Services at St Michael and All Angels
Sunday 1 October, Sunday within the Octave of St Michael and All Angels
Sunday 15 October, 18th Sunday after Trinity
Intent: Christ as Truth
Sunday 29 October, 20th Sunday after Trinity
Sunday 5 November, Sunday within the Octave of All Saints Day
Sundays with no service at St Michael’s:
Sunday 8 October 17th Sunday after Trinity
Intent: Spiritual progress
Sunday 22 October, 19th Sunday after Trinity
Day of recognition of other religions
Intent: Tact and tolerance
Tuesday 24th October, St Raphael, Archangel
The month of October commemorates two Archangels, St Michael and St Raphael and we also have Trinity Sundays from the 16th to the 20th.
The first Sunday in October lies within the Octave of St Michael and All Angels. St Michael is the Patron Saint of our Liberal Catholic Church in Southport. As Liberal Catholics we appreciate that we need no “intercessors” to link with the Christ at the core of our being at any time. The function and purpose of a Patron of a church (a Saint or an Archangel) is to create a dedicated channel by which we can call on the Patron’s support, direction and inspiration. With regular use and appropriate mindfulness, our linking with our Patron becomes a potent means of helping us to make our lives meaningful and useful.
St Raphael (or Archangel Raphael) is commemorated on the 24th October. This Archangel is known to us as the Healing Archangel who is invoked in the Healing Service. In the liturgy for the healing service, we have the words “ - - - and invoking the help of the holy Archangel Raphael, I anoint thee with oil, - - -“ (“I” being the Celebrant).
Both the Rev. Geoffrey Hodson and Bp Leadbeater have written extensively about the benefits of consciously invoking and working with Angels in all their forms. Such work is a very real part of the culture and heritage of the Liberal Catholic Church throughout the world.
The intents of the five Trinity Sundays are, sequentially, Justice, Spiritual progress, Christ as Truth, Tact and Tolerance and Serenity. On my recent short visit to Geneva in Switzerland, I noticed very prominent public scultures serving as reminders of the plight of refugees worldwide. ethnic mixture of the population of Geneva was also very prominent, the conservative business attire that might be expected in a Swiss city contrasting with the vivid colours and styles from African and other countries from all over the planet. practice of Tact and Tolerance would have to be a by-word for the residents of Geneva.
The topic of Justice always generates lively and sometimes heated discussions, with people contrasting what they see in their daily lives, on the TV news, for example, with what they consider to be “justice”. As Liberal Catholics we can enjoy the freedom of interpreting the scriptures, the Creeds and liturgy in a way that is most meaningful to ourselves, while respecting the viewpoints of our fellow worshippers and participants. I find it useful to reflect on a portion of the wording of the Act of Faith that we use in our Eucharist, which reads, “We believe - - - that perfect justice rules the world - - -“. This phrase from the Creed indicates to me that we should take the long view of justice in this world, extending sometimes over many lifetimes. I know that for some this is unacceptable, and that all the “black hats” need to be brought to justice as soon as possible! But, on reflection, I think we can see that the practical logistics of such a demand are beyond the ability of many parts of the world, politically, culturally, economically and historically.
With the help of the five Intents of October from Justice through to Serenity, we can use them to develop our inner resilience and we can strive to interact with all whom we meet in our daily lives with tact and tolerance. With such a personal practice we might then become aware of our own spiritual progress as we hold the concept of “Christ as Truth” in our hearts.
With God’s blessing