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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

St Michael and All Angels

29th September is the Feast of St Michael and All Angels. There are three Archangels mentioned in the Bible: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Michael ("who is like God?") is best known from the Revelation to St John where in a heavenly battle he defeats the dragon, Satan. Gabriel ("strength of God") announces the birth of Christ to the Virgin Mary in St Luke's Gospel. Raphael ("healing of God") brings sight to Tobit in the book of the same name. (Those interested in interfaith dialogue will also be aware that Michael and Gabriel are also mentioned in the Qur'an).

There is a beautiful doxological prayer in Common Worship: Festivals for this feast:

Father in heaven,
the angels sing by day and night around your throne:
'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty.'
With Michael, prince of the angels, who contends by our side,
with Gabriel, your herald, who brings glad tidings,
with Raphael, the protector, who ministers your healing,
and with the whole company of heaven,
we worship you, we give you glory,
we sing your praise and exalt you for ever.

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