Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mist and Angels

During the retreat yesterday I suddenly noticed that autumn had arrived. The leaves on the ground were not a tipoff because some trees start dropping leaves in August, sometimes early August in drier summers. But I suddenly noticed that the cedar fronds were turning orange at the retreat center, a little bit sooner than here at home. This morning's drive to church reinforced the observation with a chill low autumn fog/mist that took on spectacular presentations along the way -- and I without either time and camera to record the visions.

But if I were to name this paticular Sunday it would be "Angel Sunday." We celebrated the "Festival of St. Michael and All Angels", translated from tomorrow. Scripture study focused on angels in the Bible, including the Apocryphal-only appearance of Raphael. (Hm. Micha-el, Gabri-el, Rapha-el -- is there a significant pattern there?) The hymns were clearly selected for the occasion, including one of my favorites, #197:

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and with fear and trembling stand;
ponder nothing earthly minded, for with blessing in his hand
Christ our God to earth descendeth, our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary, as of old on earth he stood,
Lord of lords in human vesture, in the Body and the Blood
he will give to all the faithful his own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven spreads its vanguard on the way,
as the Light of Light descendeth from the realms of endless day,
that the powers of hell may vanish as the darkness clears away.

At his feet the six-winged seraph; cherubim with sleepless eye,
veil their faces to the Presence, as with ceaseless voice they cry,
"Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia, Lord Most High!"
All the hymns fit the theme -- Fr. McGrath clearly put a lot of work into planning today's service. I hope we will learn more in future celebrations of this occasion.


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