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
And a musical reminder:
I am in awe of this director…all those children…all that cooperation…all that joy.