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St Michael and All Angels

This is the only feast of angels that the Reformers retained. It goes back to the fifth century when a basilica was dedicated to St Michael. The Gregorian Sacramentary (no 726) has this collect for the commemoration in the Basilica of the Holy Angels on September 29. Michael and Gabriel are the only archangels named in the Hebrew Scriptures, Raphael and Uriel are named in the Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal scriptures. Cranmer took the collect from the Sarum Missal which drew it from the Gregorian. He translated it as:

EVERLASTYNG God, which haste ordayned and constituted the services of all Angels and men in a wonderfull ordre: mercifully graunt, that they whiche alwaye doe thee service in heaven, may by thy appoyntment succour and defende us in earth: through Jesus Christe our Lorde, &c.

“by thy appointment” is lacking in the Latin. “and worship” is an addition. Angels are described as worshiping God and assisting us.

Deus qui miro órdine angelórum
ministéria hominúmque dispénsas : concéde propícius : ut a quibus
tibi ministrántibus in celo semper
assístitur : ab his in terra vita nostra
muniátur. Per Dóminum.

Sarum Missal
NZ Anglican Lectionary booklet 2020

The lectionary booklet (image above) attributes its readings to the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). To my knowledge, RCL does not provide readings for this feast day. These readings are not the ones agreed to in the physical A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa (p 666). These lectionary booklet readings are identical to CofE’s Common Worship.

Let us pray (in silence) [that we may share in the ministry of the angels]


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, for ever and ever.


Everlasting God,
you have ordained and constituted
the ministries of angels and mortals in a wonderful order:
grant that as your holy angels always serve you in heaven,
so, at your command,
they may help and defend us on earth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

(Common Worship CofE)

O God, who dispose in marvellous order
ministries both angelic and human,
graciously grant
that our life on earth may be defended
by those who watch over us
as the minister perpetually to you in heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Almighty and everlasting God,
whom we adore with all the angelic host,
may we always rejoice in your heavenly protection
and serve you faithfully in this present life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Make us your messengers, Jesus,
make us the guardians of your faith,
and grant us also that great and ancient vision
numberless angels
the dazzling host of heaven
to accompany and inspire us for all time;
to the glory of your holy name.


Textweek Resources

Everything about Angels

Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones

Christ, the fair glory of the holy angels,
thou who hast made us, thou who o’er us rulest,
grant of thy mercy unto us thy servants
steps up to heaven.

Send thine archangel Michael to our succor;
peacemaker blessèd, may he banish from us
striving and hatred, so that for the peaceful
all things may prosper.

Send thine archangel Gabriel, the mighty;
herald of heaven, may he, from us mortals,
spurn the old serpent, watching o’er the temples
where thou art worshiped.

Send thine archangel Raphael, the restorer
of the misguided ways of men who wander,
who at thy bidding strengthens soul and body
with thine anointing.

May the blest mother of our God and Savior,
may the assembly of the saints in glory,
may the celestial companies of angels
ever assist us.

Father Almighty, Son, and Holy Spirit,
God ever blessèd, be thou our preserver;
thine is the glory which the angels worship,
veiling their faces.

Words: Latin, ninth century;
trans. Athelstan Riley, 1906
Music: Caelites plaudant (Rouen), Christe sanctorum, Caelitum Joseph, Iste Confessor

Meter: 11 11 11 5

image source

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