Sunday, September 28, 2008

Plans for Michaelmas

Painting of St. Michael that we were given as a gift,
and was painted by a dear friend.

The feast of St. Michael the Archangel, also known as Michaelmas, is celebrated on September 29th.

"The name of this Archangel means "who is like unto God?" In the Old Covenant he is made known to us as the "great prince," the protector of the children of Israel (Dan. 12, 1). Through the New Testament the Church continues this patronage of Michael (Apoc. 12, 7) and has always venerated him as the guardian angel of the kingdom of Christ on earth, as the heavenly leader in the fight against all enemies of God. For this reason he was the special patron of Christian soldiers fighting against pagan armies. In the fierce battles of the imperial troops against the heathen Magyars in Bavaria (933 and 955) Saint Michael’s help was invoked by all fighters with prayer and song and battle cry, and the victory was gratefully attributed to him." ~ Catholic Culture

Here is what we will be doing to celebrate the feast of this great Saint:

Prayer:

Our family will be celebrating a nameday on this feast and so we will be saying the following prayer found in My Nameday, Come for Dessert by Helen McLoughlin. (I believe that this book is out of print, but I was able to find an inexpensive copy on Amazon, and it is also available online here.)
Father: The Lord, King of archangels.

All: Come, let us adore, alleluia.

Father: I looked up and saw a man standing there clad all in linen and his girdle was of fine gold. Clear as a topaz his body was, like the play of lightning shone his face; and like burning crossets his eyes; arms and legs of him had the sheen of bronze, and when he spoke, it was like the murmur of a throng.

All: He bestows favors on those nations who honor him, and his prayer leads them to the kingdom of heaven, alleluia.

Father: The angel Michael, chief in paradise, to whom the angelic citizens pay honor.

All: Most glorious prince, archangel Michael, be mindful of us here and everywhere; pray ever for us to the Son of God, alleluia, alleluia.

Father: From the writings of Pope St. Gregory the Great:

Michael means "Who is like God!" When any work of remarkable power is to be done, we are told it is Michael who is sent, that from both his action and his name we may understand that none can accomplish what God in His might accomplishes.

All: Salvation belongs to our God, alleluia.

Father: Let us pray. O God, who ordained the services of angels and men in wonderful order, be pleased to grant that our life on earth may be guarded by those who stand always ready to serve You in heaven. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Food/Snacks:

In her book Cooking for Christ, Florence Berger shares the tradition of making waffles baked in a Guafrette Iron for Michaelmas Day. She says, "Our family has not yet invested in a true French Gaufrier, but we use a waffle iron to make an American version of St. Michael's Gaufres. The recipe is like that of waffles." I think I will follow her lead and do the same! :)

GAUFRES
(St. Michael's Waffles)
from Cooking for Christ

2 eggs
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4-1 cup milk
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Blend eggs and sugar. Add flour and milk alternately. Beat hard. Add butter and vanilla. The mixture is thin and should spread evenly on the preheated iron. If Gaufres tend to stick, butter both sides of the iron. Serve hot or cold.

We will be topping our breakfast "Gaufres" with Blackberry Syrup. Doesn't that sound yummy? In A Book of Feasts and Seasons, the author, Joanna Bogle, says that "It is a tradition that blackberries are no good to eat after September 29th because 'the Devil spat on them when he was cast out of Heaven into Hell on Michaelmas'! So the days just before Michaelmas are your last chance for bottling blackberries and making blackberry jam." I had hoped to take the children blackberry picking, but we just haven't had the chance. However, I was able to pick some up from the market! ;) I love blackberries!

Now for dinner... I read on Fisheaters, that "geese were, at least at one time, plentiful during this time of year, so roast goose dinners are traditional (eating them on this day is said to protect against financial hardship, according to Irish and English folk belief). It was also the time (at least in Ireland) when the fishing season ended, the hunting season began, and apples were harvested, so eating apples today with that goose would be a nice touch." I have no idea where I can find us a goose, so instead, I will be making one of our favorite dishes, Apple Chicken and serving it with steamed baby carrots and angel hair pasta.

Apple Chicken

6 skinless chicken thighs
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cups apple juice
1/3 cup dijon mustard
3 apples -- unpeeled, cored & sliced 1/2" thick
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Heat oil in large skillet. Brown chicken over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Combine apple juice and mustard; pour over chicken. Cover; cook over medium-low heat for 45 minutes. Add apples, raisins and green onions. Cover; Cook 5-10 minutes longer. Place chicken and apples on a serving platter; keep warm. Gradually stir combined cornstarch and water into cider liquid. Cook and stir until thickened. Serve sauce over chicken and apples.
(I usually double this recipe for our family.)

For dessert I *LOVED* the idea of making devil's food cake and letting the children stab it with little swords! I can't remember where I first saw this idea (most likely from Mary or Jenn), but I know my children, especially my boys, will be in heaven. ;)

To keep it simple I purchased a boxed cake mix and made devil's food cupcakes with chocolate frosting and placed them on our cupcake rack. Now if I could just find those little cocktail swords I bought... I guess we can always break out the box of playmobil!


I was so excited that this little statue of St. Michael from my
Mother-in-law fit perfectly at the top of the stand.


There are so many wonderful traditions and recipes linked to this feast! I am looking forward to trying out more recipes and ideas in the future, and if you would like some more inspiration, don't miss the post at Catholic Cuisine!


Reading:

Craft/Activity:
  • I hope to paint a "St. Michael" to add to our Alphabet of Saints.
  • Make an angel Spoon Saint.
  • My children just colored these beautiful coloring pages on Friday at our homeschool groups Autumn Festival, and so now my boys have been inspired to draw their own St. Michael as well. They are working on them right now, in fact!
  • Another craft we did on Friday, was making apple prints. When you cut the apples in half, cross wise, don't forget to show your children how the 5 seeds inside the 5-pointed star found inside represent the Five Wounds of Christ!


Copywork:

What would be more fitting than the St. Michael prayer? This prayer was written by Pope Leo XIII after he had a vision of the battle between the "Woman clothed with the sun" and the great dragon who tried to devour her child at birth, in the Book of Revelation.

I downloaded this pdf (thanks Jenn!) for the children to color, and then copy (or cut & paste for my younger ones) the St. Michael prayer onto. It's perfect! They will each add it to their Liturgical Year Notebooks.

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 Divine Power of God - cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits, who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.


I hope you all have a very wonderful Michaelmas!!

St. Michael ~ Pray for us!



6 comments:

  1. I love, love, love the cupcake rack - it is perfect with that statue and all the "devil's food" below St. Michael's feet.

    Wonderful plans! You are so thorough.

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  2. I want to know how you manage all this in advance! I wake up one morning and it's a special feast and I've done nothing to prepare. Do you look at the calendar a week ahead, or are you just gifted in this way?

    I'll bet you buy birthday presents and cards and get them in the mail on time, too!

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  3. Thank you Jessica for all you do. I get a lot of info from your blog. I will have to do the cupcakes. or something similar. Keep up the great work!

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  4. Wonderful plans Jessica!!! Seems like we have similiar plans for dinner~~~ Have a blessed day!!!
    Blessings~
    +JMJ+

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh! How fun! I can't wait till we get settled and can get back into things again.
    I loved the info on Fish Eaters. I read it all when looking up information for the Autumn Festival, I was too sick to attend!

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  6. Thank you everyone!

    Sara ~ I try to look at the calendar at the beginning of each month to see what is coming up, and which saints we hope to celebrate. I have a calendar I use for my children that I made, where they place a magnet with a picture of the saint each day, so when I pull that out, I glance through the saints. My planner is also a Saints calendar that lists both the old and the new feast days. I find myself browsing through it often.

    I start with trying to plan special things to do for my children's patron saints, and then move on to their baptismal days, and if there are more special saints, and we have time, I add those into our plans.

    This week is one of my favorite weeks, other than Christmas and Easter, so their was lots to plan! Last year we weren't able to do much, since I had a fairly new baby, and wasn't getting very much sleep.

    Oh! And as for birthday presents and cards. I *use* to be good at that, but this year I haven't done so well! :) In fact, I totally forgot my favorite aunts birthday and I spoke with her 3 times that day! I felt AWFUL!!! :) You see, there is much I could improve on!

    Hope you have a great week!

    ReplyDelete

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