29 September 2014

Happy Michaelmas

Happy Michaelmas! Or in the current calendar, feast of the holy archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. I figure we can celebrate all three but still use the old name, especially since St. Michael the Archangel is my confirmation saint and one of Little Bear's patron saints.

Within the last week, Little Bear has been all about angels: it seems like every few hours, he'll start running around shouting "guardian angel!" "Michael!", wanting me to say the St. Michael prayer and the guardian angel prayer. If we're saying different prayers, like morning prayers or the Angelus, he will get upset if we make the final sign of the cross without adding on a St. Michael prayer and guardian angel prayer. He found a holy card with St. Michael on it, and propped it up in the center of the table facing his high chair. I'm not exactly sure where his fixation came from, but there are certainly worse things he could be into!

You probably know how I try to make my menu match the liturgical year and feast days, so it won't be a surprise that I started researching Michaelmas celebrations several days ago. There are a number of traditional foods for Michaelmas, particularly from the British Isles: roast goose, sometimes with apples; a St. Michael's Bannock or "struan" from Scotland, with many different types of grain; anything incorporating blackberries, from the English folklore that when St. Michael cast the devil out of heaven, he landed in a blackberry patch. An Italian-American custom calls for meat with a spicy fra diavlo ("brother devil") sauce, and in the height of devil's food cake's popularity it was a popular dessert for the day.

I suppose it's theoretically possible that the local organic meat market miiiiight have geese available, but we can't afford to shop there, so I wouldn't know. I've certainly never seen geese for sale anywhere else in town! I do have apples waiting to be cooked, though, so tonight we are having roast pork with apples and onions, sauerkraut, green salad, and a dark chocolate pudding. We'll save the cake-baking for Thursday: angel food cupcakes for the feast of the guardian angels! Blackberries don't grow here, sadly... that sounds like a fun bit of legend to teach little ones about today.

The Michaelmas Bannock sounds interesting, but I don't have a good assortment of grains right now. I'll have to try and remember to plan ahead and gather ingredients ahead of time next year.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, o prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, we beseech you to help us in all our needs and trials of this life, as you, through the power of God, did restore sight and give guidance to young Tobit. We humbly seek your aid and intercession that our souls may be healed, our bodies protected from all ills, and that through divine grace we may be made worthy to dwell in heaven for eternity. Amen.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, we beseech you to intercede for us at the throne of divine Mercy in our present needs. As you announced to Mary the mystery of the Incarnation, so through your prayers and patronage in heaven may we receive the benefits of the same, and sing the praise of God forever in the land of the living. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment